Childs defeats Hart in LaGrange City Council race

Published 8:12 pm Tuesday, November 7, 2023

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Councilman Leon Childs defeated challenger Travis Hart on Tuesday evening for the District 2B council seat in LaGrange.

Childs won his second term on the LaGrange City Council. The incumbent received 375 (64.77%) votes compared to Hart’s 204 (35.23%).

Childs called the victory and exoneration of accusations against him during his first term. He said the election brought some relief.

“It’s one of those feelings that you get when you’ve been treated really, really bad and trying to just prove your innocence, and now you’ve been exonerated in everything that was perpetrated against you. An entire smear campaign was perpetrated against me, but the people saw right through that,” Childs said, alluding to the GBI investigation involving alleged threats between him and Councilman Nathan Gaskin. Childs has maintained his innocence throughout the campaign.

“Now I have a mandate, a mandate to keep going with everything that I was doing in my first eight months to do it these next four years,” Childs said.

Childs said his main focus in the upcoming term will be working on the community. That means a combination of everything — housing, crime, education and working with the community, he said.

Childs stood by his record during his first eight months and said he shouldn’t have even needed to run.

“I don’t even think it should have been a race, to be honest. I don’t even think anybody should have challenged me now with the work that I’ve been doing with the people,” Childs said.

Despite Childs’ confidence, he said he could not have won on his own.

“To God, be the glory. I thank the people that believed in me,” Childs said. “This is for the people, and I’m going to get in there and fight for the people even harder these next four years as I did those first eight months,” Childs said.

Hart was obviously disappointed with the results, but he said the campaign was an enjoyable experience.

“It was a good run. We worked really hard. We tried to get as many people as we could to get out and vote,” Hart said. “It was a fun experience and a learning experience. It won’t be the last; I guarantee you that.”

Hart said he plans to continue working with the community and sharing his ideas to make LaGrange a better place.

“I wanted to work with the council and mayor. I’ve got some ideas to share with them, and I don’t have to be on the city council to do it,” he said.