Liggett wins re-election

Friday, August 6, 2010
Joe Boyd Liggett addresses supporters after winninng re-election in the county mayor's race. Liggett had 46 percent of the vote compared to 31 percent for Scottie Poarch and 23 percent for Mike Spence.

The incumbent has won another four-year term as Marshall County mayor, polling 46 percent of the vote.

On election night, mayor Joe Boyd Liggett hosted a party for friends and supporters at the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders' and Exhibitors' Association headquarters on the by-pass.

Results were being broadcast, and cheers rang out as Liggett carried precinct after precinct. Finally, with only one remaining, retiring county commissioner Tony White got up to introduce Liggett for his victory speech.

"I have one promise," Liggett said. "To continue to work hard for this county. I've been proud to represent Marshall County."

Liggett thanked his supporters, especially his family, for their hard work.

"We put this in God's hands because we felt that's where it needed to be," he said.

Liggett asked for help picking up his campaign signs from around the county, and someone asked, "Aren't you going to use them next time?"

"Let's get one term out of the way," Liggett replied, leaving the podium to a standing ovation.

Later, in a radio interview, he said, "I look forward to the next four years. I'm going to make the best of each day."

Runner-up in the mayor's race was county commissioner Scottie Poarch, who received 31 percent of the vote, followed by Mike Spence with 23 percent.

Spence was philosophical about his loss, saying, "I knew I had an uphill battle." He called himself a "dark horse" and "unknown," and admitted that, unlike his opponents, he had no county government experience.

Spence confirmed that he'd been at former County Commissioner Sam Smith's home about a month ago in Cornersville where Spence met with Poarch and Smith.

"I got a call," Spence said. "Supposedly it was a done deal that Scottie would pull out and then the next morning I got a call that he changed his mind.

"When a guy tells you that he and his supporters would pull out and support you -- you accept.

"Scottie probably had second thoughts," Spence said.

Then, Spence would have been the apparent best challenger against County Mayor Joe Boyd Liggett.

And during a telephone interview in the last two hours of the polls' operation Thursday, Spence speculated that Poarch's supporters were concerned about issues that had not become part of the public debate.

Spence also acknowledged the political implications for himself, seeing it as a three-way race between men who were "neck and neck," so if one challenger withdrew, there would be an advantage for the other challenger.

Spence concluded: "If it looks too good to be true, it probably is."

The Lewisburg businessman twice said there was a meeting at Smith's home and that Poarch's withdrawal would have been a "done deal."

"That ain't true," Poarch said, when asked whether he had agreed to pull out.

"That's just a rumor," he added, when asked if he and Mike Spence had shaken hands on the agreement at Sam Smith's house south of Cornersville.