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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Huntsville voters decided Tuesday the District 5 city council seat needed a new occupant. That new face turned out to be John Meredith, who won over 3-term incumbent Will Culver.

Meredith said it’s been a long road, his 2016 run against Culver proved unsuccessful.

“Last time I was the unknown, and he was the incumbent and at that time president of the city council.”

This time around, Meredith pulled in 1,619 votes. Culver received only 1,030.

Meredith said while that means only about 6 percent of registered voters turned out Tuesday, he’s grateful he kept them enthused and excited enough to vote him in.

“It was like a wave and finally that wave just crested at the right time,” he explained.

But this won’t be his first experience with community relations, Meredith says his passion has been policy for change. The councilman elect spent many years lobbying on Capitol Hill.

But he said that passion is deeply rooted, in fact some might say Meredith had direct access to a great mentor.

“Dad’s impact has been something that I’ve lived with and tried to look up to my entire life. So in that regard I don’t think that I’m doing anything different, its just a different form,” he explained.

And by dad, Meredith is referring to his father James Meredith, esteemed civil rights leader and the first Black student to integrate and graduate Ole Miss.

Meredith said he never expected his career to turn out this way, but sometimes duty calls.

“I had said many times, as a lobbyist, that I would never run for public office,” he said. “Frankly it wasn’t until being a very disgruntled, one to me that was very disenfranchised, constituent that forced me into running.”

Meredith said he wants Huntsvillians in District 5 to know he’s working toward what’s in the best interest of everyone.

“For me its all about what public policy can do the most good for the most people,” he said. “Whether it’s a republican idea or a democratic idea, is irrelevant to me, it’s how is it going to affect people.”

As for priorities, Meredith said the completion of Zierdt and Martin roads is currently a project at the top of mind.

The city has not yet set an official date for Meredith’s swearing-in. He has plans to meet with the city in the coming days.