Anthony upsets Ashcraft in runoff

Nov. 07, 2013 @ 04:56 PM

After the Tuesday night run-off election, the new Monroe City Council has been finalized. 

Surluta Anthony defeated John B. Ashcraft Jr. to take the third open council seat. She will join Council member-elect Debra Duncan and Council member Freddie Gordon when they are sworn in in December. 

Anthony received 61.44 percent of the vote and Ashcraft received 38.56 percent. In this year’s run-off, 1,678 turned up to vote, with the majority of voters voting in early elections. 

Union County Board of Election Director John Whitley said in the 2011 Monroe run-off election there were 1,256 votes, in the 2005 run-off there were 928 and in the 2001 run-off there were 1,574 ballots cast. 

“I feel pretty good about it,” Anthony said. “I feel like people have spoken and I am glad.” 

Anthony said she recently lost her father and the victory is “bittersweet.”

She requested the run-off election after a handful of votes separated her from Ashcraft. 

“I was shocked at how close it was,” Anthony said. 

“I was not surprised (by the run-off) because I could feel from talking to the people that they had taken an active interest...the numbers were more than I had anticipated,” she said. 

When she is sworn in, Anthony said her first order of business is to settle in, get her feet wet and be knowledgeable about what she is doing. This is her first time serving as an elected government official. 

“I want to always be approachable and get in touch with the citizens,” Anthony said. “I’ve been looking from the outside in, so I’ll be looking from the inside out.”

Anthony said one of the issues she ran on was looking at the feasibility of public transportation, so she intends to make that her top priority. She also plans to look at what the city is doing and thinks there are a few policies that need to be restructured. 

“I’m grateful for the support, I’m going in to represent all of the citizens,” she said. “I’m going in being an independent thinker and going in without any animosity toward anybody and I’m going in to be the voice of the community.” 

Anthony, Duncan, Gordon and Mayor Bobby Kilgore will be sworn-in December. They will join current Council Members Lynn Keziah, Dottie Nash and Billy Jordan.