About Jon Elliston
An Asheville-based mountain journalist: Former Mountain Xpress managing editor. Investigations and open government editor at Carolina Public Press. Senior contributing editor at WNC magazine.

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24 thoughts on “Asheville’s election results

  1. jeff turner

    congratulations to all the winners in ashevilles races,please watch your spending

  2. artart

    So-called “progressives” never watch their spending. First, their primary agenda tends to be to help people they see as “having less” without considering the personal responsiblity aspect of why some of those people have less. Secondly, in their minds, they have an almost unlimited supply of money….that money they can take from those who “have more.” I see the word “sustainable” thrown around all the time these days. Having so-called “progressives” in charge of governement is something that is never sustainable. I just got even happier I live well outside the city limits and the grasps of those whose “progressive” predecessors om the city council bear responsibility for property taxes within the city being 250% to 300% higher than those in the county. Can this group work on making it 400% greater? Good luck to all of you homeowners in Asheville. Redistributionist mentality is growing in this city while it is under attack from thinking people in the country at large.

  3. Ashevegasjoe

    Yes, and so-called “conservatives”, would never run up a deficit, or award no-bid contracts to their buddies. Right.

  4. JamesL

    Regardless what spin you may put of their spending habits, the current Mayor and “progressive” council members already saw that city taxpayers spend more than $22 for each individual vote cast at the early voting locations. Way to limit spending in tight budget years. Those who pay the most property taxes in Asheville will now be represented the least.

    The majority of property tax payers in Asheville will be paying for their failure to show at the poles for several years to come. Leave local elections to the loonies with a cause and you get what you get. I’m just embarassed that no legitimate, qualified candidates stood up to run for local office. Of course, you can’t blame level headed voters for not showing this time. Voter turnout really isn’t an issue when it’s a choice between, bad, crazy, and incompetant.

  5. Piffy!

    [b]Of course, you can’t blame level headed voters for not showing this time. Voter turnout really isn’t an issue when it’s a choice between, bad, crazy, and incompetant. [/b]

    Well, when only about 10% vote, it certainly is very much the public’s fault.

  6. Bert

    Bothwell/Smith/Manheimer turned their people out to vote and conservatives didn’t. If you’re too lazy to vote than you shouldn’t complain about the government you have.

    Bill Russell and Jan Davis have to be a little nervous now. If they get progressive challengers in the next election they could be gone like Robin Cape and Mumpower.

  7. J

    I disagree with Bert’s assessment.

    Mahheimer, Smith, and Bothwell deserve credit for turning their people out. That said, they ran against three challengers who actively decided not to raise money.

    This is slightly oversimplified math, but Bothwell raised about $20,000, Mumpower raised about $0. Bothwell beat Mumps by a little over a 1,000 votes.

    That breaks down to $20 per vote for Bothwell to hold onto 3rd. Davis and Russell can raise money. If you take the unscientific $20 a vote rate for the last place winner, Davis and Russell can eliminate that advantage.

    This was not a strong turnout. Only 2,000 more ballots were cast than 2007, and this year included a mayoral race. It’s hard to find any sweeping endorsement of the candidates here.

    Conversely, Brownie Newman may be the one who should be worried down the road. If Smith and Bothwell push ahead with their initiatives to award health benefits to gay city employees, that may prove to be rather controversial, maybe not. If Newman, Manheimer, Bothwell, and Smith really engage in controversial policies, Newman may become a heavy target for balance on the council in 2011. It could read like a Greek tragedy, Bothwell’s efforts to oppose Bill Russell may wind up cementing his re-election. Of course all of this is speculation at this point.

    Council once went from the gang of four to having Miller, Russell, Davis, and Mumpower in a relatively short amount of time. Progressives had a good showing tonight, but they’ll have to work to keep their gains.

  8. R.Bernier opinions

    Things should be great now in Asheville – they have what they have – now lets see the results.

    If you have property in Ashville & want to build then get ready for things you never thoughtcould or would happen in WNC.

    Time will tell,
    RB

  9. Bert

    All I’m saying is Bothwell and Smith could write the blueprint on how to win elections. Connect personally with a broad range of supporters and make sure they make it to the polls to vote.

