Each of the three Statesville City Council wards contested in Tuesday’s municipal election could result in the same outcome. With a low voter turnout, and a high number of candidates, the city could see a runoff in each of the wards.
The top vote-getters in each ward on Tuesday were David L. Jones Sr. in Ward 1, James Pressly in Ward 4 and David Jackson in Ward 6. The primary for the Mooresville mayor was led by Angela Carruba Stutts, followed by Miles Atkins.
Ward 1 top vote-getter Jones said he is “standing at the ready” in the event a runoff is called by runner-up Tim Dearman.
Jones led the tally for Ward 1 in the Statesville City Council municipal election with 25.97% of votes cast. Dearman followed with 22.67%; he can request a runoff for the seat. Chris Lamberth received 22.29%, Mark Kleinhenz 22.09% and Tammy Wyatt 6.98%. A total of 516 votes were cast in the ward.
On Wednesday, Jones said he was happy about the results, but would have liked more voter turnout.
“I know Ward 1 had five good candidates,” he said. “I’m glad I got the most votes, but I wish we had more votes across the wards.” Iredell County Elections Board results show that only 5.62% of eligible ballots were cast.
Jones added that if Dearman calls for a runoff, he’s ready to provide clarity to voters on how he differs from the runner-up as a candidate. Dearman told the Record & Landmark on Wednesday that he’s waiting for election results to be made official before considering a runoff.
“I’m pleased,” Dearman said in a phone interview Tuesday evening. “Especially since I didn’t put out any signs and didn’t take any donations.”
Iredell County Elections Board Director Becky Galliher said that the results will be made official when canvassing ends at 11 p.m. Oct. 14, and that 16 absentee and four provisional ballots are still being counted.
Candidates have until noon Oct. 17 to call for a runoff.
Pressly received almost 35% of the vote in Ward 4 on Tuesday night.
“We’ve come a long way haven’t we?” said Pressly, who attended the Lake Norman and Greater Statesville Chambers of Commerce’s Academy of Political Leadership. “It’s been an amazing experience.”
Pressly ran against three other candidates and said he enjoyed meeting the people of his ward. Hearing people’s stories and concerns was his favorite part of campaigning.
“It’s a great honor to be elected by your friend and the citizens of the town you live in,” Pressly said. “It’s so humbling.”
Amy Lawton had the second-highest tally with 29% of the vote. She said she has requested a runoff.
“It was only a 28 vote difference,” Lawton said. “I don’t think I would be doing my due diligence if I didn’t challenge it.”
In all, 489 people voted in the ward. Julius Hoke came in with about 24% of the vote, and Kyle Houston received just over 11% of the vote.
David Jackson led Ward 6 with 47.69% of the vote. Frederick Foster received 29.74% and could be in position for a runoff as well. James Neal took 17.95% of the vote, David Mayes Jr. 2.56% and Marvin Laxton 2.05%. A total of 195 votes were cast in the ward. Neither Jackson nor Foster were available for comment Wednesday.
Voting for any of the wards involved in a runoff will be on the Nov. 5 ballot.
In Mooresville, challenger Stutts and incumbent Atkins were the top two vote-getters in the primary for mayor and will be on the ballot in November. Stutts was the top vote-getter by a narrow margin of 15 ballots. Stutts received 442 votes to Atkins’ 427. Darryl Cerro was a distant third in the voting with 27 total votes. Stutts and Atkins will be on the Nov. 5 ballot.