Former Guilford County Sheriff BJ Barnes will soon have a new title in front of his name: “Summerfield Mayor.”

On Tuesday, Nov. 5, Barnes won that title decisively by getting 60 percent of the vote to the 40 percent pulled in by his opponent, Danny Nelson.

Barnes said it’s no secret Summerfield has been bitterly divided in recent years and he added that he hopes to restore civility to what at times has been a very hostile political environment in the town.

Barnes will replace current Summerfield Mayor Gail Dunham, who did not run for reelection.

“I am gratified the citizens of Summerfield did not want to see the type of divisive government we’ve seen,” Barnes said.

Barnes has been highly critical of Dunham and the way she has handled the town’s business.

He said he was glad that the voters in Summerfield didn’t believe many of the false claims made about him and some other Town Council candidates. Critics of Barnes have said that, if he and his political allies have their way, development will be allowed to run amok in the town – but Barnes said those charges are groundless.

“They tried to vilify us and say that we are the ‘high density’ candidates,” Barnes said Tuesday night a couple of hours after the election results came in.

Barnes also said that Summerfield was a wonderful place and he is proud to be the new mayor.

“We’ve got a great little town here,” Barnes said.

Barnes’ wife Dena, who’s been on the Town Council for over two decades and is now stepping down, has also served as the mayor of Summerfield.