Mayfield, Haynes, Hunt, Young, Simerly and Lee pull ahead in primary

Julie Mayfield drew in the largest number of votes in the Asheville City Council Primary. Photo by Virginia Daffron
Marc Hunt talks with North Carolina House Representative Brian Turner at Asheville Brewing Company. Photo by Virginia Daffron

 Able Allen and Virginia Daffron contributed to this report

With 100 percent of precincts reporting in, the unofficial results of the night put MountainTrue co-director Julie Mayfield at the front of the game, with a near 2 percent lead on Habitat for Humanity floor manager Brian Haynes, who pulled in the second highest number of votes.

No. 3 by a close 72 votes was incumbent and Vice Mayor Marc Hunt. Keith Young trailed Hunt by 180 votes, Lindsey Simerly followed Young by 315 and Rich Lee lagged behind Simerly by a close 44 votes.

Lindsey Simerly celebrates a primary win at Asheville Brewing Company. Photo by Virginia Daffron

Turnout for the primary rose back into double-digit territory, as unofficial results announced 12.78 percent of registered Asheville voters showed up for the qualifying election. In 2013, only 9 percent of voters turned up at the polls for the primary — making this year’s turnout the highest it’s been since 2007 (which brought out 13.5 percent of voters).

At Asheville Brewing Company, Mayfield, Hunt and Simerly watched the votes come in among supporters.

“I feel good about how we are in the campaign,” said Hunt. “Now it’s just finger-crossing time.”

Prior to the results, Mayfield said, “Well, I’m feeling pretty good as things are coming in.”

Rich Lee discusses his campaign’s next step at Bonfire Barbecue in West Asheville. Photo by Virginia Daffron

As the final count came in, Lee, at his campaign party at Bonfire Barbecue in West Asheville, explained, “I feel like, over the next month, there will be a lot of conversations about the future of Asheville. I look forward to exploring those issues in depth with folks.

“In the top six candidates, you will find six different valid visions of how this city should shape its own growth,” Lee continued. “Everybody who ran represents what’s great about Asheville.”

Back at Asheville Brewing downtown, Mayfield said she was “overwhelmed by the results.”

“What I’m looking forward to in the next round is much more of a discussion about policy: What people want, what people think we need in Asheville,” she continued.

And then there were six: Starting from top left, moving clockwise: Marc Hunt, Julie Mayfield, Lindsey Simerly, Keith Young, Rich Lee and Brian Haynes.
And then there were six: Starting from top left, moving clockwise: Marc Hunt, Julie Mayfield, Lindsey Simerly, Keith Young, Rich Lee and Brian Haynes.

Hunt added, “I feel great. The Citizens have spoken. We’ve identified a range of issues we should discuss over the coming month. Short term rentals is one of the most important issues that needs to be talked about. The entire field of candidates owes it to the community to discuss a broader range of issues … and understand that compromise is sometimes needed to come to a decision and that we can’t get stuck on single issues.”

To see how your precinct voted, click here.

Want to learn more about these six candidates? Visit these links:

Here are the unofficial results from the North Carolina Board of Elections:



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Current freelance journalist and artist. Former culture/entertainment reporter at the Asheville Citizen-Times and former news reporter at Mountain Xpress. Also a coffee drinker, bad photographer, teller of stupid jokes and maker-upper of words. I can be reached at hayleyebenton [at] Follow me @HayleyTweeet

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42 thoughts on “Mayfield, Haynes, Hunt, Young, Simerly and Lee pull ahead in primary

  1. OneWhoKnows

    Wonderful! Now all of us landlords will see our RENTS SKYROCKET even MORE to cover the additional costs that these people will incur trying to ‘provide’ ‘affordable housing’…

    See, THESE PEOPLE will RAISE TAXES beyond belief and the landlords will simply COLLECT from the tenants ! Thanks to all the silly tenants in town who voted for evil progressives! Bring on the HIGH RENTS NOW! Yay!

      • Lulz

        People get the government they deserve LOL. And they’re going to pay the higher rents they somehow think the same government can control. LOL. Only peons cut back on spending. Not the new religion known as big government where robo-zombies have zilch in critical thinking skills and hand over more money without asking, or even caring, where it goes LOL.

    • NFB

      On the off chance you care what somebody who doesn’t see things your way thinks — and your history of posts here and other local blogs as well as your letters to the editor suggest you don’t — here is a bit of advice.

      Next time run candidates who have some viability. Carl Mumpower has not won an election in ten years and he burned more than a few bridges during his eight years on Council — so many that even a lot of conservatives lost patience with him and that showed up when he lost every single county, including some overwhelmingly Republican ones, in his 2008 run for Congress. City Council members tend to have a shelf life of about 8-12 years max. He had his time. It was time for somebody else. He wasn’t going to win.

      Dee Williams has made numerous runs for local office over the years — several for City Council and at least one for County Commission. She lost each and every one of them. Why on earth would anyone think this year would be any different?

