Democrat Rebecca Wyhof Salmon was elected the next mayor of Sanford Tuesday, winning more than 95 percent of the vote in an uncontested race.
There were 102 write in votes against Salmon in the mayoral contest. Salmon is currently the Council’s Ward 5 representative, meaning the council will need to appoint someone to fill her unexpired term. She was first elected to the Sanford City Council in 2011.
Meanwhile, Democrats Linda Rhodes and Mark Akinosho won their respective races by strong margins – Rhodes defeating Republican Richard Porter with 63-plus plus percent of the vote (1,101 to 630) for the at large seat being vacated by Democrat Chas Post and Akinosho topping Republican Blaine Sutton for the west Sanford based Ward 1 seat being vacated by Democrat Sam Gaskins with 60-plus percent of the vote (439 to 279).
Meanwhile, Ward 3 Councilman J.D. Williams, also a Democrat, won 126 votes in an uncontested race (there were two write in votes).
Following the release of the vote totals, Salmon sent the following statement to The Rant.
I am humbled and excited that you have put your trust in me to serve as your next Mayor. Sanford is a truly remarkable city – brimming with big ideas, a heart for service, entrepreneurial spirit, deep roots and boundless potential. We have built a strong foundation and I am honored to be part of writing the next chapter of Sanford’s story.We will continue an emphasis on smart and sustainable growth, sound infrastructure, attracting great jobs, promoting a vibrant downtown, and ensuring our community retains the unique character and sense of place that we all love.Building a community is a team effort and I look forward to working with the City Council and our strategic partners as we chart the future for our dynamic city.As Mayor, my focus will remain on what is important to you and your families. Let’s work together and continue building a community that empowers and encourages everyone to contribute to making Sanford a great place to live, work, and play. I will work my hardest every day to continue building relationships, supporting our employees, promoting our community, and enhancing the quality of life for all residents.Thank you so much for your support during this campaign and your optimism and love for our community (Please continue to keep sharing your amazing ideas!). I have been blessed by the support of my incredible family and the help of so many volunteers and friends along the way. I owe each of you a deep debt of gratitude. It’s a great time to live in Sanford and I am honored to have the opportunity to serve.
The Rant will add statements from the other candidates if and when they are received.
If republicans don’t get their act together and start putting better candidates up, the democrats are going to walk away every election. Blaine Sutton, really. That dude is about as awkward having a conversation with as anyone I have ever met. That and his affiliation with Jim Womack?! Come on guys. Bring better talent to the table.
Richard Porter was not a bad candidate. The DEMS just outworked the Republicans. You hit the nail on the head mentioning Jim Womack. What self respecting person would want to bend the knee and kiss his ring just to receive his blessing? The only thing I might add is most sane republicans that have a modicum of self respect will not parrot the current conspiracy theories that is required not to be considered a RINO.
Again, Republicans have missed an opportunity to reach out to the people of the county, listen to their concerns, and offer viable solutions. The Womacks have created a very toxic environment that does not offer anything more than chaos and making a spectacle of oneself acceptable. I saw a text yesterday where a Womack sycophant bragged that he turned down an information leaflet from Akinosho saying, “No thanks, I’m anti-socialist”. He thought it was funny that the candidate was offended. Womack responded, “He will learn”. I ask you, how does fomenting this kind of rhetoric advance the Lee County Republican Party, conservatism, and basic civility in the political process. Womack offers nothing but negativity and no real solutions to advance Lee County or the Republican Party. How can we as Conservative Republicans hope to show people that we have real solutions and should be the party the citizens of Lee county should trust with leadership when our leaders are as toxic as the Womacks? Lee County Republicans must stand up and vote in new GOP leadership!
Most “Don’t Tread on Me” types tend to receive some form of government paycheck. I have always wondered if they truly understand how hypocritical they are? You are certainly right on with your views of the Womacks. They are so incompetent they gerrymandered the county commission maps in order to make Robert Reives have a competitive district and then can’t find anyone to run against the man in the upcoming election.
Honestly both parties gerrymander, it just depends who is in control. Having said that they both are wrong for doing it. I am not necessarily against competition, it creates options for the voters and fights against stagnation. However it needs to reflect the needs of the people.
You are who you are. The Republican party has been slowly taken over by people with extremist views. This didn’t just happen in the last few years. It’s been a process. The far right wing used to be a small portion of the republican party, but a deliberate campaign has normalized some of the extreme views and rhetoric. The incident you have shared is a fine example of this.
You are like the frog in the pot of water that is slowly brought to a boil. You didn’t notice that change was happening until the water started bubbling. Just remember that your parents were right when they told you that people will judge you by your friends.
It’s time for any remaining decent republicans to start a new party that is not weighed down by extremist views. You will never root the Womacks and their ilk out of your party, so you need to leave them in the dust. Good luck!
Totally agree about being against gerrymandering. Throw in term limits while you are at it. My point was the Lee County Commissioners went out of their way, with no public input other than Jim Womack, to come up with a map just to get rid of Robert Reives. Once they did they couldn’t find anyone to run against the man. On top of that in the primary Jim came up with a blue ballot endorsing Rebecca Salmon and Mark Akinosho over their democratic competition as to create descension within the local democratic party. Lastly, besides Jim Womack’s failings you need to understand the local DEMS didn’t knock on doors in 2020 due to the pandemic which didn’t hold back republicans. This go round they knocked on tons of doors.