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Regional Election Roundup: Incumbent Mayors Reign; Voters OK Cable System Sale

Davidson Mayor Rusty Knox and town manager Jamie Justice talked to voters about the $14 million public facilities bond and sale of Continuum cable and internet company, both on Davidson's 2019 election ballot. (David Boraks photo)
David Boraks
Davidson Mayor Rusty Knox (center) and Town Manager Jamie Justice talked with voters about the town's two ballot questions in mid-October at the Davidson Farmer's Market.

Two mayoral races outside Charlotte - Matthews and Huntersville - saw lively debates over whether the towns should act on legislation that allows them to open their own charter schools.  

The results were mixed Tuesday. Meanwhile, voters in several towns approved ballot questions, including the sale of the cable system in Mooresville and Davidson. 

Matthews voters elected town board member John Higdon as mayor with 54% of the vote, tossing out incumbent Paul Bailey, with 46%.

Bailey supports the idea of municipal charter schools. Higdon disagrees, calling for a "course correction" in town.  He wants Matthews to rebuild its relationship with Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools. He also wants more land for parks, and more attention paid to relieving traffic congestion. 

In Huntersville, incumbent Mayor John Aneralla turned back a challenge from former town commissioner Rob Kidwell.  Aneralla has led Huntersville's push for a town-owned charter, while Kidwell called for closer ties with CMS. Aneralla received 56%, to Kidwell's 44.   


Voters in both Davidson and Mooresville overwhelmingly approved the proposed sale of the Continuum cable and internet network after years of losses that became a strain on the towns' budgets. The towns have a deal to sell the system to TDS Broadband, a nationwide telecommunications operator. TDS said it plans to keep all 70 of Continuum's local employees.

Davidson voters also approved a bond referendum to spend $14 million on public facilities, with 69% in favor. Plans call for converting the existing town hall into a police and fire headquarters. Town Hall would move into the former Davidson IB Middle School on South Street, after extensive renovations.


Also in Mooresville, Mayor Miles Atkins won 52% of the vote to hold off a challenge from Angela Carruba Stutts.  

In Mint Hill, Mayor Ted Biggers announced this summer he would not seek an 11th term. Voters picked Brad Simmons to replace him.  Simmons beat current town board member Richard "Fig" Newton and Karen Trauner. 

And in Gastonia, first term Mayor Walker Reid survived a challenge from retired banker and self-described conservative Kim Price. Reid took 53.4% of the vote, to Price's 46.4%.

Mayors in Davidson, Cornelius and Pineville all were unopposed.


Pineville residents also narrowly decided Tuesday to increase the size of their town board. In a vote of 51.6% to 48.4% , they approved a charter amendment that would add two members to the four-member board and create council districts. 

In Cabarrus County, voters in Concord and Harrisburg easily approved measures to allow the sale of beer and other malt beverages in businesses that don't offer food, such as tap rooms. 

RELATED LINK: See Full Coverage of the 2019 Elections

David Boraks is a veteran journalist who covers climate change for WFAE. See more at www.wfae.org/climate-news. He also has covered housing and homelessness, energy and the environment, transportation and business.