State BOE to consider certifying Fryar as winner in District 2 commission race

The North Carolina Board of Elections will meet via teleconference on Monday, Jan. 7 at 3:30 p.m. to consider certifying Republican Mike Fryar as the winner of a four-year term in the District 2 Buncombe County Board of Commissioners race.

After several recounts, Fryar has been on top in every vote count. However, the state board has not yet certified the results pending a series of legal challenges by Republican Christina Kelley G. Merrill. A hand count of the ballots showed her just 18 votes behind tentative second-place finisher, Democrat Ellen Frost. Under a new election system, the second-place winner earns a two-year term.

Merrill is planning to file a lawsuit with the N.C. Superior Court in Wake County over the results, alleging that several ballots of Warren Wilson College residents were counted improperly.

In the meantime, if the state allows Fryar to be sworn in but not Frost or Merrill, the Buncombe County Board would consist of three Democratic and three Republican members.

Fryar says he’s been told by State Board of Elections Chair Larry Leake that he can expect to be certified as the first-place finisher.

Noting that the number of ballots Merrill is disputing is less than the number it would take to overturn him as the top vote-getter, Fryar says he hopes to start serving as soon as possible.

“I’ve been doing everything I’m supposed to do,” he maintains. “I shouldn’t be in the picture with any lawsuit.”

Anyone wishing to participate in the Jan. 7 teleconference should be at the Buncombe County Board of Elections office at 35 Woodfin St. in downtown Asheville by 3:30 p.m., according to the meeting notice.

Meanwhile, Fryar says that he’s already making tentative plans to be sworn in on Wednesday, Jan. 9.

The next meeting of the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 15.


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

About Jake Frankel
Jake Frankel is an award-winning journalist who enjoys covering a wide range of topics, from politics and government to business, education and entertainment.

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

2 thoughts on “State BOE to consider certifying Fryar as winner in District 2 commission race

  1. Jake

    Swearing in Mike Fryar makes sense. So does swearing in Ellen Frost, the other winner in District 2. Enough of Merrill’s four-corners stall!

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.