Merrill concedes Buncombe commissioner race to Frost

Photo of Ellen Frost by John Coutlakis. She won a four-year term on the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners.

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.


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.

One thought on “Merrill concedes Buncombe commissioner race to Frost

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.