SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – It’s a new day in the City of Savannah with a new mayor-elect.
Alderman Van Johnson defeated incumbent Mayor Eddie DeLoach in Tuesday’s runoff.
Unofficial results from the Chatham County Board of Elections are as follows:
- Johnson – 62% or 14,884 votes
- DeLoach – 38% or 9,291 votes
“The work starts today,” Johnson told News 3 after seeing the results.
“We have to get together and galvanize around common issues, common concerns, core values and principles and really get them up to speed on what it takes to run a government the size of the City of Savannah,” he said of the incoming council.
DeLoach says he’ll support the mayor-elect in those efforts.
“I told Van, you know, if there’s anything he needs me to do, just give me a call, I’ll be glad to do it. And we’ll move forward and we’ll have a great city,” DeLoach said during his concession speech.
Back on Election Day, Nov. 5, Johnson got 46 percent to DeLoach’s 40 percent. Regina Thomas, former Democratic member of the Georgia State Senate, then received 14% and Louis Wilson got just 1%.
Ahead of the runoff, Johnson received some last-minute boosts from some well-known politicians.
Just over a week ago, former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams endorsed him. On Monday, she visited Savannah to attend Johnson’s final rally.
That’s also when New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, Democratic candidate for president, showed his support.
“Good mayors don’t just have big ideas, they have big hearts. [Johnson] has both,” Booker tweeted, adding, “Savannah you know what to do.”
Both congratulated the mayor-elect Tuesday night.
DeLoach, however, said he’s not about out-of-town endorsements.
“You can’t do anything about who comes to town and who doesn’t,” he told News 3 Monday. “What I do know is most of the decisions that are decided are decided here in Savannah and not in Atlanta.”
But as for those who chose not to vote for Johnson, he had a clear message: “On January 1, 2020, I will represent everyone in Savannah. Period.”