Asheville is home to more than 50,000 registered voters; 16 percent of them expressed their preferences in the Oct. 7 City Council primary.
In other words, less than 12 percent of the city’s 69,000 people decided which Council candidates will be on the ballot on Nov. 4. And unless those numbers significantly shift, an equally diminutive sample of city residents will determine who actually fills the three Council seats now up for grabs.
Conspiracy buffs have long theorized that the city is run by a select few for a select few. And whatever the truth of that, the low voter turnout clearly shows that, in Asheville, the minority does rule.
More than half of those city residents who did choose to exercise their right to vote backed candidate Brownie Newman (who netted a whopping 4,432 votes, proving that the third time on the ballot can be the charm). Incumbent Vice Mayor Terry Bellamy scored a close second, with an equally impressive 4,174 votes. Third place went to tire guru Jan Davis, who netted 3,101 nods.
Incumbent Jim Ellis (2,496 votes), Rod Whiteside (1,955 votes) and Chris Pelley (1,742 votes) round out the list of candidates who made the cut.
Watch for Xpress‘ continuing coverage of the Council races throughout October.