With the final results now in, Republican Christina Merrill has conceded the District 2 race for Buncombe County Commissioner to Democratic incumbent Ellen Frost.
On election night Nov. 4, unofficial results from the state Board of Elections showed Merrill with a 513 vote deficit. Merrill, however, was the only local candidate who who declined to concede her race that night, saying she wanted to wait until all absentee and provisional ballots were added to the total. That happened when the Buncombe County Board of Elections met Nov. 14, and the final tally actually increased Frost’s margin of victory to 523 votes. Frost’s win gives Democrats a 4-3 majority of seats on the board of commissioners.
“Congratulations to Ms. Frost,” Merrill wrote in a Nov. 18 email to Xpress stating that she was now conceding the race.
In 2012, Merrill unsuccessfully challenged the election results in court after provisional ballots were added from Warren Wilson College and after local election officials performed multiple recounts. It wasn’t until July 2013 that Merrill conceded that race and dropped her legal suit. The final 2012 election results showed Frost with an 18-vote edge.
The Nov. 14 canvass changed the final vote totals in other Buncombe County races only slightly — not enough to reverse any of the results reported on election night or trigger recounts.