Lyles wins mayoral election again in Charlotte, while Durham and Chapel Hill choose new leaders

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Voters in Charlotte again elected Vi Lyles to lead North Carolina‘s largest city and residents of Durham and Chapel Hill chose new mayors during the final round of local elections in the state this fall.

Lyles, a Democrat, was elected on Tuesday to a fourth term as Charlotte mayor, receiving close to three-fourths of the votes cast as she defeated Misun Kim and Rob Yates, according to unofficial state elections data.

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Lyles was once a city employee before becoming a Charlotte City Council member in 2013 and earning her first mayoral win in 2017. She was on the ballot just last year because 2020 census delays required back-to-back elections.

In Durham, where Mayor Elaine O’Neal decided against seeking a second term, city council member Leo Williams defeated state Sen. Mike Woodard to succeed her, unofficial results show. Williams and Woodard were the top two vote-getters in the nonpartisan October primary.

Williams is a former public schools teacher who now owns restaurants with his wife. Woodard, who was on the city council for several years, had said he would seek reelection to the state Senate next year if he didn’t become mayor.

In a race between two current town council members, Chapel Hill voters elected Jess Anderson as mayor, defeating Adam Searing, according to unofficial results. Anderson, a professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will succeed Mayor Pam Hemminger, who declined to seek a fifth term.

Among other larger cities, Fayetteville voters reelected Mitch Colvin to a fourth term as mayor, defeating Freddie de la Cruz in a rematch of a 2022 election. Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo, who has been in the job since 2006, won reelection with only write-in votes opposing him, according to unofficial results, while Greenville voters reelected Mayor P.J. Connelly, who defeated Barbara Gaskins.

The Associated Press didn’t call races for any elections conducted Tuesday in over 460 cities, towns and villages in North Carolina. Other primary and general local elections were held Sept. 12 and Oct. 10.

According to preliminary data, the State Board of Elections says at least 15.75% of the state’s 3.25 million registered voters in areas where elections were held Tuesday cast ballots, whether through in-person or mail-in voting.

Also Tuesday in Mecklenburg County, voters approved a $2.5 billion school construction bond package, which would pay for 30 projects in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.

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