10:23 p.m.: Wake County results are still outstanding, but we will update them here and in our Daily newsletter tomorrow morning. Check the website for more post-election coverage. That’s a wrap on our live blog for tonight! Thanks for following the election results along with us.

10:16 p.m.: With all precincts reporting, Leo Williams is elected mayor of Durham with 63.47 percent of the vote. The top three vote-getters for seats on the council are Nate Baker (22.57 percent), Javiera Caballero (22.03 percent), and Carl Rist (20.73 percent).

10:12 p.m.: Nate Baker, the candidate who won the most votes—23,776—in the Durham city council election gives his victory speech at his watch party at Ponysaurus.

Credit: Photo by Lena Geller

10:11 p.m.: From Lena in Durham:

With all precincts reporting, Nate Baker is standing on a picnic table at his election watch party at Ponysaurus.

“We went up against a well-oiled, well-financed political machine,” Baker says. “We went up against PACs and real estate developers. We went up against all of this, and we won.”

The crowd, largely made up of young people, cheers.

“Should we fight against gentrification and displacement?” Baker asks.

“YES,” the crowd replies.

“Should we work collaboratively with the Walltown Association for an equitable redevelopment of the Northgate Mall site?”


“Should we capitulate to developers?”


“Should we pay our workers so that they can afford to live here?”


“There’s a fine line between me as a person and me as a political candidate,” Baker says.

10:09 p.m.: Incumbent school board member Rani Dasi holds on to her seat. Newcomers Barbara Fedders, Meredith Ballew and Vickie Feaster Fornville will join the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education.

10:07 p.m.: With all precincts reporting, Jess Anderson has been elected Chapel Hill’s new mayor. Amy Ryan holds on to her council seat and newcomers Melissa McCullough, Theodore Nollert, and Renuka Soll will join the council next year. Barbara Foushee is Carrboro’s new mayor, and Catherine Fray and Jason Merrill will join incumbent Eliazar Posada, who was reelected, on the town council.

10:04 p.m.: In Wake Forest, incumbent Adam Wright and newcomers Ben Clapsaddle and Faith Cross are in the lead for three Board of Commissioners seats.

10:03 p.m.: In Rolesville, with 2/4 precincts reporting, incumbent Mayor Ronnie Currin has a strong lead (69.2 percent) over challenger Scott Wagoner (30 percent). Incumbent Michelle Medley and Lenwood V. Long Jr. are in the lead for two Board of Commissioners seats.

9:59 p.m.: In the race for three at-large seats on the Garner Town Council, incumbents Elmo Vance, Demian Dellinger, and Phil Matthews are in the lead. Three out of 14 precincts are reporting.

In Zebulon, Jessica Daniels Harrison, Shannon Baxter, and Amber Batiste Davis will serve on the Board of Commissioners.

9:53 p.m.: Carl Rist, who looks like he’ll pick up the third seat on the council, tells Lena hasn’t thought about what his signature gesture will be in the introductory song that plays before city council meetings.

9:51 p.m.: From Lena at the People’s Alliance watch party: Javiera Caballero takes the mic and gives closing remarks.

“We came in hard, we ran a tight ship, and we’re gonna close that number,” Caballero says, gesturing to a screen showing Baker in the lead. “We’re gonna keep pushing a progressive vision in Durham, we’re gonna keep pushing on affordable housing, and we’re gonna keep pushing on immigrant and refugee issues. We are going to ensure we are the progressive beacon of the South.”

9:50 p.m.: Leo Williams pays tribute to his family and close friends for “keeping him uplifted” through the tough times during this election.

Credit: Photo by Justin Laidlaw
Credit: Photo by Justin Laidlaw

9:47 p.m.: Leo Williams and his wife, Chef Zweli, address supporters

Credit: Photo by Justin Laidlaw
Credit: Photo by Justin Laidlaw

9:45 p.m.: It’s looking like a mayoral victory for Williams.

9:43 p.m.: Folks are still watching the results come in at The Velvet Hippo.

