Dr. Stancil Handley was elected mayor of Columbiana on Tuesday night, defeating incumbent Allan Lowe, 571 to 492. Earlier in the day, he urged voters to cast their ballots. (Reporter photo/Neal Wagner)

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It’s Mayor Handley in Columbiana

Published 10:44pm Tuesday, August 28, 2012

By JAN GRIFFEY/Editor

COLUMBIANA — Dr. Stancil Handley won election to the city’s top job on Tuesday night, defeating incumbent Mayor Allan Lowe 571 to 492.

Matthew Morris Jr., a recent high school graduate, who also was a candidate for mayor, received 29 votes.

Columbiana voters were forced to wait nearly three hours for election results. An election official said a discrepancy of one vote between those who had signed the election registration book and the number of ballots count had to be rectified before results could be tallied.

Columbiana City Clerk Gina Antolini announced the results inside city hall just before 10 p.m.

Handley, who held a victory party at Bernie’s on Main, said his reaction to his election was one of “relief. I’m just relieved. I didn’t know what to expect, really.”

“People in Columbiana have been telling me for a long time that they want a change here and I felt we had a viable option for change in this election. If people really felt like they wanted a change, I knew we would be successful,” Handley said.

Lowe was gracious in defeat.

“I have certainly enjoyed the 12 years I had the opportunity to serve as mayor.  I think we made a lot of positive changes,” Lowe said. “I wish the new administration great success.”

In city council races, results were:

• District 1 — Leslie Whiting defeated incumbent Frieda Abrams, 126 to 71.

• District 2 — Barbara A. Moore defeated Louis Payne, 78 to 40.

• District 3 — Ricky Ruston defeated incumbent Jim Strickland, 141 to 112.

• District 4 — Kim R. King defeated Michele Walker, 182 to 79.

• District 5 — Ouida Mayfield, incumbent, defeated David Galutza, 169 to 82.

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