Thornton wins 3-way Seligman mayoral race

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Former police chief: 'It was a pretty close race

In the three-way race for Seligman mayor, Garry Thornton has come out on top and will assume the post not filled since former Mayor Jerry Montgomery resigned in September 2015.

Thornton won the race with 21 votes (33 percent), Eric Freeman came in second with 17 votes (27 percent) and Everlyn Chisholm rounded up the field in third with 15 votes (24 percent). There was one write-in vote (2 percent).

Thornton said he is looking forward to assuming the post, anticipating it would be a new and interesting experience.

"It was a pretty close race," he said.

Thornton will be sworn in at the city council meeting at 6 p.m. on Monday, and he said he plans to address the city council and see what concerns they can work on together.

"I'll also see if there are any other retailers that have shown interest in the Walmart building, and where we can move on from there," he said. "I hope to do a good job for the people who voted for me, and I'd like to thank them for voting."

Thornton said he plans to continue his full-time position as a police officer for the city of Cassville, and he will continue to serve as an officer for Seligman, if needed.

Although not a winner in the race, Freeman said he was good with the outcome, regardless of the results.

"Garry and I are friends, and as long as one of us got it, I was good with that," he said. "I hired Garry as chief when I was on city council before."

Chisholm said she was somewhat disappointed with the third-place finish, but said she plans to run again next year.

"I just hope [Thornton] turns our town around and keeps it going forward," she said. "I hope he does good for our city and we don't have a deficit."

Thornton, originally from Monett, lives and works in Seligman and has served as a police officer and police chief for the city, at different times, from 2011 to present. He graduated from the MSSC Police Academy in Joplin in 2010. Thornton is married with three children.

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