Greensboro, Fayetteville races to be decided July 26

Incumbents in both cities faced multiple primary challengers

Early voters wait to cast their ballots at the South Regional Library polling location in Durham, N.C., Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

RALEIGH — Mayoral and city council races in Greensboro and Fayetteville are set to be decided by voters on July 26.

In both cities, the top two vote-getters in the primary advanced to the general election. The races are also nonpartisan and both saw a number of challengers to incumbent members.

Greensboro’s incumbent Mayor Nancy Vaughan advanced from the primary with 18,003 votes or 45% of the votes cast. Vaughan, before becoming mayor in 2013, served on the Greensboro City Council in an at-large seat from 2009 to 2013 and also represented District 4 from 1997 to 2001.

Justin Outling, who did not run for his own District 3 seat in order to challenge Vaughan, came in second with 14,121 or just over 35% of the vote.

Chris Meadows is also waging an active write-in campaign with help from local Republicans.

For Greensboro’s at-large city council race, 10 candidates ran in the May primary with the top six advancing to the general election. Those candidates include incumbents Marikay Abuzuaiter, Hugh Holston, and Yvonne Johnson along with challengers Tracy Furman, Katie Rossabi and Linda Wilson. The top three finishers on July 26 will take seats on the city council.

Greensboro District 1 incumbent Sharon Hightower took in the most votes with 4,603 (78%) and Felton Foushee came in second with 764 votes.

District 2’s incumbent Goldie Wells came in first with 2,168 (43%) votes followed by Cecile (CC) Crawford with 1,517 votes (30%).

District 3 saw former councilmember Zack Matheny coming in first with 6,724 votes or just over 61% of all votes cast in that race. Chip Roth came in second with 3,108 votes, however, Roth pulled out of the race and endorsed Matheny after announcing he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. The third candidate in the race, Bill Marshburn, moves up to face Matheny July 26.

District 4 did not have a primary on May 17 as there are only two candidates, incumbent Nancy Hoffmann and challenger Thurston Reeder.

In District 5, the top two finishers who will face each other on July 26 were separated by only 175 votes. They are Tami Z. Thurm, who took in 2,795 votes, and Tony Wilkins with 2,600 votes.

In Fayetteville, Democratic Mayor Mitch Colvin will face Freddie Delacruz in the July 26 general election. Colvin had faced four challengers in the primary but came out on top with 13,266 votes representing 65% of the total votes cast. Delacruz, a distant second with 2,855 votes, finished with just under 14% of the vote.

Colvin was first elected in 2017 after defeating Republican incumbent Nat Robertson with 59% of the vote. Colvin, a businessman and local mortician, ran unopposed in the 2019 election. Prior to the mayoral run, he was a member of the city council for two consecutive terms from 2013 to 2017.

In the Fayetteville City Council races, incumbent members all moved on to the July 26 general election. Vote totals were relatively small, with only three of the District seat races had winners who surpassed a 1,000 vote mark.

In District 1, incumbent Kathy Keefe Jensen pulled in 913 votes or just over 47%. She will face Alex Rodriguez who came in second with 578 votes (30%).

The top two finishers in District 2 were separated by only 42 votes. Incumbent Shakeyla Ingram brought in 598 votes and Tyrone A. Williams had 556.

District 3 will see Antonio Jones face Mario Benavente on July 26. Jones received 1,045 votes (39%) and Benavente brought in 662 (23%). Jones has only been on the city council since December of 2021 following the resignation of Tisha Waddell who had been accused of unethical misconduct by other council members.

District 4 incumbent D.J. Haire garnered the most votes of any city council candidate with 1,684 (76%). He faces second-place finisher Thomas C. Greene, who took 17%.

District 6 had newcomer Derrick Thompson taking first place with 1,111 votes, over 46%. He will face Peter Pappas who received 803 votes (34%). The third candidate in that primary race, Leigh Howard, dropped out in April but still managed to take over 6% of the votes cast.

Larry Wright, the incumbent in District 7, kept his spot with 942 votes to advance to the general election. A razor-thin two votes separated Wright from second-place finisher Brenda McNair in the May primary.

There was no primary for the District 8 seat as only two candidates filed for the seat, Michael Pinkston and incumbent Courtney Banks-McLaughlin.

District 9’s incumbent Yvonne Kinston took in 805 votes as that primary race’s top vote-getter, but it was only 42 votes more than challenger Deno Hondros.

About A.P. Dillon 1128 Articles
A.P. Dillon is a North State Journal reporter located near Raleigh, North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_