Election Returns Open Thread

Who is winning. Who is losing.

If early returns are an indication, Mom (Patsy Kinsey) will win re-election. She's leading with 73% of the vote, but that should narrow as the night wears on.

Let me go put some food on my family and I"ll be back with more of a run down.

Update 8pm
It looks like all bonds will pass in Mecklenburg County - schools, land and community college. It also looks like the half cent sales/transit tax is safe.

Update 9pm
It's a good night for most Democrats in Charlotte. Our bonds are passing and our transit tax looks safe.

Pat McCrory has about 63% of the vote over Democrat Beverly Earle, but plenty of boxes left to report.

Update 10:16pm
Most decisions are final at this point. Mecklenburg reporting has stalled, but it looks like McCrory is still Mayor, Burgess and Foxx will return on City Council in at-large seats. Kinsey in District 1, Cooksey in District 7 and all others were running unopposed.

Do we have any news from Raleigh?



Chapel Hill

Looks like the mayor and four incumbents will be re-elected handily. The advantage of already being in office is an awesome asset and we should never underestimate its power.

The fat lady hasn't sung...

I should hope that the four incumbents will be elected in Chapel Hill, but right now the most conservative precinct in town is still out, and the difference between a pro-growth conservative challenger and the fourth place no-growth incumbent is only 30 votes... I smell a recount, and/or an upset.

Right you are, Jason

When the last precinct was counted, challenger Matt Czajkowski appears to have knocked out incumbent Cam Hill.

"Pro-growth" and "no-growth" are meaningless concepts in Chapel Hill. The town is effectively built out, except for the University's expansion . . . and UNC is pretty much going to do as it pleases. There will be lots of gnashing of teeth, but in the end, they'll get exactly everything they really want.

The current council has been on a building/debt spree that even I (a person who voted for Meadowmont when I was on the council 12 years ago) consider borderline reckless. Though they do a decent job in many areas, some new blood is long overdue.

Republicans for Czajkowski?

I'm none-to-happy with the way certain projects have ballooned above local costs, and to be forthcoming, I didn't vote for Cam Hill, as I too was hoping for some "new blood" on council. That said, I don't really think Matt Czajkowski will be the kind of councilperson that Chapel Hill progressives were hoping to see. Though a registered independent, he undoubtedly won because of Republican votes... It'll be interesting to see how voting dynamics change over the next two years as the Hill/Strom/Greene/Kleinschmidt/Foy voting block is gone.

I really don't think the results would have been the same here (or in Asheville, or a few other places that surprised me last night) if the "left-leaning" vote hadn't been so split the way it was.

You're right.

. . . it will be interesting to see.

Ron Paul.

I think Democrats in Chapel Hill might be as surprised with Czajkowski as those who are so supportive of Ron Paul - without looking at the entire story.

One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Progressive Democrats of Chapel Hill?

Jason, "progressive" is a weird term but under most definitions I believe I was well in front of most of my fellow candidates in terms of progressive social, environmental and economic policy - a good candidate if you weren't interested in preserving the status quo, that is, by any means possible ;-)

I got reports of a whispering campaign against me that, among other things, implied I was a conservative Republican because I was making fiscal responsibility a key plank of my campaign (as in 2005) and I was registered unaffiliated. It didn't help that the Dems decided not to include me this year in their voter guide (as they did in 2005) - that really took me down a notch.

The local Republican party is well aware of where I stand and there was zero chance they would support my candidacy (less than zero, in fact). This, of course, didn't hurt Matt's chances.

Matt should do fine - I imagine the "block" will seek to co-opt him to keep their good times rolling.

there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right. MLK,Jr. to SCLC Leadership Class

there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right. MLK,Jr. to SCLC Leadership Class

... and that's why I voted for you and not Cam Hill

It seems funny to me... Folks feel like we've done the whole liberal/progressive/left/whatever thing locally, and feel like we've been successful with it, so somehow preserving this progressive goodness means preserving the same people and relationships. There may be a little bit of merit to that idea, but it seems really overblown. The same complacency leads to the low turnout that is killing us making progress with many issues on the local level.

Political operatives, the ends justify the means

Thanks Jason, getting your vote was important to me. I know you keep up with local affairs and understand passion in politics - wish you had run again so I could've sat out this round.

This election, though, proved I'm a terrible campaigner. I believe the end does not justify the means - and that the "karmic" consequences of "do as I say, not as I do" outweigh desperate political expediency.

This year we saw a level of political gamesmanship, a vile viciousness, an emphasis on winning at any cost (including introducing robocalls ;-) ) in Chapel Hill that doesn't bode well for future elections. The box was opened - the tactics of smearing an opponent for a few extra points - was orchestrated by folks that are working their way into the local political process or folks that have been around that should know better.

For me, an honest approach and style goes a long way.

