PRINCETON — Six incumbents and one political newcomer will govern Princeton when City Council’s new term begins July 1.

Although Mayor Dewey Russell and Vice Mayor Pat Wilson were not up for re-election in Tuesday’s municipal vote, the remaining five seats on Council were up for grabs. Councilmen John Wilborn and Marshall Lytton were unopposed in Wards I and II, respectively, but the remaining three offices featured contested races.

In Ward III, incumbent Chris Stanley defeated challenger John Mathena by an unofficial vote margin of 38—22.

“It’s a very good feeling,” Stanley said, reviewing the vote totals, all of which were counted and announced by 8:25 p.m. Tuesday.

Turning to his fellow council members, Stanley said he was glad he’d be able to continue working with the panel charged with running the city.

During the campaign, Stanley said he hoped to continue drainage improvements and sidewalk repairs throughout the city. He pledged he’d work to keep Princeton Commu-nity Hospital strong and work tirelessly for the citizens.

In Ward IV, the only Council newcomer of the election won the race against established Councilman Chad Caldwell. When City Clerk Ken Clay announced the unofficial totals Tuesday, Tim Ealy prevailed over Chad Caldwell, 37-26.

“I’m looking to add a fresh outlook through the point of view of a resident and a businessman. I’ve never been involved with something like this and have no experience. But King Solomon didn’t have experience, and he asked God for wisdom, just as I would. I’d like to see the city work on downtown and include Thorn Street in it,” he told the Times earlier. “I’d like to see new businesses and the businesses already there continue to grow. I think that our police department does a good job, and I’d like to see our citizens be able to walk the streets safely.”

After winning the election, Ealy first thanked the poll workers for dedicating their efforts to provide a fair election, and he expressed his appreciation to the people who cast ballots for him.

“I hope I don’t disappoint them,” he said.

And, in the final contested race of the night, incumbent Councilman Dewey Large bested former Princeton councilwoman and mayor, Anita Skeens Caldwell.

Large, who said early on in the race that he’d like to see Princeton grow through annexation, was anxious as the votes were counted but was all smiles when the returns came in.

“I want to thank the voters,” he said. “I think they made the right choice.”

While Wilborn and Lytton were not opposed in Tuesday’s races, they too, set their sights on Princeton’s future during the campaign.

Lytton said he was interested in working on getting more of a police presence, either on foot or bicycle, downtown, adding to the city’s size through annexation and generally continuing the work being done by the present city government.

Wilborn emphasized he was dedicated to keeping Princeton Community Hospital a strong part of the city and sticking to the city’s existing plan for growth.

“I am still committed to the Princeton hospital remaining a community hospital and to the comprehensive plan of the City of Princeton, helping to create framework for planned growth, better and improved infrastructure, storm and wastewater disposal, career jobs and economic development,” he said. “I think the entire 20-year plan is great, and I remain committed to it.”

As Princeton’s chief elections official, Clay said he was proud of poll workers and their rapid work to let candidates and voters know the results.

“I want to make sure to thank the poll workers,” he said. “They did a good job.”

The new Princeton City Council term will begin July 1, at 1:30 p.m., when Council convenes for swearing-in ceremonies and the reorganization session that will result in the vote for mayor and appointment of vice mayor.

— Contact Tammie Toler at

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