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.]