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Sales tax defeated in 2-to-1 vote

By By Sherry Digmon
Advance Staff Writer
Escambia County voters just said no.
The one-cent sales tax referendum was soundly defeated by a two-to-one vote Tuesday.
More than thirty-two percent of the voters, 1,450, were willing to pay the extra penny, but 3,008 voters, more than 67 percent, voted the road and bridge referendum down.
In the school board District 7 race, incumbent Jimmy Dukes was defeated by challenger Steve McGill by a vote of 353 to 258. Dukes carried only two of eight boxes – Huxford and Staff Chevrolet – and those boxes showed low turnout. The absentee votes were split 6-6.
In the county commission District 4 race, James (Junior) Hall was a big winner over Don Whatley. Hall got 625 votes to Whatley's 433.
Whatley carried only the McCullough box. The two split the absentee ballots, 12-12.
In other races, Jack Crutchfield got 439 votes to defeat Hailey Lanier for a seat on the board of education. Lanier received 294 votes.
The race was close in the commission District 2 race. Only 29 votes separated Raymond Wiggins and Todd Williamson, with Williamson getting 969 to Wiggins' 940.
Escambia County Commission Chairman Larry White was at the courthouse Tuesday evening and watched as results came in. The early count was dismal. It never improved.