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McBryde, Pitts Face Each Other In November Election

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FAYETTEVILLE, NC — Despite a low voter turnout, all eyes were on the mayoral primary as the final numbers trickled in.

Three black men, one black woman and three white men were in the running to become Fayetteville's next mayor. It was the most diverse group ever to seek the mayor's position.

Johnny Dawkins, Milo McBryde and Marshall Pitts were considered the favorites. But in the end it turned out to be McBryde and Pitts who advanced to the general election.

Pitts, currently mayor pro tem, received 41 percent of the vote. His closest opponent, incumbent Mayor Milo McBryde, received 30 percent of the vote.

Both were followed by Johnny Dawkins, with 26 percent of the vote. Dawkins is the son of longtime mayor J.L. Dawkins, who died last year.

Dawkins said his defeat may be a sign of better things to come in the future.

"My dad -- his first race, [he] came in second. That was 1975. And he never ran second again," Dawkins said.

Even McBryde had mixed feelings about his relative victory.

"The Dawkins family and our family have the same friends, and we have families split, members of one family voting for him and voting for me," McBryde said. "We just didn't know what was going to happen."

And the outcome is still far from certain.

Pitts said the city is poised for change in November.

"Fayetteville's on the brink of becoming a new city and going in a new direction, or we stay the way we are," Pitts said. "I think this is a very important time."

Tuesday's results are unofficial. Official results will be certified on Friday, Oct. 12.

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