Clay Poynor has been in politics for almost 20 years. Following the March 4 primary election, he’ll get to tack on an additional four years to his tenure as Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace.
The incumbent barrelled past his opponent Teresa Marney Graves, earning 1,098 of the 1,634 votes cast in the race, or 67.2 percent.
“I had a lot of help,” said Poynor, who won his sixth term. “It takes everybody – the constituents, my family. I have people in Bridgeport, Boonsville, Runaway Bay. I couldn’t have done it without all of them and hard work and dedication.
“People don’t realize how hard it is until they’re doing it,” he continued. “It takes a lot of work, especially if you hold a job.”
Poynor began his political career 24 years ago, when then-Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace Dewayne Kennedy decided not to seek re-election.
“He was the one who gave me inspiration,” Poynor said. “I wanted to interact with people and help them, which is what I’ve strived to do.
“Usually, the people that come in are mad, but I like being able to help people how I can – work with them and give them as much information as I can.”
Although his political career has spanned almost two decades, he hasn’t served those years consecutively.
“I lost one term,” he said. “So I’ve been on both sides of the program – I know what it’s like to win, and I know what it’s like to lose.”
Regardless of whether he won or lost, Poynor said he always worked hard and gave it his best, just as his opponent did.
“My opponent ran a fair race,” he said. “We both got out and campaigned and gave it our all. Luckily, I drew more votes.”
Graves, who garnered 536 votes, acknowledged that although she worked hard, she could identify areas of improvement.
“I talked to a lot of people and gave people a choice,” she said. “I guess they didn’t want change. If I were to do it again, I’ll definitely decide to do it earlier so I can start (campaigning) earlier. And I’ll definitely have more funds … I’ll consider running again.”