Yes the NC Constitutional Amendment passed 61-39, but here in Buncombe it failed. There were a lot of interesting results here at home last night, most of which bode very well for Buncombe. Let’s get the results train rolling. (Buncombe results) (NC results)

On the 10th Congressional tip, Patsy Keever steamrolled Terry Bellamy 58-26, with also-ran Tim Murphy limping in with 15%. Keever’s excellent organization outpaced the other campaigns. People love them some Patsy Keever, there’s no getting around it. Whether she can translate that into victory against a seemingly bulletproof Patrick McHenry will depend on her campaign’s ability to activate voters who haven’t come out the last several cycles.

In the 11th, Hayden Rogers romped over his competition. With 56% of the vote, he beat Cecil Bothwell by 26, and Tom Hill pulled only 14%. Cecil was a liberal candidate in a conservative district, but it’s worth noting that he won the part of the district that’s in Buncombe County by 161 votes. Rogers now has to pivot to the general election in a district that has a very high number of registered Republicans. The contrast between the 10th and the 11th couldn’t be more stark in terms of who Democratic voters chose to be their standard bearer.

In Buncombe County Commissioner races, we saw a very high Democratic turnout. If the ratio of Democratic to Republican voters is similar in November, then look for a savory County Board majority to come into office.

Chairman David Gantt coasted past Dr. Byrd with over 81% of the vote. In one of the big shockers of the night, Glenda Weinert lost her primary to J.B. Howard, who has the most words I’ve ever seen on a yard sign. David Gantt vs. J.B. Howard looks to be a pretty easy race for the incumbent Chairman. Key statistic here: 18,435 Republican ballots were cast in the County Chair race, while 33,235 Democratic ballots were cast.

In District One, Holly Jones and Brownie Newman rolled to a 1-2 victory, with the effervescent Jones leading the pack at 43%. Newman had 33%, and the nearest candidate beyond that was Keith Young at 10.78%. Jones and Newman have no Republican opposition in November. This deal is done. I wonder why those Republicans in Asheville who endlessly complain about a lack of representation didn’t step up to the plate? Republican Don Guge will face off against Jones and Newman in November. Thanks to the commenters for correcting my mistake here!

District Two had its share of surprises. Carol Peterson ran the most energized campaign we’ve seen from her, and it paid off. She earned over 39% of the vote. Newcomer Ellen Frost really poured it on in the final weeks to come in second place with over 36%. On the Republican side, Mike Fryar rode his wave of fiscal anger to victory, barely squeaking out first place over Christina Kelley G. Merrill 36%-35%. Key stat in this race: Number of Republican ballots cast – 11,189; Number of Democratic ballots cast – 16,470.

District Three showed how great campaign organizations win local races. Michelle Pace Wood, the hardest working candidate in Buncombe County, won on the Democratic side with over 39%, while Terry Van Duyn marshalled great volunteer energy to come in second at 37%. Randy Flack was counting on name recognition and some radio ads to do the work for him, and they didn’t. For the GOP, Joe Belcher hit the gas and outpaced his field, earning over 33%, and David King eked out second place at 20.6%. Here the voter numbers are closer: 12,932 Republican ballots vs. 11,499 Democratic ballots. This gives the GOP the edge, but that’s not an insurmountable gap for Wood and Van Duyn.

Your Register of Deeds, Drew Reisinger, cleaned the clocks of all comers with a resounding 54.5% win over challengers Marie Hall and Johnny House.

That’s all I have time to discuss today. I’ve got to get to work. Please share your reflections in the comments, and congratulations to all the candidates.


  1. RHS says:

    “Jones and Newman have no Republican opposition in November. This deal is done. I wonder why those Republicans in Asheville who endlessly complain about a lack of representation didn’t step up to the plate?”

    Republican Don Guge is running against Holly Jones and Brownie Newman in November. He is the only Republican running in District One.

  2. James Atkinson says:

    Amendment One failed or effectively tied in 10 of North Carolina’s top 11 population centers (Faytetteville is the exception), but passed virtually everywhere else. The rural voting bloc carried the day in classic fashion.

    There are strategy alternatives available in that scenario. Next time.

    I was quite startled to see precisely zero activity from the Bellamy campaign at the Asheville precinct I was working or anywhere else I traveled yesterday. No people, no signage…nothing. So much for home field advantages and “the most savvy politician in western North Carolina.”

    I note in passing that the most challenging County Commission district for local Democrats…#3…is coterminous with state House district 116, Tim Moffitt’s district. Looking forward to seeing a flurry of Democratic activity in Biltmore Park and other voter-rich areas in south and west Buncombe.

  3. Mark Cates says:

    [I wonder why those Republicans in Asheville who endlessly complain about a lack of representation didn’t step up to the plate?]

    Wrong, but nice try…

  4. Roger Hartley says:

    Huge bummer on Amendment One. A lot of people worked hard to defeat it. A lot of educating went on, but it’s also really hard with a generational issue and when average age of those who turned out early was still about 58. The solace, if any to take from this, is that draconian laws are those that are most likely to head to courts. Every legitimate legal damage to a person by this law is a case for legal standing and an opportunity for legal rights to be claimed.

    Last, a reason to vote in local elections. Think about why we are here at all? We allowed a majority of GOPer to take control of our state house and counties. They were organized..they voted. The made the irresponsible decision to changed the constitution. It is their responsibility to protect the constitution from whims of the public.

    They did not.

