102 years. That's how long combined the current Meridian city council men and women have served on the council, but after Tuesday's primary results, that number could drop quite a bit as new challengers are looking to move in. One of those is Randy Hammon, who defeated Ward 5 incumbent Bobby Smith. Hammon credits his victory by getting out and speaking to residents in his ward.
"I probably talked to over 2,000 people in this ward, and I got the same message from most of those people. They don't see anything happening. They don't see anything changing."
Hammon will face former councilman John C Harris in the general election next month. At least one long-time council member faces competition in a runoff. The winner of Ward 2's runoff between Mary Perry and Kenneth Dustin Markham will automatically take that seat. In Ward 4, Kim Houston's 42% of the vote guaranteed her a spot in the runoff, and she says she's ready for the next challenge.
"There will be a runoff because we did not get the 51% of the vote, so we're taking a break, and then getting right back out there because our voters need to know how important it is to go back out. It's not over yet."
If elected, both Hammon and Houston look forward to working with their fellow council members
"There's 5 individuals and they have to step up as a group and say 'This is what we're going to do' and press forward."
"I'm hoping that Mr. Palmer, Ms. Perry, and all the other people that have held this city solid, that they will continue to do that by helping us."
Longtime Ward 1 councilman, Dr. George Thomas, will face Democrat Martin Jack, while Ward 3's Barbara Henson was unopposed, therefore guaranteeing her another term in office.