      John Miall was the closest thing to a new face but two years ago he lost in landslide of nearly 40 points in his run for mayor and the tone of this campaign “take Asheville back” indicated he may not of learned a lot from the mistakes he made two years ago. Tone down the bluster, find a less angry and confrontational campaign slogan and I suspect he would have done a lot better. I know I crossed him off my list after those signs started showing up.

      Asheville will be difficult territory for conservatives to win elections, but with the right candidates and right dynamic they will succeed in getting some elected, but it is time for you to start over with a new batch.

      • OneWhoKnows

        candidates pick themselves to run …they are not hoisted by an evil ‘party’ in clown council elections…

        • NFB

          Candidates are often recruited to run by parties. Try recruiting some with a little more viability.

          • OneWhoKnows

            Im UNaffiliated and have NOTHING to do with that crap…you should be too.

          • NFB

            “Im UNaffiliated and have NOTHING to do with that crap”

            And that’s why you lose. If you want to win, you’ve got to play the game.

  2. UninformedSwingVoter

    Who am I to lament the state of this city? Only THIRTEEN percent turned out to vote, and that was “really good”. *Sigh*.

    • Lulz

      The city is simply going to raise fees as a way to hide taxes LOL. Expect new names for these fees such as sharing the road fee, sharing the river fee, sharing the air fee, sharing the dog poo fee, etc. And the only way to cover this is via gentrification and the area will continue to need higher incomes to survive. Will people still move here to partake in their own fleecing? Stay tuned…………

      • UninformedSwingVoter

        We already have ‘share the water’ fee with goofy rooftop water runoff nonsense.

      • James

        I predict we’ll see a push for a “living wage” in the new city council. This will be an extreme hardship on small businesses who have to pay for rent, supplies, and of course high Asheville taxes – but, the new city council won’t hear any of that. In the end, they’ll probably be successful and a lot of small business jobs will disappear, move out of the city, or go online. In addition, expect pushes for “affordable housing” which may get some help from non-profits but will ultimately require taxpayer funds to implement on a grand scale. Don’t expect any effort though to allow trailers which although affordable, are just icky ugly in the eyes of environmentalist whackos who want these over-priced Dr. Seuss looking houses that are cold in the winter and hot in the summer. Green this, green that, bikeways in place of car lanes will take priority over road widening, road repair. The state won’t (and shouldn’t) fund any of these frivolous projects which exist just to please the environmentalist whacko agenda so again, look for increased taxes/fees. Bottom line is that if you live in Asheville and are a taxpayer, your taxes and overall cost of living are going to go up and if you don’t like it, you’re a “racist,” “climate change denier,” “homophobe” or anything else progressives like this throw out in an attempt to shut down debate. Asheville is lucky in that it’s surrounded by pretty mountains and has some tourist attractions but if employers can’t afford to do business here, Asheville’s future will eventually take a very dark turn.

        • Lulz

          Article in the CT that states election was primarily driven by those in north Asheville. I live on this side and I can tell you without a doubt that the people on this side are about as out of touch with reality as they come. So of course the Bernie Sanders supporters will vote for the radical left. But they can afford to considering that they demolish houses here in order to build new ones to their specs. And all this token acknowledgment in regards to living wage and poverty that is their mantra is not to help people but to make themselves feel better. Once you realize that these people are driven by token guilt yet live in white bread central where they and their children are never exposed to real hardship, you come to the conclusion that this city will never change. And the only diversity they ever really see is the Mexican who does their landscaping.

          • NFB

            “Article in the CT that states election was primarily driven by those in north Asheville. ”

            That’s because people in north Asheville vote. People who vote drive elections. That’s how it works. If people in other parts of the city voted they too could “drive the election.”

  3. Lulz

    If anything LOL, the city with not only remain limo liberal rich, it’ll continue gentrify and PROGRESS into a place for upper incomes while only giving token acknowledgment to its destruction of middle and lower class people. LOL.

  4. James

    Julie Mayfield was the top vote-getter and beat out Marc Hunt, an incumbent. If you look for the other thread on this site that had the infographic where all the candidates answered questions in a nutshell, Mayfield came across as the most radical “progressive” candidate of the bunch (i.e. she admires Gordon Smith and Susan Fisher; is bitter towards the general assembly; thinks bike paths is a priority). Folks this adds proof to my earlier posts that the changing demographics in Asheville has created a very radical and intolerant city council and just as I expected, the makeup of that city council is about to get a lot worse. The only surprise here is that Simerly didn’t get more votes: Asheville progressive voters, how could you not throw all your support behind a out and proud, republican hating lesbian who thinks gay rights is like the biggest priority ever – bigots! Seriously though, for those of you who live in Asheville city and don’t share the values of the tyrants on the city council and those coming to the city council, now is the time to seriously consider moving to a place where elected officials respect you and know how to budget and spend taxpayer funds responsibly.

    • NFB

      “Mayfield came across as the most radical “progressive” candidate of the bunch ”

      Yet she was opposed by Cecil Bothwell, easily the most leftist of the current Council members. Then again she was supported by such radical lefties like David King, John McKibbon, and Jane Whilden.