  5. Roger Hartley says:

    Really well said on the commission race. We need to support Jane Whilden. Moffitt redrew his district so he would not be held accountable for his war on Asheville. Everyone donate to her campaign. Send a message. We know that the in city elections are foregone conclusions.

  6. jaybird says:

    While I wanted not to look, I had to know the results- thanks Gordon from Thailand. So far, SH is the only major site that had any decent breakdown of election results. Despite the losses, glad I cast my absentee ballot.

  7. Gordon Smith says:

    Oh, I got it wrong!

    My apologies, all. I’ll correct the post.

  8. Gordon Smith says:


    Businessman Mark Meadows looks to be just below the runoff threshold at 38%. If that holds, he’ll face businessman Vance Patterson, who unexpectedly took 24% against several more prominent names, in the second round.

    The runoff will be July 17.

  9. Mark Cates says:

    [Oh, I got it wrong!]

    Only on a technicality… ; -)

  10. Chad Nesbitt says:

    Wasn’t yesterday just wonderful… 🙂

  11. Tom Sullivan says:

    Careful posting here, Chad. There be cooties. But they’re fabulous!

  12. Andrew Dahm says:

    I don’t know Chad. Up and down the ticket, Democratic Party turnout was great, with over 100,000 more people showing up to vote for an unopposed Barack Obama than the CEO of Destruction your group has settled for.

    If it’s about the gay marriage thing, I personally would have liked to see that go the other way.

    But your party’s outregistered in North Carolina by about three-quarter million, doubtless due to the incompetence of your county party execs, and you seem to be using this space to tie your party’s fortunes to legislation about people’s love interests. You think this is wonderful, and even venture an ellipsis, the writerly version of a sigh . . .

    I figure today’s fourteen-year-olds are going to fix the Amendment One problem, and intolerant bigots have cost the Republicans the state for a long, long time in a very, very short while.

    Which is wonderful, I’ll agree.

  13. TJ says:


    You call yourself a conservative? (really) I can see a brighter future, if others can be this flexible, and, see anothers’ perspective. (not saying you haven’t before…just, nice to read after a depressing return from Charlotte).

  14. Gordon Smith says:

    The AC-T questions Mayor Bellamy’s political future in an article today:

    “Keever got 61 percent of all the Asheville city vote, and Bellamy got 34 percent,” he said.

    In one precinct, the North Asheville Community Center, Bellamy got 20 percent of the vote, and Keever got 76 percent, Bitzer said.”

  15. Tom Sullivan says:

    North Asheville Community Center: That’s my Fightin’ Four.

  16. I read the AC-T article. The analysts who commented in the article guessed all the reasons that Bellamy lost except for the right one. She votes against the interests of the people of Asheville and for corporate interests every chance she gets. Development by development, neighborhood by neighborhood, she has alienated the residents all over the city.

    By contrast, she got what she wanted when she voted the way she did: money from those developers and corporations. That’s why she raised the most money. That’s why she lost.

  17. Davyne Dial says:

    Bellamy is very mixed up with the local good ole boys and gals. I am in complete agreement that she promotes corporate, status quo and special interest above the public good, interests. I must say I relish viewing her public comeuppance.

  18. tatuaje says:

    Hey Chad, I read this and couldn’t help but think of you:

    “WHY are political and religious figures who campaign against gay rights so often implicated in sexual encounters with same-sex partners?

    One theory is that homosexual urges, when repressed out of shame or fear, can be expressed as homophobia.

    It’s a compelling theory — and now there is scientific reason to believe it. In this month’s issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, we and our fellow researchers provide empirical evidence that homophobia can result, at least in part, from the suppression of same-sex desire.”

    It’s OK, Chad. Stop hating yourself. You live in an area that offers lots of support for coming out of the closet.

  19. Charlie — you’re an idiot. A rich idiot, I’ll grant you.

    But an idiot, nonetheless.

  20. Andrew Dahm says:

    I didn’t know I was a conservative, TJ, and regard that term as largely meaningless in the US of A. I refer you to an earlier thread here entitled “Quantum Conservatism,” and to back numbers of Superman Comics featuring Bizarro Superman. And to blood-lead levels. And Creation Science. I refer you to all of that. It has explanatory power. All of it.

    As we prostrate ourselves and incant our deeds done and left undone, remember this: Voter turnout is simply not high enough to compensate for the very high voting rates of *ahem* low-information voters, bused to the polls to vote for the First Amendment, as if the US Constitution was under attack. If, as Ascend says, voting days were national holidays, and a chit showing ballot cast reduced your taxes by, say, $10 on form 1040, we’d be making better decisions as a nation. This would be a better approach than public campaign financing, in my opinion.

    My money’s on the party that’s trying to register people and try to get them to the polls, as opposed to the party that’s trying to keep “other” people from voting.

  21. TJ says:

    Apologies Andrew. My brains kind of fried still from Charlotte, and, I get posts confused at times… I stand corrected.

    I actually worry about those “persuaded” to vote. Many are ill-informed, and draw a name out of a hat.

    Education, hopefully, precedes persuasion.

  22. trifecta says:

    I am forming the Carolina Stampers. We will mainly be doing Riverdance covers with brooms,and matching outfits. It will be very cool, and serious. We will then break up and wait for an E true stories special in 20 years where we will dish dirt on each other. This may sound pointless, but pointless has kept Nesbitt going for years now. I think it’s a good business model.

  23. RHS says:

    “North Asheville Community Center: That’s my Fightin’ Four.”

    North Asheville Community Center Amendment One Vote:

    Against – 358 (81%)
    For – 85 (19%)