LIVE OAK — After an eight-year absence, Mark Stewart will be returning to the Live Oak City Council.

Stewart won Tuesday’s runoff election for the District 4 seat with 187 votes. Opponent Norman Crawford received 105 votes.

“It feels humbling and I thank God for this opportunity again,” Stewart said. “I’ll do the best I can and hopefully address some of the issues that are before us.”

Stewart previously served on the council from 2006-2010 and with 64.04 percent of the 292 ballots cast and will begin another term next month.

He hopes to address what he sees as a breakdown in communication within the city government once back in office.

“The biggest obstacle I see right now is there seems to be a communication problem between people that want to develop property and city hall,” Stewart said. “I think they’re making some headway on that and hopefully we can continue to just work on that and make it better.”

Crawford had pushed for change and improvements as a resident before deciding to run. His desire to try and continue that work on the council, though, fell short.

Stewart received 45 votes during the week of early voting, 82 absentee ballots and 60 more during Tuesday’s voting.

Crawford, meanwhile, had 26 votes during early voting, 48 more on the absentee ballots and then was chosen 31 times Tuesday.

Stewart and Crawford reached the runoff after topping the four-man race to fill the open position in May’s election. Stewart received 109 votes and Crawford had 77 then, finishing ahead of John W. Hill and Jerry Poole.

Stewart will join Robintina Reed as new councilors when they are sworn in at the July 10 meeting. Reed defeated incumbent John Yulee Sr. in the May race for the District 1 seat.

Frank Davis, the current council member from District 4, will also be sworn in as mayor next month, replacing the retiring Sonny Nobles.

The 292 ballots cast was just 39.04 percent of the 748 registered voters in the district.

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