The battle over the correct amount and pace of high-density development in the town of Summerfield is still up in the air; however, one important piece of that equation is in place after the Tuesday, Nov. 7 election: Summerfield Mayor Tim Sessoms, who will play a large role in regard to the pace of coming development, was chosen by town voters to keep that job.
Sessoms was up against challenger Linda Wendelken, who many argued would have put more checks and balances on future development in the town than Sessoms will in his next term.
After the voters spoke with their ballots on Tuesday, Sessoms had garnered 1,457 votes for mayor to Wendelken’s 1,228 votes. That meant that the incumbent Sessoms pulled in just over 54 percent of the vote, while Wendelken garnered just under 46 percent.
There were only six write-in votes in that race.
One of Sessoms’ first orders of business as the new mayor will be continuing his attempt to keep the town in one piece. Sessoms has been trying to work with developer and farmer David Couch to come to an agreement on terms for Couch’s proposed nearly 1000-acre residential and mixed-use development. If no agreement can be reached, Couch may pursue an ongoing effort to work with state lawmakers to de-annex that property from the town.
After the votes were counted on Tuesday evening, Don Wendelken – the husband of Linda Wendelken who helped manage her campaign – said that, despite the loss, he felt much good had come from the run.
He said his wife and other Town Council candidates on the same team –who did win seats on the Town Council – really got the word out and helped inform a substantial number of Summerfield residents about the issues now facing Summerfield.
“It was a lot of hard work,” he said. “Linda fought well and knocked on a lot of doors and did a lot to open people’s eyes.”