WAXHAW – After months of campaigning, the 2019 election season came to a close Nov. 5 as voters decided who will lead their towns. Many candidates felt confident mid-morning as they watched voters slowly come in and out of precincts. However, some said they would not feel fully assured until the end of the day.
Ronald Pappas, who has experience in the development industry, earned the most votes among the five people running for Waxhaw mayor, defeating second place Jon Perdue by just 10 votes. That result made Perdue say “ouch.”
“I feel like we tried and succeeded in maintaining a positive, inclusive and informative message,” Perdue told followers on his campaign Facebook page. “That approach was and will continue to be the foundation of my view of leadership in government. We never lost focus on respecting and representing the views of the great people who’s support we garnered in the community.”
Pappas said candidates and campaigners at the Waxhaw Volunteer Fire Department agreed that it seemed like it would be a close race.
“We seem to have equal representation all the way across,” Pappas said while campaigning. “It’s really hard to determine the leaders right now.”
Pappas said he thought the race would be similar to the 2016 presidential election and there would not be a clear winner until the very end of the evening.
He wants to put Waxhaw “back on its tracks.”
“It’s fallen off pretty seriously and I think that we need to take a look at every area of the government and put best practices in place and move forward,” Pappas said. “I think a lot of it also has to do with the relationships of the people who do get elected. I think they need to pay attention a lot.”
Marvin’s election was unresolved as of Union County Weekly’s deadline on Nov. 6.
Christopher Smith was the only candidate on the ballot for mayor. But residents cast 370 write-in votes for the race, which exceeded Smith’s 338 votes. The Union County Board of Elections was still going through write-ins as of press deadline.
Wesley Chapel Mayor Brad Horvath was the only mayor to lose his seat. Jan Smith, a retired educator with Union County Public Schools, captured 61.24% of the 792 votes cast. She sought to empower residents over developers.
Weddington Mayor Elizabeth Callis said on Election Day it was hard to tell who was in the lead, but she felt hopeful.
“It’s been a great campaign,” Callis said. “I’ve enjoyed meeting and talking to the residents that I’ve talked to, but I’ll be glad when it’s all over with. Either way, I’ll be glad when it’s all over with. Obviously, we want to win, but it’ll be OK if we don’t.”
Callis earned 63.14% of the 1,514 votes over challenger Walton Hogan.
Hogan emphasized a five-year plan for Weddington throughout his campaign. He said residents were receptive to the plan.
“It’s been a very positive experience for me,” Hogan said. “I’ve listened to Weddington citizens and they’ve given me an earful, which is a good thing. It’s helped me develop my five-year plan.”
Anne Pruitt, who was endorsed by Callis, greeted voters at Siler Presbyterian Church. Pruitt said the church was the polling place for voters in Weddington and Wesley Chapel, making it difficult to tell which election residents were voting in.
Despite this, she felt good about her chances.
“I feel confident that Weddington is going to make a good choice,” Pruitt said. “I’m excited to serve the community and I’m committed to the community and common-sense solutions to take Weddington to the next level.”
Pruitt defeated Councilman Scott Buzzard to earn the District 2 seat, collecting 58.77% of the 1,494 votes cast.
Several other incumbents serving on town boards and commissioners did not get enough votes for an additional term, including Gary Anderson and Billy Jordan (Monroe); Billy Birt Jr. and Shawna Steele (Stallings); Brenda Burns (Waxhaw) and Paul Kaperonis (Wesley Chapel).
The county reported a 12.1% voter turnout with 12,595 votes cast. Click here for results.