Local Politics

Local voters decide municipal races

Posted November 3, 2009 8:44 a.m. EST
Updated November 4, 2009 12:05 p.m. EST

Voting

— Voters cast their ballots Tuesday in municipal elections. Many North Carolina towns voted for local leadership – from mayor to city council to school board.

The spotlight in Wake County was the runoff in the District 2 school board race. John Tedesco, who received over 75 percent of the vote, defeated Cathy Truitt.

Truitt had withdrawn from the runoff, but then said Saturday she would take the seat if elected.

In Cary, incumbent Jennifer Robinson defeated challenger Lori Bush in a runoff for Cary Town Council's District A seat. Robinson captured 54 percent of the vote. Bush received 46 percent.

Bill Bell held off a challenge from Steven Williams, a logistics and traffic manager for a smart-grid company, to win an unprecedented fifth term as Durham mayor. Williams filed to run against Bell in 2005, but withdrew.

Bell captured 78 percent of the vote to Williams' 22 percent.

"I think it has been a good night," Bell said Tuesday evening. "Based on what we have seen, it looks like the incumbents are going to be victorious. I think what it says for me is that the voters of Durham feel comfortable with the incumbents. I think they realize that while there are a lot of things that need to be done, we have made great progress in the city."

Fayetteville Mayor Tony Chavonne won his third term against challenger Bob White, a retired soldier and local business owner. Chavonne claimed 67 percent to White’s 33 percent.

"We have worked hard on product development and improved the way the city looks," Chavonne said Tuesday evening. "The important thing right now is to make sure we are recruiting businesses here and bringing better paying jobs here for our citizens."

In Chapel Hill, four candidates were on the ballot for mayor. Incumbent Mayor Kevin Foy, who didn't run for re-election, threw his support behind Town Councilman Mark Kleinschmidt.

Also seeking the post were Matt Czajkowski, another member of the council, patent law attorney Kevin Wolff and Augustus Cho, former chairman of the Orange County Republican Party and Congressional candidate.

Kleinschmidt received 49 percent of the vote, Czajkowski, 48 percent, Cho took three percent and Wolff, one percent.

Despite the narrow margin, Kleinschmidt won with 99 more votes than Czajkowski. The race required a plurality rather than a majority, which means whoever got the most votes won, even if it is less than a majority.

Butner's held its first vote as an incorporated town. Tom Lane beat James Jones handily in the mayor's race, and six commissioners were also elected.

In Harnett County, voters rejected a 25-cent sales tax increase. The same referendum passed in Lee County, with 67 percent of voters casting ballots in favor, 33 percent against.

The tax option failed last year in Lee County, and in Harnett, in 2007.

All results are unofficial until the Board of Elections tallies provisional, early and absentee ballots.