Lance Olive will be Apex’s new mayor, defeating Town Council member Denise Wilkie, according to Tuesday’s unofficial election results.
Meanwhile, in a closely watched council election, incumbent Bill Jensen kept his seat while incumbent Scott Lassiter came in third place, losing his seat to newcomer Wesley Moyer.
Voters also overwhelmingly approved $15 million bonds for street and sidewalk projects.
Olive received 3,356 votes while Wilkie had 2,420 votes. Olive will replace Mayor Bill Sutton, who was appointed to the mayor’s seat in 2014 and chose not to seek election.
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“I’m very excited about the future of Apex,” said Olive, who served a term on the Town Council from 2009 to 2013. “I’m looking forward to working with all of the council members, regardless of their past, regardless of their stance on issues.”
Olive, 51, is the director of business operations for Better Boards, a circuitboard design company. He grew up in Apex and had the GOP endorsement.
Wilkie, who is midway through her first term on the Town Council, will keep that seat.
Five candidates were running for two open council seats. Jensen won 3,574 votes – nearly a third of the support in the five-person race.
Moyer defeated 28-year-old incumbent Scott Lassiter, who fell about 700 votes short in his bid for re-election. Moyer had 2,668 votes to Lassiter’s 1,976.
Carl Helton came in fourth place with 1,815 votes while Stephen Xavier had 896 votes.
Jensen and Moyer both campaigned on a slow-growth message. Combined, they garnered 57 percent of the vote.
Jensen, 72, is a retired aerospace engineer. He is the longest-serving town official. Moyer, 34, is an Apex native and a financial adviser for Modern Woodmen of America.
The three candidates who came up short pushed for a more laissez-faire approach to residential development.
Residents and candidates say this election was more negative and partisan than in past years. Candidates and their supporters argued in person and online, and there were more controveries than in other recent elections.
The weekend before the election, Lassiter was accused of promoting an unauthorized endorsement from longtime Wake County commissioner Betty Lou Ward, an incident that created confusion in area political circles.
Meanwhile, Xavier said someone slashed his tires, and many candidates complained of a large number of signs being stolen or destroyed. Xavier also was found to have more than $120,000 in unpaid income taxes, which he attributed to unsettled divorce proceedings and said he is repaying.
Lance Olive → 58%
Denise Wilkie → 42%
Carl R. Helton → 17%
Bill Jensen → 33%
Scott Lassiter → 18%
Wesley Moyer → 24%
Stephen Xavier → 8%
Street and Sidewalk Improvement Bonds
Residents are asked to authorize $15 million bonds for street and sidewalk projects.
Yes → 85%
No → 15%
(19 of 19 precincts reporting)