Final results

Here are the results from the Orange County Board of Elections. The biggest surprise to me: the mayors races. Kevin Foy got less than I expected (78%), Mark Chilton got more than I expected (63%), and Tom Stevens won in Hillsborough!

 Chapel Hill Mayor



Kevin C. Foy

Kevin A. Wolff



 Chapel Hill Town Council (4 seats available)



Laurin Easthom

Mark Kleinschmidt

Ed Harrison

Bill Thorpe

Will Raymond

Robin Cutson

Jason Baker



 Carrboro Mayor



Mark H. Chilton

Alex Zaffron




 Carrboro Alderman (3 seats available)



Jacquelyn M. Gist

Randee Haven-O'Donnell

John Herrera

Katrina Ryan

Catherine DeVine

David Marshall



 Chapel Hill-Carrboro Board of Education (3 seats available)



Lisa Stuckey

Jean Hamilton

Pam Hemminger


Jeff Danner



 Hillsborough Mayor



Tom Stevens

Joe Phelps



 Hillsborough Town Commissioner (2 seats available)



Mike Gering

Frances Dancy

Paul Newton



 Special Referendum - Orange County School District






Thank you for posting these.

Yes, Ruby, thanks for posting these.

I agree with you about the surprise in the Chapel Hill mayor's race, and I'd be curious to know what people infer from those numbers.

And I'd add school board newcomer Jean Hamilton's outpolling one incumbent and coming within 200 votes or so of outpolling the other incumbent to the list of big surprises as well.

When is the "Pundit of the Year Awards Banquet"?

I think there was some protest voting going on in all 3 races (CH, Carrboro & school board), the CH mayor race being the most obvious.

I would agree Terri. I am quite intrigued by how strongly Kevin Wolff polled.

Do we read into the Kevin Wolff showing a protest statement about Mr. Foy? Memories of Nader and Perot ...

Apparently you folks haven't run into Chapel Hill's increasingly active conservative minority. I have (and its not a pleasant experience). We progressives need to be wary and on our toes -- these folks have a way of taking over local elections if complacency sets in. Also, don't underestimate the impact of conservative churches to mobilize people -- most of the local conservatives I have met are also involved in fundamentalist religions.

Kevin W was able to mobilize Chapel Hill Republicans. The last time this was done effectively in Chapel Hill, former Council candidate Lisa Everett surprised many by polling even higher than Kevin W.

There was a Republican volunteer at almost every polling place I was at yesterday for most the of the day. You have to hand it to Kevin W for finding his strength and organizing around it. I suspect he could have done even better around this core of voters if he would have started earlier. I had some very nice conversations with many of Kevin W's volunteers. The common thread of our conversations was their interest in helping, what one volunteeer described as "a real conservative" run for office in Chapel Hill. At least one of the volunteers I talked to didn't have a clue as to the scope of responsibilities of the Mayor or the Town Council. He was very confused about what we did and didn't do. It essense, his support was ideological -- and that's okay I guess. It certainly inspired participation.

about 30% is the level of general republican support which is also what GW got in 04...

It basically shows that many GOPers will put party above all else.. How could you vote for someone who's lived here for 4 months.

the cedar falls district was amazing.. Robin cutson's only win and almost 50/50 for foy/wolff.

can anyone list the subdivisions in Cedar falls precinct? is that the habitat project voters?

And anti-Republicanism again rears its pleasant head on OP.

Yes, before anyone else chimes in, I know this is a progressive blog. But given the way we talk about Republicans (and religious fundamentalists -- it's apparently a package deal) like space aliens, it's no wonder Jesse Helms wanted to build a fence around Chapel Hill.

Anyway. I'm not surprised that 20% of CH voters went out and cast ballots for a registered Republican -- even if he had only moved to town in the last four months. Two reasons for that:

1. The OCRP cleverly waited to blitz folks until the last days of the campaign, giving people no time to learn anything about Wolff except the fact that he's Republican and supports Carolina North. More careful scrutiny of his record, or lack thereof, would have revealed that the emperor has no clothes.

