GREENSBORO, N.C. – If you live in the city of Greensboro, your leadership is set until 2025.
The Guilford County Board of Elections on Friday morning certified results from the election on July 26, and Mayor Nancy Vaughan and seven of eight incumbents on the City Council will be back for another four years.
Vaughan earned 43.07% of the vote, but that outcome had been in doubt because challenger Justin Outling contested her 435-vote margin. On Monday he conceded he couldn’t win.
That means Vaughan, mayor since 2013 and a member of the City Council for years before that, will keep her job.
So will Sharon Hightower (District 1), Goldie Wells (District 2), Nancy Hoffmann (District 4), Tammi Thurm (District 5) and Yvonne Johnson, Marikay Abuzuaiter and Hugh Holston (the at-large candidates).
They will be joined by a familiar face, Zach Matheny, who is back representing District 3, a position he held until 2015, when he resigned and was replaced by Outling. He was re-elected in 2017.
Matheny handily won his primary and then took the general election when challenger Chip Roth withdraw because of a medical diagnosis.
Voters also approved five bonds to pay for $135 million in projects, including affordable housing, which all candidates have said is the city’s biggest issue, improvements at the Greensboro Science Center, a joint recreation facility/library in East Greensboro, police and fire facilities and traffic infrastructure.
Vaughan and Council candidates supported at least some if not all, of the bonds, and each of them passed by at least a 2-to-1 margin.
This election was supposed to be staged last November, but a delay in census data because of the coronavirus pandemic caused a delay in drawing new lines for the five districts. The council voted to delay the election until this year’s primary date (which was May 17), but that means each of those elected will serve a shorter term, until November 2025.
Outling improved his percentage of the vote from the mayoral primary, getting 41.73%, but a write-in campaign for Chris Meadows in the nonpartisan race took 4,650 votes (or 14.33%) that could have affected the outcome.
Another Meadows, Mark Meadows – the name of a former member of Congressman from North Carolina who served as former President Donald Trump’s last chief of staff – was written on 18 ballots.
Vaughan has not responded to a request for comment about her victory. Outling’s concession did not congratulate her directly.
Wells had the closest race among district reps to keep her seat, winning by 118 votes over Cecile CC Crawford, and six candidates seeking the three at-large spots made that even more competitive.
Johnson led that race with 25.16%, followed b Abuzuaiter (20.11%) and Holston (15.66%), who edged Katie Rossabi by 553 votes for the final seat.
Only Abuzuaiter responded immediately to WGHP’s request for comment, and she said she was glad the votes were certified.
“It is an honor to be reelected and I look forward to continuing to serve all residents of Greensboro,” she wrote in an email. “There are many initiatives I plan to continue working on in public safety, housing, economic development and infrastructure with my colleagues.
“This is an exciting time for Greensboro with all of the Economic Development successes and I am thrilled to be able to be a part of it.”