Hood, Howard thankful for re-election

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By Jesef Williams

Lancaster City Councilman Kenny Hood said voters picked the better candidate in the District 1 race.
Hood, who represents that district, defeated challenger Anthony Elder by 58 percentage points Tuesday night.
Hood got 262 votes (79 percent) compared to Elder’s 70 votes (21 percent).
The Lancaster County Election Commission certified the results Friday.
“The best candidate won,” Hood said. “The work I’ve done speaks for itself.”
Hood is winding down his first term on council. He was elected in 2008 to fill the unexpired term of longtime Councilman Preston Blackmon, who died earlier that year.
Hood said he’s learned a lot since then and wants to continue helping city residents.
He’s championed improvements to Southside Park, infrastructural improvements along roads in his district as well as more funding for the Lancaster Police Department.
“I’m going to work hard on crime,” Hood said. “If crime doesn’t stop, we’re not going to get anywhere.”
Howard wins re-election  
Veteran City Councilman John Howard defeated his opponent, Derek Smith, by 34 percentage points to win re-election.
Howard got 358 votes (67 percent) and Smith got 173 votes (33 percent).
Howard, who’s been on council since 1982, said the support is overwhelming.
“I mean that from the bottom of my heart,” said Howard, who serves District 5. “It appears a lot of folks out there have a lot of trust in me.”
However, Howard said he wants to gain the support of those who voted against him.
He said economic development will continue to be a main focus.
He said he wants Lancaster to start a recycling program, which can save the city money.
Howard also wants to see the city’s older water and sewer lines replaced. Some of them are more than 100 years old, he said.
“Lancaster is a great town,” Howard said. “We got so many positive things going for us.”
Mackey gets second term
City Councilman Gonzie Mackey, who faced no opposition, was also re-elected Tuesday.  Mackey, the District 2 representative, will begin his second term in January.
He is the city’s mayor pro tem, meaning he would assume mayoral duties in Joe Shaw’s absence.
Shaw also won re-election Tuesday. His next term will be his eighth.

Contact reporter Jesef Williams at (803) 283-1152