Asheville City Council Results Thread


Good Morning, Hooligans. Marc Hunt and Chris Pelly scored clear victories last night. The 40 vote spread between Jan Davis and Lael Gray means that Gray can request a recount. She says in the AC-T that she’s going to wait for the official canvass of the votes on Nov. 15 to decide whether to seek a recount. Vote totals here.

Mark Cates spent big but went home, and Saul Chase’s effort ended with his sixth place finish.

Assuming Jan Davis has retaken his seat, your Asheville City Council as of Dec. 6 will consist of Cecil Bothwell, Esther Manheimer, Marc Hunt, Terry Bellamy, Jan Davis, Chris Pelly, and yours truly. Looks to me like we’ll have a dynamic group with shifting alliances on various issues.

What do you think?


  1. RHS says:

    I have to admit I’m a little disappointed that neither WLOS last night nor the Citizen Times this morning had any comments about the results from Mark Cates. $20,000+ to finish in fifth place some 2,400 votes out of play? I guess Asheville really is “the heart of enemy territory,” but not to many are all that interested in “striking a blow from the inside.”

    Cough (schadenfreude) Cough.

  2. RHS says:

    Opps. The word schadenfreude was supposed to appear between the two coughs above. Nothing like a formatting error to ruin a joke.

  3. shadmarsh says:

    I just used my powers for good! you probably used a “<" I replaced it with a (

  4. RHS says:

    That’s exactly what I did, Shad and thank you!

  5. Dixiegirlz says:

    The advantage with Cates was that Asheville is a small enough town, that word gets around. Paper trails and their consequences are a real bitch. Maybe if he’d only mailed out a few more expensive 4 color cards, and Chris Peterson hadn’t “endorsed” him with a hit piece reminding people of Petersons “sleaze effect.”

  6. Josh B says:

    Any word on whether or not Cates really does have Florida plates on his car and is dodging taxes with dual-residency?

  7. Dixiegirlz says:

    Josh…he has been paying property taxes on a house at Curtis Dr….since 2005. Key in Cates + Mark

  8. Viking says:

    Jan’s ‘win’ is within a ‘margin of error’ and if he has a public mandate, it’s statistically insignificant in terms of him be a ‘winner’ or ‘loser’. It’s like an ‘election fart’ that gives someone power with no clear definition of why that person warrants the power ‘The System’ has to give him or her… “because that’s just the way thing are”.

    A recount is a drag though because you have to go head-to-head with the incumbent versus having the benefit of a slate. But Jan getting a redo to get a bigger margin in this context is not a real contest.

    Whatever happens after last night’s results, Lael won big in a political sense. Jan’s time in office should have placed him above Marc. Lael was just the mavericky concerned citizen. No? Jan and his time should have been more reflective as to what his ‘non-mandate’ really means for him over the coming years, if he does prevail.

    He seems like he just doesn’t want too many liberals on deck and in the final analysis has nothing relevant left to sell to the public.

    If by a ‘dynamic group’ it means Jan’s presence on the People’s city council will by default have to feature a virtual asterisk on his forehead and a comment cloud simultaneously coming out of his butt and mouth that reads “I’m that statistically insignificant guy”–at least concerning everything he says and does over the next four years… Then yes, Mr. Smith, that will make for a dynamic government experience for the critical thinkers out there.

  9. Mike H says:

    How’s your head this morning? Not trying to stir anything up…truly…but why did he hit you? Was it because you endorsed someone else and he just didn’t have his big boy pants on? Thanks.

  10. Gordon Smith says:

    Top three vote getters become Council members. Doesn’t matter how close those numbers are. Them’s the rules!

  11. Dixiegirlz says:

    Well there are still some mighty big questions as to what really happened with the ABC Board of Directors debacle. Davis is the liaison) That is not over yet and Jan admitted that recent revelations had hurt him.

    The ABC Board of Directors (all City appointees) are each paid $300.00 pet meeting. That is perhaps two hours a meeting. Pretty good pay. So what are they being paid for, if not to do oversight on ABC happenings?

  12. Viking says:

    You get to have Jan. It’s not about his politics and the same idea of measuring the candidate’s mandate based on ‘statistically insignificant’ wins should apply to everyone. This is the same thing with the 2010 GOP ‘mandate’ with the US House. For one thing, only about 40% of voters bother with midterms. The GOP seemed confused by this and drank too much ‘win’ coffee. Jan Davis for Council, Inc. seemed more than a bit like that in terms of overestimating their significance.


    I’ve exchanged a couple of emails with Lael and gave her a few campaign bucks, but I never met Lael.

