Charles Goston and Harvey Budd emerged victorious in Gainesville’s City Commission run-off elections on Tuesday.
Goston defeated incumbent Hinson-Rawls for the District 1 seat, and Budd claimed the open at-large seat. Voter turnout was below 12 percent.
Budd said he had expected the final decision in the at-large election to come down to about 50 votes.
“I knew that really every vote counted,” he said. “It was going to be an extremely close election.”
Budd commended Curtis on his campaign despite not being well-known in Gainesville. Ultimately, though, he said friends, hard work and determination set him apart from his competition.
“You set goals, and you go perform them,” Budd said. “We worked very hard these last few days to get that last few votes.”
Despite her loss, Hinson-Rawls was relieved for the race to be over.
“I’ve been pretty anxious over how heavily contested it’s been, how exhausting it’s been on me and my family,” she said. “I’m sorry about the outcome, but I am glad it’s over.”
Goston said his victory was a step in the right direction for Gainesville.
“I feel that anytime that you can improve the conditions of a city, you should attack it aggressively and be really serious about it and be dedicated to the premise of what you’re doing,” he said. “And that’s what I was.”
The citizens of District 1 were in pain, Goston said, and they needed representation that would get things done that should have been done over the last 35 or 40 years.
“District 1 is not going to look the same in three years,” he said. “It’s going to be different. It’s going to be vibrant. It’s going to be a place where people can work and they can enjoy their neighborhood. It’s going to be safe.”