eugene-grant

Eugene Grant is the mayor of Seat Pleasant. (Courtesy Photo)

Though Eugene Grant spent his previous term fighting with the Seat Pleasant City Council over a wide variety of issues with the city’s budget and personnel, he received a strong mandate from voters. He won an unprecedented fourth term as mayor and his slate of candidates swept to victory in four of five council races.

Grant, who was stripped of most of his powers by the council in 2014 following allegations of abuse of power, said the Seat Pleasant election on Sept. 12 was a repudiation of those who opposed him and signals a new era in the small, predominately African American town of 4,500 near the District border.

Running unopposed, Grant received 318 votes while ally Kelly Porter kept his at-Large seat by garnering 249 votes. Shireka McCarthy finished second with 221 and Mable Watson 107. In Ward 1, Lamar Maxwell upset incumbent Elenora Sims 46-27 and in Ward 2 Aretha Stephenson received 22 votes to 18 votes for Hope Love. Incumbent Reveral Yeargin kept his Ward 3 seat by defeating Michael Wright 21-15 while Chari Jones bested Gerald Raynor Sr. 52-26 in Ward 4. In Ward 5, Gloria Sistrunk beat back a challenge from the wife of former council member and Mayor Eugene Kennedy by garnering 83 votes to 55.

Voters also approved ballot measures to increase the pay of the city council from $4,875 to $6,329 with a vote of 240-140 and the Mayor from $7,664 to $9,118 with a vote of 236-96.

The newly elected council and Grant will be sworn in on Oct. 3. “This will be my fourth term which makes me the longest serving mayor in Seat Pleasant history,” Grant said. “We believe there is a mandate by the voters of Seat Pleasant. They rejected the outgoing council who took my office and took my city car. We can now move forward as a city.”

Grant said he will continue to improve the community and announced that Seat Pleasant has just established itself as the first “Smart City,” in the state. He said the town is also building a microgrid and IBM Intelligent Center. Seat Pleasant also recently received a $4.1 million loan from the Department of Agriculture that will help revitalize its Public Works Department.

“The next four years are going to be very exciting,” Grant said.