Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

Tuscaloosa Municipal Election Runoffs: Edwin 'Eddie' Pugh Defeats Incumbent Bob Lundell in District 6, Burrell Odem Defeats Bobby Howard in District 2

Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

Tuscaloosa Municipal Election Runoffs: Edwin 'Eddie' Pugh Defeats Incumbent Bob Lundell in District 6, Burrell Odem Defeats Bobby Howard in District 2

Article excerpt

Challengers ruled on Tuesday when both two-term City Council incumbents were defeated in the only runoffs of the 2013 municipal election.

District 1 challenger Burrell G. Odom unseated Councilman Bobby Howard 529-412, and challenger Edwin "Eddie" Pugh defeated District 6 Councilman Bob Lundell 797-650.

Odom's supporters erupted into cheers, song and an impromptu prayer circle outside the District 1 polling place at the Tuscaloosa Department of Transportation when the unofficial word came from inside the poll that he had unseated Howard.

"I'd like to thank (the voters) for coming out, believing in me and voting for me," said Odom, 61. "I'm just so happy, I don't have no words right now."

Howard, who turns 61 today, was gracious in defeat and said he was relieved that the process was over.

"I'm glad I was able to serve, but not serving is not too bad," Howard said. "I wanted to serve as long as the people would have me, but they have spoken and I'll abide by their wishes."

Outside Grace Church on Hargrove Road, the polling place for District 6, a small but emotional crowd of Pugh supporters broke out into hugs and phone calls and began taking photos to remember the occasion.

Pugh, 59, thanked the voters who chose him and volunteers who worked alongside him during his campaign.

"I had the best volunteers in the world," Pugh said. "Now, all we want to do is move forward and make District 6 the best it can be while improving the quality of life in Tuscaloosa."

Lundell said he was surprised at the outcome based on the number of voters who pledged support outside of the polling site.

And despite the defeat, he said that he would be glad to serve on any boards, commissions or task forces to which the City Council may appoint him.

"I'm not going anywhere," said Lundell, 70. "I just wanted to finish off here in District 6 ..., but now it's up to someone else to do it.

"I had a good time and I don't have a regret at all."

The runoffs were required because the races for districts 1 and 6 were not decided during the citywide election on Aug. 27. when none of the candidates in the two districts received a majority of the votes. …

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