Several incumbents fail to reclaim seats
Nov. 7 was not a good day to be an incumbent in Union County, as officer-holders in several villages and towns lost bids for re-election.
Indian Trail voters were fed up with the town’s reputation of having a “clown council,” a phrase uttered frequently following the controversial dismissal of town manager Scott Kaufhold.
Voters ousted councilmen Gordon Daniels and Gary Savoie.
Over the past couple of years, Daniels clashed with Mayor Michael Alvarez and Mayor Pro Tem David Cohn. This prompted Cohn to call out Daniels during meetings for political grandstanding and remind the public of campaign promises Daniels failed to keep. Savoie often voted against the council majority, serving as an ally to Daniels.
Jerry Morse, Mike Head and Monty Keistler will join Shirley Howe on the council. Howe was appointed to fill the seat left by Amy Stanton, whom moved out of state following an arrest.
Alvarez said he was optimistic working with the newly elected council. He described them as a diverse group of professionals with one common bond – a love for Indian Trail.
“We’re tired of clowns,” Alvarez said.
Incumbents in other villages and towns fought anti-developer sentiment, as residents continue to be frustrated by fast growth amid slow-moving traffic.
Waxhaw commissioners John Hunt, Paul Fitzgerald and James Warner did not even finish among the top five vote-getters. Brenda Byrd-McMillon, Kat Lee and Tracy Wesolek earned the votes to win seats.
In Weddington, Elizabeth Callis halted Mayor Bill Deter’s re-election attempt. Callis earned 56.88 percent of the vote (785 in total). Callis, whose father served as the town’s fourth mayor, had received endorsements from councilmembers Scott Buzzard, Janice Propst and Mike Smith in the weeks leading up to the election.
“Thank you Weddington residents for electing me as your next mayor,” Callis wrote to supporters on Facebook. “I am so excited! The support has been overwhelming!”
Debra Duncan and Freddie Gordon lost their seats on the Monroe City Council due to the rise of challengers Marion Holloway Jr. and Franco McGee. They’ll be joined by incumbent Surluta Anthony.
Wesley Chapel voters allowed Village Councilman Mike Como back to the board, but not Jeannine Kenary. Most voters gravitated toward Amanda Fuller, whom made the public aware of a potential development project that could drastically change downtown.
Then there’s the unusual circumstance that befell Marvin Mayor Joe Pollino. Mayors running unopposed usually don’t have to worry about write-in candidates, but Pollino came close to losing his seat.
Pollino had 446 votes (51.44 percent), compared to 421 write-in votes. Among the write-ins, Heather Danenberg had 401 votes.
After Danenberg posted a photo on Facebook of herself last month holding a political sign advertising her write-in campaign, friends asked why she’d go to all that trouble. She jokingly replied, “I know!!! Is a small village, guess I needed another hobby in addition to my day job and Crossfit.”
Unofficial results, select races
City of Monroe Mayor (1 chosen)
Bobby G. Kilgore – 1,926 (92.51%)
Write in – 156 (7.49%)
City of Monroe Council (3 chosen)
Marion Holloway Jr. – 1,174 (17.79%)
Franco McGee – 1,087 (16.47%)
Surluta Anthony – 1,029 (15.60%)
Debra Duncan – 986 (14.94%)
Freddie Gordon – 898 (13.61%)
Dottie Nash – 807 (12.23 %)
Bob Yanacsek – 498 (7.55)
Corey McCain – 92 (1.39%)
Write-In – 27 (0.41%)
Town of Indian Trail Council (2 chosen)
Jerry Morse – 926 (24.51%)
Mike Head – 912 (24.14%)
Brian Cross – 756 (20.01%)
Marcus McIntyre – 519 (13.74%)
Gordon B. Daniels – 514 (13.61%)
Jonathon Baer – 132 (3.49%)
Town of Indian Trail Council (unexpired term 2 chosen)
Shirley Howe – 1,131 (30.43%)
Monty Keistler – 1,131 (30.43%)
Amanda Faulkenberry – 629 (16.92%)
Gary Savoie – 514 (13.83%)
J. Catherine Herbert – 159 (4.28%)
David B. Ainsworth – 133 (3.58%)
Write-In – 20 (0.54%)
Town of Waxhaw Commissioner (3 chosen)
Brenda Byrd-McMillon – 612 (16.44%)
Kat Lee – 560 (15.04%)
Tracy Wesolek – 535 (14.37%)
Anne Simpson – 517 (13.89%)
Dan McWhorter – 385 (10.34%)
John Hunt – 363 (9.75%)
Paul Fitzgerald – 315 (8.46%)
James D. Warner – 258 (6.93%)
William Hardman – 145 (3.89%)
Jeffery Richman – 16 (0.43%)
Write-In – 17 (0.46%)