In a hotly contested but poorly attended Asheville City Council election, yesterday centrist incumbent Jan Davis repeated his commanding first-place victory in the October primary, winning the top slot again this time. And the referendum on whether Asheville elections will become partisan showed a substantial majority choosing to keep them nonpartisan.
According to a preliminary count, Davis received 21.4 percent of the vote, and will be joined on Council by fellow incumbent and second-place finisher Brownie Newman (who received 18.5 percent) and newcomer Bill Russell (who received 15.6 percent).
In an exceedingly close, nail-biter of a contest for the third-place seat on Council, Russell narrowly beat out incumbent Bryan Freeborn (at 15.4 percent), Dwight Butner (at 15.0 percent) and Elaine Lite (at 14.0 percent).
The partisan-election referendum was determined by a decidedly larger margin. Eighty percent of voters voted “no” on the question, while 20 percent voted “yes.”
— Jon Elliston, managing editor