      You lost an election yesterday. It happens sometimes. I’ve lost some too and trust me it isn’t the end of the world.

      • James

        I didn’t lose. I won awhile back my moving out of The People’s Republik of Assville and thank God my tax dollars are no longer going to these kind of people. I feel bad though for those in Asheville who are paying taxes and expect those taxes to go to responsible use rather than pet projects to please environmentalist whackos and gay rights whiners.

        • Peter Robbins

          And for someone who didn’t like it here, you sure seem to write home a lot.

    • Peter Robbins

      Sorry, James. I’ve lived in quite a few places — North and South, bigger than Asheville, smaller than Asheville, and about the same size — and I’ve never seen a choice of candidates anywhere near as good as this one. I’m glad Julie Mayfield came in first — she’s terrific — but I don’t see anything other than bright lights on this porch. And I’m neither radical nor intolerant. I can’t help it if I’m always right.

      • OneWhoKnows

        she’s an EVIL progressive as are the full slate selected, but GREAT NEWS for Asheville LANDLORDS !!! RAISE those RENTS NOW folks!

        • Lulz

          No, she’s out of touch with the majority here. Supports you and I riding the bus yet won’t, and this is a bet I’d make with anyone, won’t be on it but maybe once or twice as a gesture LOL. Also supports cops wearing body cams yet doesn’t won’t closed door council meeting made public lulz. Hypocrite there much Julie?

          • NFB

            “Also supports cops wearing body cams yet doesn’t won’t closed door council meeting made public lulz. Hypocrite there much Julie?”

            Which is the exact same stances on those matters that John Miall had. Does that make him a hypocrite too, or is this just sour grapes spew because you don’t like the election results?

  5. OneWhoKnows

    and STILL rich lee refuses to answer website questions…why provide a place for questions if you’re not going to answer ?


    I’m so glad mum-NUTZ wasn’t even close! Little known story; while in office this guy drove thru public housing at 3 am to buy crack; only to go to the police station to show them they are doing a poor job cracking down on drugs. Why he wasn’t arrested on the spot is beyond me (politics I guess). Believe u me; you or I show up to APD showing an officer crack and we are going to jail!
    And does anyone remember when he’d go to local concert venues only to publicize who much they smelled like “HASH HOUSES”?
    Get a life weirdo!!!

    • UninformedSwingVoter

      Come on, dude. White middle aged guy with a clean haircut & tie in the projects at 3 AM is like seeing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle deliver a pizza to the White House. Certain things just… don’t happen.

      • Pierre

        The Express had an article several years go bout these very things happening; it was title ‘Mumpower gets hard on drugs’

    • NFB

      That’s not a “little known story” as it got lots of local news coverage at the time, just like the time he interfered with a police stakeout, or the time he attended a Widespread Panic concert downtown to stalk police officers while they enforced drug laws.

  7. UninformedSwingVoter

    BREAKING NEWS: Lindsey Simerly announces she’s gay. When asked what she’ll do, now that she’s come out to the public… a space-time rift opened up, and she suddenly vanished.

  8. AshevilleCommunists

    In celebration of the results of this recent election, Asheville City Hall will be draping an enormous hammer-and-sickle flag on City Hall. All businesses must be closed in order to attend the “October Parade”.

    • Peter Robbins

      You’re too late, Comrade. The revolution has already seized the water system, smashed its bloodsucking power structure, and liberated its property assets in accordance with the party-line directives. Now, about that sales-tax redistribution . . .

      • MEЯЯIMON

        Aye, comrade. I have heard that Urban Outfitters will be distributing used duffel bags to the peasants for use as “clothes”.

  9. OneWhoKnows

    rofl…the carolinaplotthound dot com headline characterizes Mayfield as ‘environmentaliar’ roflmao! SO good!

    • NFB

      That’s what happens when only 13% of voters bother to vote. Those who vote get to choose who wins for those who don’t vote.

      If all the people here whining about the results spent half as much time and energy trying to get others to vote the results might have been different. But I guess it is a lot easier to sit at a computer and type outrage.

      • OneWhoKnows

        many people here refuse to vote so as to be considered under the radar and off the grid, so they think…lots of ignorance
        around here…then so many that are just too stupid to vote intelligently…

    • James

      A lot of registered voters probably didn’t vote because no one on the ballot was worth voting for. Mumpower as someone wrote earlier alienated a lot of republicans who would have voted (and did vote for him) in years past. The other more moderate candidates who would appeal more to republicans and Reagan democrats didn’t really make much noise probably due to a combination of not enough contributions but also, so many conservative and moderate people have moved out of Asheville and have been replaced by radical progressives who have moved here from other parts of the country. Those kind of people flock together and get on board with their candidates like green flies do with dog excrement. They put aside whatever personal differences exist and vote in blocks to get the chosen few their kingmakers choose elected and the primary results speak for themselves. So glad I’m not paying taxes to that horrible city anymore!

    • UninformedSwingVoter

      And then what? I’m not satisfied with any of the candidates on the ballot. It’s a matter of finding who I am disgusted with the least.

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