RALEIGH — With 99 percent of the vote counted, Raleigh residents appear to have selected Paul Coble as their city's mayor. Candidate Stephanie Fanjul has not conceded defeat, however.
Coble has received 50.38 percent of the vote, while Fanjul has received 49.62 percent. Coble currently has 359 more votes than Fanjul, with some ballots uncounted.
Some of the ballots are damaged; some are unreadable. They will be counted at the Board of Election's meeting Thursday. Official results should be released Friday.
Tuesday night, Coble said, "I'm really excited. I'm very grateful that we've come this far, and we've done it together, and a lot of people helped, and I'm very appreciative of that."
Fanjul's speech to her supporters was slightly different. "As far as we know, right this minute, we're not going to know for another maybe 12 to 24 hours," she said.
"It gives us a moment not to be a winner or a loser, but a moment to say thank you and a moment to congratulate everybody for moving these really critical issues forward for the city," Fanjul said.
By choosing council member Glen Lang as their next mayor,Cary residents sent a clear message: slow growth. Lang reiterated the call for careful development Tuesday night.
"I'll put a call in to the Chamber of Commerce. I'll put a call in to the leaders of the development community. I'll get some of the homebuilders' association people on the line," Lang said. "We've got to sit down and figure out how we're going to build more schools, how we're going to build more roads, and how we're going to build more parks, so we can keep a reasonable growth rate going forward."
Lang had company in his quest to slow growth. Two of the three people on his "slow growth" council ticket were also elected.
The "slow growth" faction of the Cary Town Council has four seats already, and Lang will play a key role in filling the council seat he vacates to take over as mayor. It is possible that five of the seven council seats will be held by members who support slow growth.
Lang received 9,096 votes, while his closest opponent, Mary Kamm, received 7,054 votes.
Kamm said this first swing into local politics probably won't be her last. "I'm very, very proud of the race we ran and the support of this community," she said. "It's my volunteers who make me very, very humbled by their support and everything they did. We came from nowhere to really being a horserace."
It was not the race incumbent Durham Mayor Nick Tennyson expected. Tennyson won re-election with about 62 percent of the vote, compared to challenger Floyd McKissick's 38 percent. Both candidates thought the margin of victory would be smaller.
"We continue to make progress on crime and public safety," Tennyson said. "I think the region's going to be amazed at what's going to be happening in downtown Durham."
McKissick accepted the loss with grace. "I'm disappointed, but at the same time I knew it would be an uphill battle. I was running against an incumbent who was extremely well-financed, when you're an African-American candidate it's always going to be doubly difficult."
McKissick will still be a part of Durham's public life. He has two years left to serve on his current city council term.
In Fayetteville, Mayor J.L. Dawkins was re-elected by a wide margin, winning all 34 precincts. Only 20 percent of residents voted for challenger Edna Pickett, who ran a very low-key campaign.
The victory clearly meant a lot to Dawkins. "After seven times as mayor, for people to give me this kind of a margin is really a humbling experience," Dawkins said. "I think it says I've got to work even harder."
Dawkins sayshis fight against bone cancerhas made the victory even sweeter.
As a result of the victory, Dawkins will be Fayetteville's mayor for 14 consecutive years.
Dawkins says he has not ruled out running for an eighth term.