2. Even though ours is a liberal enclave, it's not as if there are no registered Republicans in Chapel Hill. And if we assume most of them voted for Wolff based on party alone, 20 percent really ain't all that high; it's certainly not enough to make me scared of Republican ascendancy any time between now and, oh, the time they finish building Carolina North.

I guess my point is that there are Republicans in this county and that the county GOP does know what it's doing. I'm still angry about their work in screwing over the superprecinct bill, myself.

I should note that I was talking about one specific post with that "anti-Republican" comment; I'm sure you can figure out which one. Everyone else has been cordial, and Mark K. basically hit the nail on the head before I could hit post.

Who said anything about Republicans? Conservatives -- now that's entirely another matter.

Touche, but I'm afraid semantics won't dampen my disappointment.

No-one knows why Wolff ran exactly - free publicity for his law practice? mid-life crisis? ego problems? stealth candidate for Republicans?

We do know that the local Republicans supported a guy who brought less than nothing to the race except to be used as a protest vote. And the guy never even voiced any salient criticism of Foy on which to hang a protest vote. There is no hint of intelligence, smart politics, or even a remote sense of actually contributing to meaningful debate on the part of the local Republicans who had no better way to express whatever message they proved unable to articulate.

Having said that - and roughly paraphrasing what Dan Coleman wrote years ago about "liberal" Democrats - I'm sure that Kevin Wolff is kind to small animals and children.

I'm all for multiple party activity and participation (and BTW did you (plural you) sign the petition to allow Libertarians and other parties to get back on North Carolina ballots?). When the Republican party was less lock-step, I sometimes voted for liberal Republicans in Michigan in the '70s (that's a dead breed). I just want to see progressives, even in a liberal enclave, not get complacent (see Kansas, Dover, PA, etc.).

remember that the "final" results will change slightly next week when the provisional ballots are counted. Those are largely folks that reported an address change at the polls on election day ...

I just wanted to express my thanks to all the voters of Carrboro for giving me this opportunity. I look forward to working for you. Thanks also to OP readers and writers who helped keep all the elections interesting this fall. Alex and the other BOA members and I will be discussing the appointment arrangments soon. I look forward to working with the new BOA and I hope those who were not elected will get/stay involved in local government.
-Mark Chilton

The people have spoken ! Congrats, to Lauren. It is incredible for a challenger to receive the most votes.

I'll stand up and say that my vote for Kevin Wolff was completely in fact a protest against Mr Foy and the direction of the Council overall. There was no chance Mr Wolff would win, but there's no way I could support any of the sitting Council members either.

This had nothing to do with progressive vs conservative stances (I may not have even found out Mr Wolff was a (R) until after I cast my one-stop vote). It has to do with the knee-jerk nature of this Council that just doesn't "get it" (see cluelessness about EFT, red-light cameras, and pointlessness of renaming Airport Rd). I'm fully a progressive, but a THINKING one, dagnabbit.

Jon, Sally did the same with her first run for Council in 2003.

Sometimes it's easier to be popular before you have a record. :-)

James, there are other ways to protest than by voting for a republican. I've been known to invent write-in candidates when I didn't like my choices...

Hi -- I'm just dropping by to say that I did web election results reporting for the town I live in (Watertown, MA), and yours are beautifully done -- the colors and table formatting make them wonderfully clear and easy to read. That table formatting is actual work, too. Good on you.

James, as a man of courage you have said what some are unwilling to say. One might assume that part of the 88% who didn't vote could also be making a protest statement, either or both individual and system. Dare I say it - there is a "silent majority" out there that could be heard from at some point. Your comment gives voice to those who may feel just as you do, but unlike you, they didn't vote.

Ruby, my wife protested by writing MY name in. Now there's a pointless statement!

I'll take the compliment, thank you Jon! Yes, Sally had the same experience. I'm sure someone new will come along in four years and prove popular without a "record". Hopefully my record will be a good one and I'll do just as wonderfully as Mark.

I disagree with the analysis that people are unhappy with Kevin Foy or that Wolff's performance somehow shows discontent in the town.

