The race is on

The dust has settled from the 15-candidate Asheville City Council primary, and six contenders remain standing. According to the Buncombe County Board of Elections, 7,617 Ashevilleans — or 13.3% of registered city voters — cast a ballot.

Below are the results, as reported by the BOE. The top six finishers, which are marked in bold, will advance to the Nov. 6 general election, when three will be elected to office.

— Jon Elliston, managing editor

Jan Davis: 3,622 votes (16.5%)
Brownie Newman: 3,404 votes (15.5%)
Bryan Freeborn: 2,697 votes (12.3%)
Elaine Lite: 2,523 votes (11.5%)
Bill Russell: 2,396 votes (10.9%)
Dwight Butner: 2,098 votes (9.6%)
Dee Williams: 1,023 votes (4.6%)
Matthew Hebb: 844 votes (3.8%)
Bobby Johnston: 806 votes (3.6%)
Selina D. Sullivan: 562 votes (2.5%)
Steve Bledsoe: 522 votes (2.3%)
Lindsey Simerly: 478 votes (2.1%)
William C. Meredith: 446 votes (2.0%)
Donna Bateman: 259 votes (1.1%)
Christopher Chiaromonte: 171 votes (0.7%)



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About Jon Elliston
Former Mountain Xpress managing editor Jon Elliston is the senior editor at WNC magazine.

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20 thoughts on “The race is on

  1. Neal

    The considerable problem with these results and non-partisan elections is that Lite and Freeborn will split the progressive vote and may permit a right winger to move into third position. This happened in 2005 when Freeborn and Pelly split that vote losing to Mumpower.

  2. Charlie

    Jan Davis votes with Carl Mumpower most of the time, so how can there be a split in the progressive vote? We vote for three candidates and there are three progressives running: Brownie Newman, Bryan Freeborn, and Elaine Lite.

  3. Avl Tao

    Hmm. All us Progressives can vote for BOTH Lite & Freeborn, you get to vote for three candidates, not one.

    Also, part of the democratic process includes extending considerable extra effort to “get the vote out”, not just passive blogging, passive sign-in-yard posting and all sort of other passively-comfortable semi-efforts. Folks need to canvas door-to-door, meet Ashevillians face2face (oh the horror?) talk to strangers, encourage people to do Early Voting, etc., and make an extra effort on Election Day. If there was more grass-roots on-the-pavement organizing & outreach by Progressives, then one would not have to worry about splitting votes if such a worry was applicable.

  4. Gordon Smith

    There’s nothing saying you have to use all three votes either…

    With Freeborn and Lite duking it out for third place, some might think about only voting for one or the other…

  5. travelah

    It would be wise for the Nixonian Trickster, Bernie Newman, to try to mend fences with the wacked fringe. Otherwise he and Freeborn will find themselves being siphoned by those he offended with his fascist tactics regarding partisan voting.

    I see another moderate voice being added to the council on Election day based on this result.

  6. actually, travelah, you might be on to something here… remember the movie “Weekend at Bernie’s”?

    sometimes methinks Bernie… er, Brownie… and Bryan Freeborn are dragged about and propped up by the progressives like Bernie was in the movie… i.e. I don’t think those two are really true believers in the more far out progressive movement.

  7. I would not get too excited about any perceived trends in a 13% turnout. … it’s the very epitome of pathetic. … worse than that, it’s unamerican; citizens have a responsibility to vote and thus insure good government. This… is not… good … government. It represents no one well.

  8. Sage

    I agree that voter turnout was shameful. For such a supposedly “progressive and activist” town the lack of participation is embarassing. Our liberal brethren in much smaller Chapel Hill and Carrboro put us to shame. Surf over to sometime. They are the definition of progressive empowerment on the grassroots level.

  9. Scott

    Or maybe 87% of Asheville has figured out that city council is nothing more than a soapbox, with real executive authority resting in the hands of appointed bureaucrats, a safe distance from democratic meddling.

  10. Joel Bassett

    I am taking November 6th off to give people rides to the polls. I just set up a new email account for this purpose. Email me if you need a ride or know someone who does.

  11. Nam Vet

    I find it rather ironic that Newman and Freeborn label themselves as “progressive”. To me, progressive means fighting against the current power grid and representing the people. Now how can they be representatives of common people when they allow all this development? When questioned about “The Ellington” they both wimped out that they couldn’t give their opinion. I would bet C notes to donuts that is a subtrafuge meaning they WILL vote for some version of it. And I can’t think of a more UN-Asheville and anti-common people project than the Ellington, a Manhattan “change Asheville to be like what we left” project if I have ever seen one. I am voting for Elaine, Davis and the lesser of the evil between the other two new comers. I WILL NOT vote for Freeborn or Newman. They are elitists parading as progressives, more interested in increasing the tax base than keeping Asheville liveable for ALL citizens.

  12. Gordon Smith

    The more I think about it the more I come to realize that:

    The NC Realtors PAC is supporting Russell, Davis, and Butner. Republican Jerry Sternberg is Davis’ biggest contributor, and Carl Mumpower is also contributing to Davis’ reelection.

    I don’t want any of the real estate Republicans on council. I’m voting for a progressive future for Asheville – Newman, Lite, and Freeborn.

  13. Nam Vet

    Gordon, Freeborn and Newman VOTE WITH the realtors on development. The hypocrisy smells so badly. If you are in favor of keeping Asheville liveable, vote against them. I vote for Jan Davis only because he is native and I know him personally. He is a good man. I do disagree with him on development. But at least he speaks straight without weaselling his words just before an election. Freeborn and Newman do. Elaine is the clearest vote against development.

  14. Gordon Smith

    Nam Vet,

    The NC Realtors are donating campaign money to Russell, Davis, and Butner. They are doing this because they think these guys will vote for their special interest. Also, with Sternberg and Mumpower lining up with Davis, I’m left wondering if we’ve got our own version of Joe Lieberman running.

  15. Nam Vet

    Gordon, the point is this: the VOTE is the ‘walk the talk’. Newman and Freeman TALK progressive, but it looks like they will VOTE for development and the realtors this Tuesday. Watch and see. IF they do what I suspect and vote FOR the Ellington, I say RUN THEM OUT OF OFFICE! An Ellington “Boutique” Hotel (can you get more republican elistist than this?) would RUIN downtown Asheville and be the ultimate transplant statement of “make Asheville like what I left…NYC”. I very much am opposed to this. If you come here, come for the beauty we already have and not try to change things drastically.

  16. travelah

    Nam Vet,
    I think you are chasing a bygone dream. Asheville and the surrounding areas are changing specifically because of a LOT of people such as yourself came here in the first place. I am not speaking of you personally at all. I am stating that when large numbers of people move into a “local” culture and try to make the area into something it isn’t, a great deal of conflict is going to emerge. Locals are forced out, outside equity is robbing the area of much of it’s pristine beauty and what was once attractive and desirable quickly becomes what you left behind.

    My wife and I moved here with our children several years ago before this madness was unleashed on the area. We left and recently returned after nearly a decade to be closer to our grandchildren. Looking at what has happened vs. what this place was like a decade ago, Asheville will never be what you thought it was or what we left those many years ago.

    As for Newman, Freeborn etc … they are faux progressives.

  17. Nam Vet

    I am a NATIVE. And I am not opposed to smart development. But this hotel, like mountain top building, is madness. For the P & Z people to even consider this, let alone our politicians vote on it, is crazy. This hotel will ruin downtown for everyone including the transplants. And for supposed “progressives” like Newman and Freeborn to vote in favor is hypocrisy at it’s worse. Vote them out!

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