Carrboro Planning Board member Bethany Chaney has won the special election for Mayor Lydia Lavelle’s old seat on the Board of Aldermen.
On Tuesday night, as Lavelle sat in the WCHL studio and waited for election results, she praised the field of candidates for her old job.
“All three of these candidates would be great additions to the Board of Aldermen,” Lavelle told WCHL. “They all bring unique perspectives. They all bring different types of experience.”
Those three candidates were Planning Board member Bethany Chaney; youth mentor, IT specialist and affordable housing advocate Theresa Watson; and Talal Asad, the director of operations at Son Information Systems, a software consulting business in Durham.
When all the votes were counted, Chaney won the seat with 59.2 percent of the votes. Second-place finisher Watson had 27 percent; and Asad, a young political newcomer, finished with 12.8 percent.
Chaney watched election results at Orange County Social Club in Carrboro with a few members of the Board of Aldermen.
As results started coming in, and Chaney had taken an early lead, she stepped outside to talk to WCHL about the issues and credentials that brought her supporters out to the polls.
“What I really tried to stress was my experience,” she said, “that I am capable of facilitating high-level conversations that are meaningful about issues that everybody cares about.”
One of the main issues that she ran on was affordable housing. Chaney told WCHL that one of her more eye-opening experiences during the campaign was when she went out to Lake Hogan Farms and the northern subdivisions of Carrboro.
“People experience life in Carrboro very differently, based on the neighborhood in which they live,” she said.
Watson also spoke to WCHL as she waited for the vote tallies, and she said she was pleased with how the democratic process in Carrboro worked on Tuesday.
“I felt very good about turnout,” said Watson. “And I felt good that it appeared that a lot of people were in support of me.”
Asad made the shortage of parking for people who want to do business in Carrboro a major issue of his campaign.
As he awaited vote results at 2nd Wind on Carrboro, Asad told WCHL he learned something important during the process.
“The affordable housing issue was something that I was not very aware of,” he admitted. “I think a lot of people in Carrboro tend to live in a little bubble on Greensboro Street, and as I started to get out more, and talk to more people, and really, really get my feet on the ground, and talk to people like the affordable home trust and just other Aldermen candidates, I found out that that is something we need to find a solution to as well.”
Chaney will be sworn in later this month.