Pulling nearly 80% after two terms as mayor and another four years on Council is remarkable, no matter who the opponent is! There have been so many opportunities for an incumbent to make people mad or otherwise lose votes that I think you would find few communities where a Mayor who has been around as long as Kevin could pull almost 80%

And Wolff DID run a very high energy and active campaign the last two weeks.

Fred, when is the silent majority going to come out and what kind of candidates are they going to support? I think voter turnout was lower this year because there wasn't a burning issue that made voters mad like the chiller plant in 2003. I guess the extra voters who came out then must have been part of the silent majority and came out to vote for Bill, Sally, and Cam. I wish the silent majority had voted this year too then, I bet Will would have won!

Here's another take. For CH Mayor, there were 5,503 votes cast. Let's assume for simplicity that everyone who voted for a council member also voted for mayor. If you multiply the total mayor vote by four, the total for the council could have been 22,012. The actual total was 18,970, a "shortfall" of 3,042 votes. One could conclude that some folks voted for 0, 1, 2, 3 or 4 council members, but an unknown number for 4.

In contrast, the Carrboro mayor total was 2118. Times 3 that equals 6,354. Total BOA votes was 5,820, a shortfall of 534.

In 2003 in Chapel Hill, 5,894 votes were cast for mayor and 27,640 votes were cast for the 12 candidates and write-ins for council. Does this tell us anything useful? Does it suggest that the difference is with the votes for the council?

And if an issue like the chiller plant had been "created" for this election, maybe it would have worked opposite than you assume. Also, don't forget, a lot of that registered but not voting "silent majority" carry UNC ID cards.

Yes, but Fred your math doesn't include those in Carrboro who may have voted for one or more aldermen, but didn't vote in the mayors race. Until we've got final numbers to calculate the undervote, it's tough to pundit properly.

Unfortunately, I don't think you can get that from the BOE data.

and of course mathematically there will be more people not filing out the full "vote for 4" in chapel hill than fail to fill out the full "vote for 3 in Carrboro", other things being equal. Also, wasn't there at least one Chapel Hill endorsement which can be read as a request to single-shot Bill Thorpe?

Well all these stats are up to much debate, but in my mind one thing isn't- I'm thrilled that southern Orange County will now have the services of Laurin, Bill, and Randee as its new elected officials. They are friends, outstanding people and good progressive leaders.

After devoting the first ten weeks of the semester to the campaign it's time to start doing some school work.

> After devoting the first ten weeks of the semester to the
> campaign it's time to start doing some school work.


The ballot doesn't say, "You must vote for three." It says you MAY vote for three. Hence the so-called undervote. The BOE doesn't count uncast votes.

Pundit is a noun. A proper pundit might know which fork to use in the course of pure speculation.


There were 189 voters in Carrboro who cast a ballot but did not choose a mayoral candidate.

Voter turnout was down 29% in Chapel Hill and 13% in Carrboro from 2003.

The average Chapel Hill voter chose 3.3 Council candidates.

The average Carrboro voter chose 2.5 Alderman candidates.

Here's the percentage of people who cast a ballot who voted for each candidate in Chapel Hill and Carrboro:

Laurin Easthom 65.9%
Mark Kleinschmidt 65.6%
Ed Harrison 54.1%
Bill Thorpe 52.9%
Will Raymond 40.7%
Robin Cutson 28.2%
Jason Baker 21.6%

Jacquie Gist 66.6%
Randee Haven-O'Donnell 55.2%
John Herrera 53.8%
Katrina Ryan 31.7%
Cat DeVine 26.0%
David Marshall 18.3%

Thanks, Tom -- I think those #s are much more interesting than the way the BOE reports it. Shows the level of support for a candidate much better than she received 20% of the votes cast for Council.

1. Giant GOP conspiracy or not, the protest vote number looks about right. Chapel Hill has had about a 20-25 percent protest vote for a long time.
2. The spring school budget hearings are going to be interesting as hell.
3. The BoA can appoint anyone they want. And they will.
4. Note to Tom J: there were a lot of key bonds on the agenda in 2003.

Good point Kirk. I think the bonds, a larger candidate pool, and more compelling issues all combined to make turnout a lot higher in 2003.

