In the second round of the League of Municipalities’ “Hometown Showdown” competition on Facebook, Clayton ran up against a steamroller.
Garner blew away Clayton, a fact that overshadowed a strong effort from the nearby Johnston County town. Of the other 15 municipalities in the Sweet 16 round of the March Madness-themed event, Clayton generated more likes than 14 of them.
But with 1,241 likes last week, Garner more than doubled up Clayton (568) to establish itself as the clear frontrunner in the social media popularity contest of hometown loyalty.
“I think it shows community pride,” said Garner mayor Ronnie Williams, who said he wasn’t surprised by the outcome. “People knew if Garner were to win we would get recognition. No cash prize, but recognition. It’s a pretty cool deal altogether.”
Concord, with 560 likes, was the next strongest survivor, but wouldn’t face Garner until the final. Next week Garner will face Wallace in the finals of the Sandhills regional from March 17-21.
The winner will face the winner from the Mountains region, either Bessemer City or Hickory. Concord faces Mooresville in the Piedmont final, and Washington runs up against Holden Beach in the Beaches final.
The Final Four will be March 24-28 and the Final will be March 31-April 4.