Credit: Photo by Justin Laidlaw

9:41 p.m.: From Chase in Chapel Hill:

McCullough and Nollert just made victory speeches.

“All of y’all have done wonderful stuff to help this happen,” said McCullough. “The first thing I’m doing tomorrow is folding four baskets of laundry.”

“I ran to represent everyone in Chapel Hill. And that’s exactly what I plan to do on the town council,” said Nollert.

9:39 p.m.: Lena reports that Durham city council candidate Khalilah Karim addresses the crowd at Viceroy: “Right now, things are a little scary in those numbers,” Karim says, glancing at election results projected a screen behind her at the PA watch party. “But it’s okay, because it’s my first time here and hopefully it won’t be my last.”

9:35 p.m.: A few snaps from Lena from the People’s Alliance watch party at Viceroy.

“PA’s watch party at Viceroy is packed. No one’s eating, tho lots are drinking wine.” Former Durham mayor Steve Schewel has been spotted.

Credit: Photo by Lena Geller
Credit: Photo by Lena Geller
Credit: Photo by Lena Geller

9:33 p.m.: Fun facts from Wake County:

9:32 p.m.: From Lena in Durham:

At an election watch party hosted by the People’s Alliance, one of Durham’s most powerful PACs, city council candidate and PA endorsee Carl Rist tells the INDY, “we need to aspire to have better cohesion on council, and better trust.”

“We are going to disagree,” says Rist, who’s currently holding a steady third place position in the race for three at-large council seats. “But it’s possible for us to disagree without just immediately falling into two different camps.”

9:23 p.m.: From Chase: “Less than a mile down Franklin street [from Anderson’s watch party], candidates Melissa McCullough and Theo Nollert are hosting a joint party at Linda’s. The crowd is young. And excited about the numbers, which show Nollert and McCullough doing well so far.”

9:19 p.m.: Orange County station WCHL is calling the Chapel Hill mayor’s race for Anderson. She leads Searing with about 60 percent of the vote with 23 of 30 precincts reporting.

9:17 p.m.: More from Jasmine on the Wake numbers: “About 6.7 percent of Wake County’s roughly 104,000 eligible voters cast ballots during early voting, which spanned 13 days.”

9:15 p.m.: Durham kids had some thoughts on the mayor and city council races.

9:14 p.m.: Also from Jasmine: “Early voting numbers also have Apex town council incumbents Terry Mahaffey and Arno Zegerman in the lead as they defend their two at-large seats.”

9:13 p.m.: From staff writer Jasmine Gallup, who’s covering Wake County: “With early voting numbers in, Cary town council candidate Sarika Bansal has taken the early lead over Rachel Jordan, who called for a runoff earlier this year. With only 1,414 votes tallied, Bansal has netted 67.5 percent of the vote and Jordan has 32.5 percent.”

9:10 p.m.: Leo Williams addresses the crowd at his watch party: “I remember the feeling in the pit of my stomach when I first said I was going to do this. It was a nervous energy because I was excited about what we could accomplish. It just feels good to have reached this moment. I’m ready to get to work.”

Credit: Photo by Justin Laidlaw

9:08 p.m.: In Holly Springs, too, progressive candidates Jack Turnwald, Chris Deshazor, and Annie Drees are leading in the early vote. Read more about these races here.

9:05 p.m.: With about 38 percent of precincts reporting, Williams has extended his lead over Mike Woodard by about 5,500 votes.

9:01 p.m.: A few snaps from Williams’s party at The Velvet Hippo. Vo, Williams’s campaign manager, said they chose Velvet Hippo for the watch party because it overlooks Durham’s City Hall.

Credit: Photo by Justin Laidlaw
Credit: Photo by Justin Laidlaw

8:59 p.m: From Justin, whose at Leo Williams’s watch party in downtown Durham: “We’re excited to celebrate all the hard work everyone has put into this campaign in service of building a better Durham,” said Chi Vo, Williams’s campaign manager. “That’s what it’s all about.”

