Yesterday’s Durham City Council election played out pretty much as expected, with the three candidates who easily led the October primary—Steve Schewel, Jillian Johnson and Charlie Reece (all candidates the INDY endorsed)—easily winning the at-large Council slots on the November ballot, pulling 28, 23 and 15 percent of ballots, respectively. Same goes with the mayor’s race: Bill Bell crushed it, defeating challenger James Lyons with 87 percent of the vote on his way to what is expected to be his eighth and final term.
So what does this mean for the Bull City? Business as usual, for the most part (which sets Durham quite apart from Chapel Hill, which saw something of an upheaval). The two progressive at-large newcomers, Johnson and Reece, replace two outgoing progressive council members. Schewel, the former owner and publisher of this publication, was by far the top vote-getter, meaning he seems well positioned to run for mayor (assuming he wants it). And Bell, whose mayoralty has seen Durham’s resurgence, has a mandate to see his vision through, though thorny issues like affordable housing and gentrification remain.