"We do know that the local Republicans supported a guy who brought less than nothing to the race except to be used as a protest vote."

Seems like lots of us in Orange Co are asked to vote for Democrats who offer little or nothing more than that they are not Republicans (particularly in state-wide races). So it would not be strange if many Republicans chose their Mayoral candidate in CH the same way.

And take note: about 21% of Orange County voters are registered as Republicans - about the same percentage of the vote that Kevin Wolff got.

What percentage of the vote did Kevin Foy get the last time he ran un-opposed?


I totally agree that lots of Orange County voters vote blindly for Democrats as well. This happens in a big way during the county commissioner elections which are partisan & therefore lots of straight party ticket voting happens. This is like trying to cast an authentic vote in a windstorm.

Candidate Votes Percent
KEVIN C FOY 5520 92.74%
WRITE-IN 250 4.20%

I'll admit I was one of the 88% that did not vote and it had everything to do with feeling that neither Chapel Hill or Carrboro elected officials have a clue about what is really going on in the neighborhoods. I say that because once again I spent the evening before the election dealing with the drug dealers and crack heads (dealing/purchasing) in front of my house, and calling the cops does no good anymore....however, coming out the door with a 12 guage does. I believe its time to install a hidden camera system to record the activity and hand the results over to the press. Hmmm...can I sue the police dept. for failure to do their job?

James -

I back you and your mayoral vote 100%.

I'm not a friend to George Bush, his cronies, or religious fundamentalists (of any stripe) at all. Any group that is totally out for ITSELF and has no concern for the larger picture of humanity, learning or the environment will not get my vote.


Kevin Foy ran roughshod over the citizens of Chapel Hill one time too many - especially the way MLK Blvd was rammed down our collective throats. Should the renaming have happened? That's not for me to say, that's not for Foy to say. It's for the people, ALL THE PEOPLE, of Chapel Hill to say. And this most assuredly did not happen.

Oh yes, I voted for Wolff. Kevin Foy was absolutely going to win. So, I chose to send a message to Foy.

Don't discount local liberal anger by assuming it's local Republican anger.

Very interesting graph of election results at FORTH GO

Great graphical presentation of the data! I still await the day when we can migrate the absentee data back to the appropriate precincts. Only then will we know what really happened in each precinct.

It angers me to no end at the people who choose not to vote. Regardless of political party, as a United States citizen you should take advantage of that right to vote, especially minorities & women.

If you don't vote, dont complain.

Foy/Pavao in '01 was 57-39 percent
Waldorf/Franklin in '99 was 61 to something percent


Kevin Foy has become more popular with the electorate in the last two years.

In 2003, 8,012 Chapel Hillians voted. 5,520 of them cast a vote for Kevin. Several thousand people chose not to cast a vote for Mayor, probably for a myriad of reasons but I know people were very unhappy with him for his chiller plant vote at the time. 68.9% of people who cast a ballot voted Kevin for Mayor.

This year, 5,728 folks voted and 4,289 cast a vote for Foy. This is 74.9%, a six percent upswing from 2003.

Any efforts by Republicans or the media or whoever to claim that Wolff's performance shows unhappiness are pretty off base. In his second term as Mayor Foy has unified larger segments of the community around his leadership and the election numbers reflect that.

Tom, I think the change just reflects that Kevin didn't have a real challenger. I wouldn't read any more into it than that.

final Provisional ballots have now been added to the count..

time to update, Ruby..

Here's something interesting. In tomorrow's (Sun, 11/13/05) Chapel Hill News the lead election story is headlined -- "How Did Unknown Get 21% of Votes?" The article marvels at how Foy was "only" able to garner 79% in his re-election bid.


inside on the Opinion Page the "Back to the Drawing Board" write is astounded that

"Nearly 80 percent of those who voted filled in the "No" arrow on their ballots. That's an overwhelming total; most days you'd have trouble getting 80 percent of the people to agree that the sun rises in the east."

The answer is clear a short way into Matt dees' story:

"In fact, Republicans make up 21.9 percent of registered Chapel Hill Voters. Wolff hauled in 21.36 percent of the vote, a pretty tight correlation."



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