Bunker Upsets Carmichael For Lakeland Mayor

By Bill Dries

Shelby County Commissioner Wyatt Bunker upset incumbent Lakeland Mayor Scott Carmichael Thursday, Sept. 19, in the Shelby County town’s three way race for mayor including former mayor Jim Bomprezzi.

Final but unofficial returns from the Shelby County Election Commission show:

Bunker 1,290 or 63 percent

Carmichael 517 or 25 percent

Bomprezzi 243 or 12 percent

Bunker has a year left on his second four-year term of office on the Shelby County Commission. He will submit his resignation to the commission within three months of the election results being certified and the commission will appoint someone to fill the vacancy.

Prior to his election to the commission in 2006, Bunker served two terms on the Shelby County Schools board.

In his campaign, Bunker touted that experience as he criticized Carmichael for a property tax rate Bunker contended was too high given the expenses the city will face as it starts its own suburban school district.

Bunker also called for more economic development in the overwhelmingly residential community to boost the sales tax base it will rely on to fund its own school system.

Meanwhile, Lakeland voters also turned out two incumbent town commissioners in the municipal elections.

Sherri Gallick and Clark W. Plunk were the top two vote getters in the single ballot for the two commission seats. Incumbent commissioners Cecil Tompkins and Donald Barber finished third and fourth respectively in the unofficial returns, with John Wilkerson following up.

Gallick 1,265 or 32 percent

Plunk 1,076 or 28 percent

Tompkins 737 or 19 percent

Barber 661 or 17 percent

Wilkerson 162 or 4 percent

All three incumbent Arlington aldermen seeking re-election on Thursday’s ballot there won re-election in the unofficial returns.

Position 4 incumbent Oscar Brooks held off a challenge by Brian “Elder” Groves.

Brooks 505 or 53 percent

Groves 442 or 47 percent

Position 5 incumbent Harry McKee overcame challenger Joshua Fox.

McKee 607 or 63 percent

Fox 361 or 37 percent

And Position 6 alderman Brian Thompson was re-elected over Larry Harmon.

Thompson 523 or 54 percent

Harmon 444 or 46 percent

Voter turnout in Arlington was 13 percent of the 7,531 voters in the town.

Voter turnout in Lakeland was 24 percent of the 8,725 voters in the town.