She also said, “we hope that everyone has a chance to get out and cast their ballot. We have to make it easier for folks to vote. Election Day should be a holiday.”

8:56 p.m.: More results are rolling in in Orange County. With about 44 percent of precincts reporting, Jess Anderson maintains her lead in the mayoral race. Melissa McCullough, Amy Ryan, and Thedore Nollert, and Renuka Soll hang on to their leads in the council races.

8:49 p.m.: And from staff writer Lena Geller, who’s covering the Durham elections tonight: “At her election watch party at Congress in East Durham, council member Monique Holsey-Hyman says she feels more at peace than she has in recent months, despite her fifth place position in current voting counts.

“In my time on council I have brought all kinds of people together—Democrats, Republicans, people from all ethnic backgrounds,” Hyman says. “I feel that I showed that you can be a politician and still have integrity.”

Durham Council member Monique Holsey-Hyman Credit: Photo by Lena Geller

8:48 p.m.: From Chase, whose at mayoral candidate Jess Anderson’s watch party in Chapel Hill: “Anderson has been running with endorsements from most of the current council, and they’ve showed up to support her tonight. Amy Ryan, the only incumbent council member up for reelection, is at Anderson’s party. So are incumbents Paris Miller-Foushee, Michael Parker, Karen Stegman, and outgoing Mayor Pam Hemminger.”

Jess Anderson’s watch party in Chapel Hill Credit: Photo by Chase Pellegrini de Paur

8:45 p.m.: In Fuquay-Varina, progressive candidate Elizabeth Parent is running ahead of Jason Wunsch in the early vote for the town’s board of commissioners. We wrote about that election here. Incumbents Marilyn Gardner and Bill Harris are also up.

8:40 p.m.: Here’s a link to a Daily Tar Heel interview with Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools candidate Meredith Ballew. She’s running third behind INDY-endorsed candidates Rani Dasi and Barbara Fedders in the school board race.

8:31 p.m.: Hillsborough is also electing a new mayor and members to its board of commissioners. Commission member Matt Hughes is up for reelection.

8:26 p.m.: Durham County Commissioner Nida Allam is confident in Williams’s chances of being elected mayor.

8:21 p.m.: Chase is at Jess Anderson’s watch party at The Story on Franklin Street. And Durham reporter Justin Laidlaw is at Leo Williams’s watch party at The Velvet Hippo in downtown Durham: “It’s boppin! [Durham council member] Mark Anthony Middleton just walked in.”

8:19 p.m.: From reporter Chase Pellegrini de Paur, who’s covering Chapel Hill: “There’s already an interesting trend emerging from the early vote. Adam Searing is running for mayor with a slate of four candidates for council, but it looks like voters didn’t just mark their ballots for all five. Renuka Soll, the highest performing of Searing’s council candidates, currently has about 400 more votes than fellow Searing candidate Breckany Eckhardt.”

7:52 p.m.: The top vote-getters so far in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools Board of Education race, for which there are four seats available, are Rani Dasi, Barbara Fedders, Meredith Ballew, and Vickie Feaster Fornville. Remember, a lot could change when the Election Day votes are tabulated.

7:48 p.m.: And in Carrboro Catherine Fray, Eliazar Posada, and Jason Merrill lead in the town council races. Barbara Foushee, who is running unopposed, has 2,109 votes so far, with 48 votes going to write-in candidates.

7:45 p.m.: In Chapel Hill, Jess Anderson leads in the mayoral race. Melissa McCullough, Amy Ryan, Theodore Nollert, and Renuka Soll lead the council races.

7:42 p.m.: Early voting results are posted. In Durham’s mayoral race, council member Leonardo Williams leads sate senator Mike Woodard by more than 3,000 votes. Nate Baker, Javiera Caballero, and Carl Rist lead the council races.

7:30 p.m.: Polls are closed! If you’re in line at your polling place, you can still vote. We’ll be looking for early voting results to post soon.

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