    If Russell and Davis can harness that same strategy, they have nothing to worry about.

  10. hal

    Looks good to me, but I also hope they watch their spending. This is still not a time to be throwing money around. Please think twice about what you do with the people’s money.

  11. Ashevegasjoe

    “Regardless what spin you may put of their spending habits, the current Mayor and “progressive” council members already saw that city taxpayers spend more than $22 for each individual vote cast at the early voting locations. Way to limit spending in tight budget years. Those who pay the most property taxes in Asheville will now be represented the least.”

    So in referencing “spin”, you cite taxpayers paying $22 per person, per vote,at early voting!?
    That, my friend, is spin. And, regardless of how much you spend in property taxes, that doesn’t mean you get more, or less, representation. You are proposing that people should pay for representation.

  12. Ashevegasjoe

    R. Bernier,
    Wow, that’s scary. It reminds me of the Glen Beck arguement that we’re losing our country, but on a local level–nice. Asheville is liberal, the council represents that, if you don’t like it, you can get out.

  13. Politics Watcher

    Any significance to the order of finish, with Manheimer the highest vote getter, followed by Smith, followed by Bothwell?

  14. James Fisher

    if you don’t like it, you can get out.

    Oh no, say it ain’t so “Joe”! A love-it-or-leave-it rant so soon. Hey, how about getting behind these elected officials as they begin their service to OUR city? We have some engaged and accessible folks on OUR Council – let ’em know where you stand, what you want to see for a better future here in Asheville. Hey, they may just surprise you!

  15. Gordon Smith

    Thanks to all of you who voted. Swearing in takes place at 5pm on December 8th.

  16. J

    Politics Watcher,

    I think you can narrow down some possibilities from the numbers. Keep in mind, three well funded candidates beat three candidates who elected not to raise money. As a side note, Croft once and for all, dispelled the idea that you can run a small campaign and win. In a record low turnout year, with only three candidates raising money, it seems the odds would have been in his favor for a door-knocking campaign. Clearly money, and the resources it buys are required, as evidenced by Manheimer, Bothwell, and Smith’s big bucks showed.

    I don’t know if the Cape voters split votes amongst the four progressives, or if they bullet voted for Cape and went home. I doubt it was the latter. If they did split votes, I cannot see why the Cape voters would systematically penalize one of the other three winners.

    Manheimer earned an additional 3,200 or so more votes than she had in the primary. Smith was just shy of gaining 2,700 votes over his primary total. Bothwell only earned an additional 2,100. Manheimer’s and Smith’s numbers are roughly consistent with the gains from the 2007 election. Even Elaine Lite, who finished last 2007, picked up an additional 2,500 votes in the general.

    It either means Cape voters singled out Cecil, which I don’t know of any reason why they would do that, or, to the chagrin of Bothwell supporters everywhere, the Cecil Cantwell attack mailer was effective.

    One is left to wonder if Kelly Miller was able to stay in the race, if he would have made enough gains on Bothwell in the general to get the third spot on Council. If he had, we would have had two somewhat pro-development members and Smith. The outcome would have a decidedly different flavor.

    I speculate, emphasis on speculate, that Manheimer topped Smith due to her “soft voice”. What I mean is that Smith was anything but soft until he started running for Council. Smith has been outspoken against Coleman, Jerry Sternberg, elements of the local Democratic Party, a relatively popular Nathan Ramsey, as well as others. He probably stepped on a few toes during his crusades. Manheimer seems more like the Newman and Davis types, as they’re not outspoken outside of Council, whereas Gordon took center stage quite frequently.

    Just my long winded two cents during a slow week.

  17. My take on two of them. Never discount West Asheville, a huge active voting population, and Gordon lives there. Manheimer I believe picked up the female vote, and to be honest, was really level headed when interviewed, which I’m sure helped.

  18. shadmarsh

    I’d say Manhiemer benefited the most from Miller dropping out, and I am sure she picked up a few Republican votes who voted for Mumpower and Jackson, but were scared off by Croft being a loon.

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