Eddie Smotherman won a seat on the council, edging out longtime councilman and Vice Mayor Chris Bratcher by only a 1 percent margin.
Longtime councilman Ron Washington has garnered the most votes of any candidate since his first campaign in 1998, but that trend ended Tuesday evening.
He led in vote totals throughout the night, until Councilman Toby Gilley topped Washington’s total by a mere nine votes when the very last of the precincts were counted, garnering 15.92 percent to Washington’s 15.84 percent.
“I want to thank my wife and kids for putting up with another campaign,” Gilley said. “The biggest issues going forward will be amending the capital outplay plan to include a fire training center and new equipment for our first responders.”
For his part, Washington said the council had done a good job of handling the city’s growth over the past decade, but said the city faces upcoming challenges in funding needed infrastructure and rehabilitation of older downtown areas.
“Going forward, I really want to focus on making older areas of downtown Murfreesboro attractive to business,” he said.
The Murfreesboro School Board gained two new members, with Dr. Andy Brown and Jared Barrett filling two seats left open by the retirements of Nancy Duggin and Dr. Susan Andrews.
Brown thanked all who voted for him and said he will try to serve Murfreesboro’s students and teachers to the best of his ability.
“My first order of business will be to begin the learning process because so much is involved in running a large school system,” he said. “I look forward to the next few years and I will do the best job I possibly can.”
Barrett led Brian Lewis for the fourth place spot among seven candidates by a 2.3 percent margin.
“I want to thank the voters of Murfreesboro for entrusting me to represent their families on the Murfreesboro School Board,” Barrett said. “I want to thank my wife Amber for all her hard work and support. … I couldn’t have done it without her.”
“I look forward to working with members of the board to bring about the best results we can for the children and families of Murfreesboro,” he added.
Barrett and Brown will join incumbents Butch Campbell and Nancy Phillips, who won reelection by a wide margin.
“The kids are the most exciting part of our school system,” Phillips said. “We need to encourage creativity and critical thinking skills because those are what set American schools apart from the rest of the world.”
“We are the country that invents things for the world, so we need to continue to focus on these skills as we lead the Murfreesboro City Schools in the coming years,” she added.