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Republicans dominate council

BY Samantha Oyler


The city’s Common Council will lean right once more with Republican representatives taking the majority in a 7-2 split.

Republican incumbents Brad Luzadder, Jim Brunner, Deborah Cain and Steve Henderson all kept their seats, as did Democrat incumbent Don Batchelor, who ran uncontested for Ward 5.

Gary T. Fordyce, Sr. (R) took District 1 seat with 295 votes, compared to Fred Troxell (D) receiving 251 votes.

Fordyce said he’s appreciative for the number of people who turned out to vote and he looks forward to helping citizens move Marion forward.

“They’ve invested their life, blood, sweat and tears into their homes and their businesses and they’re appreciative of it and I’m excited about that,” he said.

For District 2, Mike Cline (R) had 915 votes and Jessy Pearson-Cheney (D) had 409 votes.

Cline said he hopes to bring energy to the council, maintaining that he will keep his ears open to his constituents.

“First I have to learn. I have to learn, I have to listen,” Cline said.

Brunner returned as District 3 representative, receiving 365 votes, over Paul Funches III, who received 210 votes.

District 4 will be represented by Robin Fouce, one of only two Democrats on the 2020 council, with 400 votes, against Republican Brian Brand, who had 181 votes.

While Fouce said the campaign process was “awesome,” she said she will spend the beginning of her term learning the ropes.

“I want to get some training under my belt,” Fouce said. “I want to know how to best serve Marion,”

While citizens will see a few new faces in the coming year, 2020 council members stated they will remain diligent in representing the people.

Voters turned out in droves, explaining that it was their right and civic duty to help determine the future of their city.

Tyann Cobb, 62, has been voting ever since she was legally able. Cobb, like many voters, would like to see city officials focus on improving the quality of Marion’s streets.

“That’s a big thing, there’s been a lot of streets that have potholes. I’ve seen where they’ve done a good job, but there are some more streets that need to be fixed,” she said.

Queen-Tiffaney Askew shared similar sentiments, recalling specific roads that need more attention.

“Especially the alley behind Circle K on the bypass, it’s like a crater,” Askew said.

Askew’s parents are veterans so she’s made sure to show up and vote to honor her parents and also her black ancestors who had to fight for the right to vote.

“People died (to vote)... My dad’s from Memphis, his parents probably had to literally fight to vote,” she said.

Similarly, Robert Sloderbeck said he’d like to see the roads fixed, adding that he’d also like to see the council tackle blight.

While many people wanted to see the roads around the city improve, others, like Autumn Cussen said they would like to see city officials focus their time and finances elsewhere.

Cussen said she would like to see an emphasis on the city’s crime and drug rates.

Joshua Weir also said he’d like to see the city focus its efforts on the drug crisis.