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Brownsville Mayor's Race Breaks Record

By Erica Williams
By ewilliams@wbbjtv.com

BROWNSVILLE, Tenn- Brownsville's current Mayor, Joe Matherne, along with her opponent Bill Rawls, campaigned side by side on the last day of early voting.

Rawls said more visibility is one of the reasons he thinks more voters are coming out.

"We have record numbers for voting here in Brownsville," Rawls said.

According to Andrea Smothers of the Haywood County Election Commission, early voting numbers show this year's election is set to surpass the last one by at least 12 percent.

"I am not at all surprised that we have a good turnout for early voting," Mayor Matherne said.

The current mayor said she considers the race high-profile and believe lots of residents are eager to support progression in the city.

"People are excited about the future of Brownsville."

Rawls disagreed and said it's the issues, not the successes, that is bringing out more voters.

"It's the poverty here, the unemployment and the hospital closing," Rawls said.

Haywood County's only hospital is scheduled to shut down next month. Both candidates agreed residents are concerned, causing more community involvement.

"There have been a lot of issues addressed over the last several weeks," Mayor Matherne said.

Whether it's because of the city's problems or it's progressions both candidates said they are just glad more residents are casting ballots.