That's why I like what I've seen so far from Jim Neal. I think our country desperately needs to replace the "same-old, same-old" tar and feathering approach with something more substantive, more truthful.

Folks, whether politicians acknowledge it or not, are starving for real substance. I think we're seeing candidates emerge that understand this and are trying to address issues via their 'blogs in a detailed, "reality based", honest fashion. This is why I like Larry.

I found it sad that even after one of his clients lost his election, a local political operative continued with a theme against the winner that was also used against me:

Jensen pointed out that Czajkowski finished first among all candidates in the same three voting precincts where Wolff garnered at least 40 percent of the vote.

But those precincts average about 23 percent Republican -- about the same as the rest of Chapel Hill. And Czajkowski considers himself a moderate Democrat. He voted for John Kerry in 2004 and Al Gore in 2000.

"I always vote for Democratic presidents," Czajkowski said. "I have never voted for a local municipal election here. ... I never thought it was worth it because I never saw a candidate that to me really was meaningfully different."

Matt never told me his particular political leanings but it was pretty apparent he was a moderate with socially progressive ideals - not much different than a lot of folks moving to Chapel Hill. The whispering campaign apparently leveraged the fact that Matt and I were unaffiliated and both concerned about our Town's finances to imply we were Republicans. This by folks, at least in my case, knew well my leanings.

Reality, though, is an unfortunate hindrance that slick political operatives, as we've seen from the Republican's efforts, can combat - usually using the basest of means.

Which gets me back to my point - when, if ever, will the means a candidate uses to achieve office have any consequence?

I would like to think Larry's or John Edwards' on-line reality-based approach is in ascendancy but have to admit my confidence is shaken when I see local folks resort to tactics beneath their reputation.

Will it always be easier to cudgel an opponent than convince a voter using constructive means?

there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right. MLK,Jr. to SCLC Leadership Class

there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right. MLK,Jr. to SCLC Leadership Class

What he said

I'm learning through disappointment after disappointment that the media and monied interests that go along with being an "insider" are formidable barriers to the kind of democracy most of us imagine when we stop to think. Sadly, most people don't stop to think. It's truly embarrassing how little knowledge voters have when they go to carry our their sacred duty.

Stay strong, Will. And if you're so inclined, we'd love to have you redirect your focus to statewide issues.

(For those who don't know Will, he is a master of detail and unconventional thinking. I was disappointed by the way Chapel Hill's progressive community responded to his candidacy. And frankly, that's why I barely pay attention to Chapel Hill politics any more.)

Pope Puppet going DOWN! I LOVE DURHAM!

Kevin Davis, a.k.a. BullCityRising.com, is frantically punching stuff into a spreadsheet, but has essentially said that with 82% of precincts reporting, Bell (the Democrat) is almost a lock to hold on against Stith (the Pope puppet who spent $150k to Bell's $35k).

City Council races looks like a progressive sweep.

I love this fucking town...

WRAL just called it for Bell.

Gotta love that Bull City.

The Puppets really pulled out the stops on this one with a flood of money and all the negative tactics you can think of. I was actually nervous for a while there. Maybe people really saw Stith for what he is: a government-hating radical who answer to everything is cut, cut, cut.


We've all been sitting around Alivia's joking about what Pope could have bought for $150k. Because it sure wasn't Durham... ;)

Pocket tee

I bet Stith gets miraculously rehired at Civitas.

Make sure it's a pocket tee.

You are amazing

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.


"If boiling people alive best served the interests of the American people, then it would neither be moral or immoral." Max Borders, Civitas Institute

Pissing Art Pope money away!

joking about what Pope could have bought for $150k. Because it sure wasn't Durham... ;)

And don't forget Cary with Pope pissing away another 300 k.....

talking out of turn

Mayor Bill Bell held off a brutal challenge from City Councilman Thomas Stith to win an unprecedented fourth term as Durham mayor Tuesday night.

Bell captured 58 percent of the vote to Stith's 42 percent, according to unofficial results.

I'm sure I'm talking out of school here, but how is 58 to 42 brutal? Did WRAL mean to say that Stith got brutally defeated? Or by brutal are they referring to Stith's desperate attempts to slander the mayor?

The simple fact is that the Bell campaign barely broke a sweat unambiguously shutting down Stith's partisan ambitions.

- - - - -

Brutal is relatively accurate

Despite the fact that we're all laughing now, we weren't a month ago. Having $150,000 dumped into a municipal race is pretty unprecedented around here, and Stith's tactics were dirty, inflammatory, and infuriating.

This is Bell's fourth mayoral election, and while I wasn't around for his BOCC runs earlier, this is definitely the first time I've seen him get truly feisty on the campaign trail. He ran as the level-headed outsider in ousting Tennyson, then dumped Alston and Wagstaff with classic stay-the-course campaigns. This time he really got aggressive in the debates.