  13. Viking says:

    I also wanted to add that physical assault around our local campaigns is reaching the bottom of the barrel. Hard to believe that’s added to the downside of Asheville politics now.

  14. RHS says:

    Sour grapes much?

  15. shadmarsh says:

    It’s like English, yet somehow different.

  16. Viking says:

    Who thinks a panel of Asheville VIPs and bloggers holding a symposium on how much better of we all are with four more years of Jan Davis (versus almost anyone else) would generate a big crowd and significant press coverage? Note: Jan Davis and Terry Bellamy should be keynote speakers.

    It’s near certainty Jan will continue to have his hand on the scales and if Lael is the alternate factor, then her picking Roat indicates Jan has better judgement on campaign staff. But excluding Lael, I would simply love to see some deep analysis as to the valuation of this proposed Jan Davis ‘win’ for the 99%. So he wins another term. The challenge seems that winning continues to be more a quantitative than qualitative process for some and I can’t buy into that premise.

    America needs great people winning elections because their ideas are more ethical, positive and innovative while benefiting more of us. Let’s hope that’s becomes the baseline political calculation soon.

  17. Gordon Smith says:


    I’m fine. Thanks for asking. As to motive – I have no idea.

  18. TJ says:

    ” results from Mark Cates. $20,000+ to finish in fifth place some 2,400 votes out of play”

    I suggested he use all that money to better the community he claims to believe in. Too bad he wasted it on a campaign.

    As for a “recount,” it brings flashbacks of a presidential recount that just hinted of poor sportsmanship.

  19. Viking says:

    Gordon Smith
    November 9th, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    “Top three vote getters become Council members. Doesn’t matter how close those numbers are. Them’s the rules!”

    Contradictory evidence:

    The lesson: don’t count your eggs before the Big Bird lays them.

    By the way, TJ, if the key constitutional and ethical crisis behind Bush vs. Gore was that Bush’s claim of ‘irreparable harm’ if all the votes had been counted and the SCOTUS (Republican/Kennedy majority) decision simply “hinted of poor sportsmanship”, then life would be a bowl of cherries. It is not.

    Big difference between the Davis-Gray contest: Pretty much everything. I just want to respond to TJ’s reference to presidential recounts.

  20. shadmarsh says:

    How is that contradictory? If the recount shows that Gray is in the top three she would be in.

  21. Gordon Smith says:

    Exactly, Shad. Get the vote count right, then the top three are sworn in. That’s how it works.

    Very exciting!

  22. Davyne Dial says:

    Life as a bowl of cherries….only happens in lalaland.

  23. Viking says:

    Gordon wasn’t referring to the idea that forty votes was enough to validate, Jan–in terms of forty votes showing significant public sentiment and securing a firm political mandate for Jan–and in terms of defying the idea that Jan’s win was yesterday and is still today “statistically insignificant”? It is clear that the top three of the contest fill the open council seats. I’m just not sure what prompted Gordon to point out this simple point that everyone understands yesterday.

    My point yesterday was that the idea Jan was ‘winning’ anything is based on a weak premise. He may win, but based on math and not a sociopolitical mandate from the People. This will be the case if Lael wins as there are unlikely to be more than a handful of provisional ballots to get her over the edge. Autopaleoconservatives will freak out if Lael makes it given the interregnum.

    And there it is the next four years of city council will have this ‘question mark’ seat. Votes from what is right now Jan’s seat will based on a ‘statistically insignificant’ outcome.

    This is not just me spouting off. It’s called election law. NC SBOE code mandates that results should be “statistically significant”. What if either Jan or Lael is declared winner based on a single ballot? It’s not about Diebold (now Premier Election Solutions) and past faulty voting machine questions as simply that margins of error exist in almost any activity and elections can hardly be excluded from that truth.

  24. shadmarsh says:

    Who shot who in the what now?

  25. Tony Dow says:

    Hi everyone. It’s Tony Dow. You might remember me from TV’s “Leave it to Beaver.” I played Beaver’s big brother, Wally. Golly gee, the Beave and I sure got into some scrapes. My dad used to get sore at us whenever we hung around my pal Eddie Haskell. Those were the days.

    Anyway, though I live in California, I’ve recently taken a shine to Asheville politics and this blog. I just wanted to say that reading Viking’s nonsensical ramblings make me want to gnaw through my own wrists and die a slow, painful death.

    Don’t forget — do your homework, drink your milk and make sure you wash behind your ears.

    That is all.

    Tony Dow.

  26. Tom Buckner says:

    Chin up, Tony. You put up with Eddie Haskell for years.

  27. Dixiegirlz says:

    @ Tony Dow…and I’m the former Queen of Sheba, now doing penance for some very wicked past deeds. But soon I shall return to my reign.