Arrington takes the mayor seat

Published 9:15 am Thursday, May 23, 2024

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With the official results in, Jim Arrington is confirmed as the new mayor of LaGrange. In his second time running in as many years, Jim Arrington has won the seat for mayor with 2501 or 69.7% of the votes.

“I’m ecstatic,” Arrington said. “The results have been dragging in. So there’s just kind of been a little bit of emotions but yes I’m very excited, very ecstatic and humbled to receive that many votes from the city of LaGrange.”

Arrington, a former city council member, gave up his seat to run against the late Dr. Willie T. Edmondson for the role of mayor in 2022 and lost. After Edmondson’s sudden and unexpected passing, Arrington once again qualified to run for the role.

This time around, Arrington ran against Chalton Askew and Dr. Israel Barsh in the special election. Askew was a supporter of Edmondson during his campaign and now serves as executive director of the Racial Trust Building Initiative in LaGrange.

Askew received 886 votes or 24.69% while Barsh received 201 votes or 5.60%.

Barsh served as the US Army Military Officer 1st Lieutenant for 14 years and is the LaGrange City Worship Embassy Church’s Senior Prophet. He was also the founder and former principal of the K-12 Academy of Excellence in Washington. Barsh has run for city council twice and said he has continued to stay committed to the council.

Looking ahead, Arrington said, “The first thing on the agenda is to figure that budget out. I haven’t seen it, and I’ve been sitting in with them but they have not presented it to any of the council yet.”

“I just want to say thank you to my family and my campaign committee and my close friends and to the citizens of LaGrange that voted for me and have that respect for me and want to see me as mayor,” Arrington said.

Askew gave a statement to the LDN on Wednesday. Askew said the results don’t deter him from continuing to serve the community saying, “For me, it’s about the causes, the change that’s needed in the communities. And that’s what motivates me and that hasn’t changed…the needs are still in our community, that motivates me.”

“What we historically see in these elections is a low voter turnout … If anything, I would like to use my voice to appeal to members of the community to take it seriously and get involved. Let their voice be heard through that vote,” Askew added.

Barsh also gave a prepared statement to the LDN on Wednesday.

“We Pray for The New Mayor that he do the Will of God,” Barsh said. “[I] thank all local citizens who went out to vote in this campaign. As CEO of LionsGate Social Justice Economic Coalition, [I] will continue to focus on: 1) build and Unify our City, 2) push diversity and equality [of] all races in local government, 3) form alliances to eradicate poverty and 4), eradicate homelessness in LaGrange.”