Making the cut

Given the wealth of contentious local issues that have caught the public eye in recent years, it might seem surprising that the turnout for the Oct. 11 primary was so low. But according to Buncombe County Board of Elections figures, a mere 16.85 percent of registered voters made it to the polls — almost the exact same percentage as voted in the last city primary two years ago.

In the mayoral race, Terry Bellamy won by a substantial margin over second-place finisher (and fellow City Council member) Joe Dunn; Bellamy collected almost as many votes as Dunn and Mayor Charles Worley combined. Even outsider candidate Bill Branyon didn’t trail Worley by as large a margin as might have been expected. All told, it was a resounding defeat for the incumbent, with more than four of five voters rejecting his re-election bid.

Incumbent Holly Jones took top honors in the City Council contest, getting the nod from more than half the voters. Newcomer Robin Cape finished a surprising second, bumping incumbent Carl Mumpower to the No. 3 slot by a narrow margin. If past election patterns hold true, the top three finishers are likely to maintain their respective positions in the Nov. 8 general election.

Chris Pelly and Bryan Freeborn, both making their second run for City Council, were next in line, followed closely by first-timer Keith Thomson, who claimed the final slot on the November ballot.

Asheville primary results

[Note: Percentages have been rounded off and may total more than 100 percent.]

Mayor
Terry Bellamy 4,383 45%
Joe Dunn 2,905 30%
Charles Worley 1,697 18%
Bill Branyon 672 7%
City Council
Holly Jones 5,718 22%
Robin Cape 4,156 16%
Carl Mumpower 3,864 15%
Chris Pelly 3,010 11%
Bryan Freeborn 2,629 10%
Keith Thomson 2,157 8%
Dwight Butner 1,533 6%
Selina Sullivan 1,449 5%
Matthew Hebb 1,049 4%
Jan Howard 933 4%
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About Cecil Bothwell
A writer for Mountain Xpress since three years before there WAS an MX--back in the days of GreenLine. Former managing editor of the paper, founding editor of the Warren Wilson College environmental journal, Heartstone, member of the national editorial board of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, publisher of Brave Ulysses Books, radio host of "Blows Against the Empire" on WPVM-LP 103.5 FM, co-author of the best selling guide Finding your way in Asheville. Lives with three cats, macs and cacti. His other car is a canoe. Paints, plays music and for the past five years has been researching and soon to publish a critical biography--Billy Graham: Prince of War:

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