As to breaking a sweat, well, we did run off Stith with rakes and pitchforks, but I do recall sweating some as I was leafleting on Saturday and canvassing on Sunday. No sweat this morning while handing out flyers at the polls, but that's because it was so cold and windy.

The victory was decisive, but that doesn't mean we didn't work for it.

58 to 42 in Durham

is not exactly brutal considering the party registration breakdown here:

Dem: 62%
Indy: 21%
Rep: 16%

This was Bell's only real challenge since he knocked out Tennyson. In the 2 races since, he had garnered about 90% of the vote.

Great news on Patsy!

Charlotte will be in good hands once again!

Union County Transfer Tax

83% against. I guess the idgets out here want to see their property taxes raised.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Transfer Tax

It's getting slammed statewide. Yep, it's property tax or development moratorium.

Johnston County

37% reporting. Transfer and Sales taxes both failing around 80%. Another high growth county with property tax increase in its future.

Transfer Tax

I'll keep updating this.

Brunswick County NO
Chatham County NO
Davie County NO
Gates County NO
Graham County NO
Harnett County NO
Henderson County NO
Hoke County NO
Johnston County NO
Macon County NO
Moore County NO
Pender County NO
Rutherford County NO
Swain County NO
Union County NO
Washington County NO

WRAL says most are going down

Sounds like a bad case of Lyme's disease. Damn I hate those Ticks.

It'll be interesting to watch strapped counties pushing up their property tax rates over the next couple of years. Most will be too dumb to realize that they should be thanking the Ticks for the increases.

People are just so stupid

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Be careful what you wish for.

Looks like a total smackdown. Washington County may buck the trend. Realtors and dvelopers may have won the battle but I predict this will bite them in the butt big time.

I think in Counties where there are a majority Rep Co Com

you could see this backfire. It will kill them to raise property taxes, but they're going to have to...especially in a county like Union where growth is outstripping everything. We have no sewer capacity left. All permits are spoken for.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Clean sweep

Washington bit the dust. I doubt Macon will say yes at this rate. Hey, they all had a chance to speak. So be it.

I love having an enemy.

And I hereby join you in officially declaring war on the Ticks. And just in case any Ticks are reading, I encourage them to go ahead and raise their membership dues because they're going to need a lot more money for astroturf in the months and years ahead.

This isn't about the transfer tax. It's about greed and sleaze, two of my least favorite things in the world.

So yeah. Count me in, Greg. I've been a casual bystander until now. Not any more.

Thanks man

This campaign touched on so many issues. It ain't over. The best part was knowing I helped them spend the best part of $2 million so they had to work for every vote.

Could you clue me in as to where

I can get some info on the transfer tax - details, effects when implemented etc. Are there any handy dandy brochures websites? We might need to get it going in Person Co. It would be preferable to a mega-landfill I am sure.
Also any thoughts as to why it's getting its "butt" kicked tonight? Did the realators just swamp it with oppositional ads? Not enough public education? The whole "taxes are evil" perception?

Person County Democrats

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?

All of the above

You can start at Stop The NC Home Ticks. Look at the links on the right especially those at ncacc.org

In an off-off-year election only those motivated to vote came out. Few people are motivated to vote for a tax, no matter how benign. Some counties didn't even bother to provide information to voters.

Thank you. Good info.

That little girl in the ad is just too cute - " Twansfer tax..."

I will have to study it a bit, but Person Co. might be just the place to have success with the transfer tax if it's presented as an alternative to the revenue from the proposed mega-dump.

Person County Democrats

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?

It is going to bite them.

In Moore County, there is already talk of a building moratorium.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Sales Tax

I haven't been as attentive to sales tax referenda but I haven't noticed a successful one.

Puckett and his crowd

We kicked their ass today

"jump in where you can and hang on"
Briscoe Darling to Sheriff Andy

Feels good, doesn't it?

What's up with Meck BOE....returns have come to a stand still....

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Speaking of going to bed...

Will you be at HQ at 10am tomorrow as usual? I need to come chat with you about many things (YoungDems?, Kissell, OBAMA!) Regardless, I'll pass by on my way to work. If we don't cross paths I'll be sure to shoot you an email before the weekend.

I'll be there!

Where else would I be?
Come to think of it, earning some money instead might be nice.

Left on 49


I wasn't sure if tonight would be a late night for you. I know how you're quite the party animal, Thierry. I'll gladly switch jobs with you for the day, however! In the event I get super busy this week, perhaps shoot me an e-mail or pm with your number or something, as I loathe e-mail exchanges.

Just called the Moore Co BOE

They hope to have election results up at their site within the next 30 mins. They are putting up a tab on their site titled "election results", and will keep a running total.

Wonder if any of the other counties are doing this?

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

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