Chapel Hill News

Chapel Hill: Challengers sweep mayor, 2 councilmen from office

incumbent Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt watches as returns come in at the Crunkleton in downtown Chapel Hill, N.C. Tuesday, November 3, 2015. Early returns had him running behind challenger Pam Hemminger.
incumbent Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt watches as returns come in at the Crunkleton in downtown Chapel Hill, N.C. Tuesday, November 3, 2015. Early returns had him running behind challenger Pam Hemminger. cliddy@newsobserver.com

Voters concerned about the town’s direction swept Mayor-elect Pam Hemminger into office Tuesday, displacing a three-term mayor and two Town Council incumbents.

Hemminger maintained a strong lead throughout the night, finishing with 4,878 votes – 825 more than Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt, who had 4,053 votes.

Southern Village resident Gary Kahn got roughly 1 percent of votes in the mayor’s race. The Chapel Hill results also reflect votes from two precincts located within the town limits, but in Durham County.

Policy analyst Jessica Anderson also held onto a firm lead for one of four open Town Council seats. She ended the night with 5,318 votes. Her nearest contender – incumbent Councilwoman Donna Bell – received 4,485 votes.

Bell barely squeaked by challenger Nancy Oates, who followed in third place with 4,449 votes.

Challenger Michael Parker overtook an early lead by fellow challenger David Schwartz to take the fourth spot with 4,186 votes. Schwartz is a co-founder of the Chapel Hill Alliance for a Livable Town political action committee.

Incumbent Councilman Jim Ward had 4,063 votes. Schwartz had 3,809 votes, followed by incumbent Councilman Lee Storrow (3,147 votes), and challengers Adam Jones (906 votes) and Paul Neebe (771 votes).

Schwartz and other residents formed the CHALT-PAC earlier this year to fight for a different vision of town growth. The group backed Anderson, Oates and Schwartz for council, and Hemminger for mayor.

They asked voters to support a slower, more deliberate pace of growth for the town that also requires developers to provide more benefits, including affordable housing, environmental protections and energy-efficient buildings.

Chapel Hill voters also approved five bond referendums Tuesday that will allow the town to spend a total of $40.3 million on streets and sidewalks, trails and greenways, recreational facilities, future solid waste facilities, and for stormwater improvements.

Tammy Grubb: 919-829-8926, @TammyGrubb

Mayor

Pam Hemminger 53.80%

Mark Kleinschmidt 45.11%

Gary Kahn 0.90%

(21 of 23 precincts reporting)

Results do not reflect 2 Durham County precincts in town of Chapel Hill

Town Council

Top four Town Council finishers will fill open seats.

Jessica Anderson 17.01%

Donna Bell 14.33%

Adam Jones 2.89%

Paul Neebe 2.43%

Nancy Oates 14.16%

Michael Parker 13.39%

David Schwartz 12.40%

Lee Storrow 10.10%

Jim Ward 12.98%

Results do not reflect 2 Durham County precincts in town of Chapel Hill

Bond referendums

Streets and Sidewalks 79.30% Yes

Trails and Greenways 78.40% Yes

Recreational Facilities 73.21% Yes

Solid Waste Facilities 80.66% Yes

Stormwater Improvements 81.87% Yes

(21 of 23 precincts reporting)

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