Up & Coming Weekly

November 14, 2017

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 7 of 32

NOVEMBER 15 - 21, 2017 UCW 7 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM Most Fayetteville politicos thought this month's race for mayor between two-term incumbent Nat Robertson and Mayor Pro- Tem Mitch Colvin would be tight. It wasn't even close, and the outcome of the election had veteran observers wondering if the na- tional anti-Trump down-ballot movement reached this far. Robertson is a Republi- can. Colvin's a Democrat. He handily beat Robertson, unofficially, by winning nearly 60 percent of the votes, a difference of 4,000 ballots of nearly 23,000 cast. Robertson's strength was confined to an "old city" pocket of voters in Van Story Hills and other Haymount and center-city neighborhoods. Colvin, on the other hand, attracted an impressive, wide swath of sup- port around Robertson's core – despite the incumbent mayor's expensive, negative ad campaign targeting Colvin's past indiscretions and troubling business practices. Robertson said the campaign was fair game because his allegations were true. Voters evidently didn't buy it. In fact, some of the mayor's supporters were critical of him for launching what some called the dirtiest political campaign in Fayetteville's mod- ern memory. Others sensed that Robertson didn't have his heart in the race. After all, he said publicly when he first ran for office that he wouldn't seek re-election. Close associates said the mayor had not planned on run- ning for a third term. He had been offered a cabinet- level post in Raleigh a year ago by then-Governor Pat McCrory. Both are Republicans and had grown close personally. But then McCrory lost his bid for re-elec- tion, and Robertson's hopes were dashed. For the first time in modern history, Fayetteville City Council will be majority minority. Six of the 10 members are African-American, continuing a trend that began a few years ago with the successful election of black judicial candidates. Also, a second woman joins the body. Only one other incumbent lost his job. District 4 Councilman Chalmers McDougald was defeated by the man he replaced four years ago. D.J. Haire did not seek re-election in 2013 because of nagging back problems. But he apparently decided he wanted his old job back and ran an impressive, positive campaign touting his ac- complishments while on council previously. Haire had built a strong political constituency in his 16 years of service. McDougald, on the other hand, exhibited bouts of anger in public, and at one point earlier this year alienated the 300-member Fayetteville Fire Department. He alleged the city's hiring practices lacked inclu- siveness and resulted in a lily-white department. Incumbents Kathy Jensen, Larr y Wright, Jim Arp and Ted Mohn won re-election. Arp was the only incumbent who was unop- posed. The dean of the governing body, Bill Crisp, won a sixth term. There will be two newcomers on council. Tyrone Williams won the District 2 seat vacated by Kirk deViere. Tisha Waddell will take Colvin's place as the District 3 council member. District 5 veteran Councilman Bobby Hurst did not seek re-election. Former Councilman Johnny Dawkins defeated Henry Tyson – but there was only a 10-point differ- ence in what was Tyson's first run for public office. The new council will be sworn in next month. OPINION An analysis of Fayetteville's municipal election by JEFF THOMPSON Mayor-elect Mitch Colvin District 4 Councilman-elect D.J. Haire JEFF THOMPSON, Senior News Reporter. COMMENTS? news@ upandcomingweekly.com. (910) 484-6200. Personal Injury, Military, Veterans, and Criminal Law Litigation Over 30 Years Experience Timothy M. Dunn Attorney and Counsellor at Law 150 N. McPherson Church Rd., Ste. B | Fayetteville, NC 28303 (910) 484-5151 | dunnlaw@nc.rr.com Experienced Civilian and Military Trial Lawyer

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