With 100 percent of precincts reporting primary election results, the ballot for Asheville City Council and mayor for the Nov. 7 general election is set.
For mayor, incumbent Esther Manheimer and Martin Ramsey will face off in November. They received 77.05 percent and 15.60 percent of the vote, respectively, while Jonathan Wainscott drew 4.82 percent, and Jonathan Austin Glover, who dropped out of the race last month, got 2.52 percent.
From a field of 12, the six candidates for City Council who will continue on to compete for three seats in the general election are:
- Vijay Kapoor, with 17.64 percent of the vote
- Sheneika Smith, 12.84 percent
- Gwen Wisler (incumbent), 11.31 percent
- Dee Williams, 10.67 percent
- Rich Lee, 9.96 percent
- Kim Roney, 9.93 percent
Incumbent Cecil Bothwell did not make the cut, coming in with 9.60 percent of the vote, 106 votes behind sixth-place finisher Roney. Bothwell had served two terms on City Council, beginning in 2009. Rounding out the field of candidates who did not make it through the primary for City Council were Jeremy Goldstein, Adrian Vassallo, Pratik Bhakta, Andrew Fletcher and Jan (Howard) Kubiniec.
Voter turnout for the election was remarkably high relative to the most recent municipal primaries, at 16.52 percent, or 11,497, of registered voters casting a ballot. In the 2015 municipal primary, 12.82 percent (8,602) of registered Asheville voters showed up for the qualifying election. In 2013, only 8.98 percent of voters (6,079) turned up at the polls for the primary.
Candidates from minority populations had good showings in the election, with three of four candidates collecting enough votes to move on to the general election. Smith and Williams, who are African-American, both advanced. Kapoor, one of the two candidates of South Asian descent, received the most votes for City Council, while Bhakta came in 10th in the Council race and will not continue. In addition, Glover, an African-American candidate for mayor, pulled out of the race in September but still received 278 votes, trailing Wainscott by only 253 votes.
Newcomers to Asheville elections also fared fairly well in the Oct. 10 primary. Three of the six top vote-getters for City Council had not previously run for the city’s top positions: Kapoor, Roney and Smith. Lee ran for Council in 2015, Williams has run several times unsuccessfully for Council, and Wisler was elected to Council in 2013 and chosen as vice mayor in 2015. In the mayoral race, Manheimer has served as mayor since 2013, before which she was on City Council; Ramsey ran for mayor in 2013 but only pulled in 887 votes in the primary and did not appear on the ballot for the general election — compared to the 1,719 votes he garnered in this year’s primary.
In this primary election, raking in campaign funds did not necessarily translate to success at the polls. Goldstein reported in early September that his campaign had raised $33,353, far outpacing the nearest competitor, Kapoor, who had raised $24,002 by that point. Yet on Election Day, Goldstein drew only 2,380 votes to Kapoor’s 5,637. The third-highest fundraiser, Vassallo, garnered $22,156 in campaign contributions a month out from the election, but came in ninth in the vote tally.
Results are unofficial until the Oct. 16 county canvass. Early voting for the general election begins on Oct. 19. Times and locations for early voting can be found here.
For more information on the candidates who will compete in the Nov. 7 general election, see the links below from the Xpress voter guide:
Asheville City Council primary results breakdown
City Council primary: campaign funds vs. votes
Note: Campaign contributions reflect total receipts in this election for the 35-day reports, which were submitted to the Board of Elections by Sept. 5. Fletcher and Kubiniec did not file those reports.