CARRBORO – Election Day in Carrboro was an anticlimactic affair, as all three incumbents won reelection to the Board of Aldermen.
With five candidates in the race for three seats, the leading vote-getter was Jacqueline Gist, the Board’s longest-serving member. Gist won 1,657 votes, about 28.5 percent of the overall total. Just behind her in second was Randee Haven-O’Donnell, who won a third term on the Board with 1,548 votes. In third was Sammy Slade, who won his second term with 1,505 votes.
First-time candidate Kurt Stolka finished well behind in fourth with 643 votes, more than 800 behind Slade. Al Vickers took fifth with 406 votes.
It was a victory for the status quo in Carrboro—and Jacqueline Gist says that’s a sign residents are happy with the direction the town is taking.
“I’d been worried about low voter turnout,” she says, “(but) then somebody said to me, ‘well, you know that means people aren’t mad about anything’…
“People seem to like the direction the town’s heading in.”
Also in Carrboro, Alderman Lydia Lavelle easily won election as mayor with more than 96 percent of the vote—no surprise, as she was running unopposed. She’ll replace Mark Chilton, who’s stepping down as mayor after four terms.
But election season isn’t quite over in Carrboro: Lavelle’s victory means there will be an open spot on the Board of Aldermen when she takes her seat as mayor in December. Board members will need to decide whether to fill that seat by appointment or by special election; if the town holds a special election, it will likely take place at the same time as the general statewide primary on May 6.
Kurt Stolka suggested he may throw his hat in the ring for that seat, but hasn’t announced definitively yet.