Savannah mayoral race heading to runoff

Savannah mayoral race heading to runoff

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The Savannah mayoral race is heading to a runoff election between Eddie DeLoach and Van Johnson, which will be held on Tuesday, Dec 3.

Longtime Savannah city alderman Van Johnson drew the most votes in the general election for mayor. To be specific, he captured more than 11,330 votes or about 46 percent, according to the unofficial results.

So, what does he attribute to the vote last night?

"My vision for Savannah is something they can buy into, that was very measurable and within our reach,” Johnson said.

As for DeLoach, he blames last night on low voter turnout.

"It was ridiculous. I mean you got probably less than 15 percent of the people deciding what happens to the city. That’s not representative of our society. We need to be up and taking care of things and we were not doing that in that vote yesterday,” DeLoach said.

Savannah Mayor Eddie DeLoach
Savannah Mayor Eddie DeLoach (Source: WTOC)

And turnout was low. Overall, countywide turnout about 22 percent – far less than the 36 percent of voters who turned out during the last city council general election in 2015.

Tuesday night, Johnson lead DeLoach by 1,500 votes. DeLoach says he can recover from second place.

“If you don’t move and vote, it won’t happen. It will go back to what it was, 16 years ago, 12 years ago, 8 years ago and 4 years ago - before we came in,” DeLoach said.

Van Johnson talks with WTOC
Van Johnson talks with WTOC (Source: WTOC)

DeLoach is seeking a second term as mayor. He says that his platform in 2019 would be a continuation of his platform that he ran on in 2015: to lower the violent crime rate, and to build more affordable housing.

This is a familiar story for DeLoach. He won in a 2015 runoff election over incumbent Edna Jackson with about 53 percent of the vote.

“We won four years ago, and we’re gonna win this coming race,” Mayor DeLoach said, addressing a crowd at his campaign watch party.

As for Johnson, he calls between now and the runoff election overtime for his campaign.

"Savannainahs want change. They want to see better and I’m in the position and uniquely qualified to give better and I’m ready for this fight. So as far as I’m concerned, we didn’t stop last night. We keep on pushing,” he said.

Regina Thomas gathered about 14 percent of the vote, while Louis Wilson was able to get just around 1 percent of the total ballots cast.

Click here for the latest on other election results throughout the Coastal Empire and Lowcountry.

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