Voters Oust York, S.C., Mayor, 2 Gastonia Council Members
Mecklenburg County wasn't the only place with important races on the ballot on Tuesday. Voters in Gastonia sent two new faces to City Council, while in South Carolina, York will have a new mayor for the first time since 2002.
First-term incumbent Walker Reid fended off a challenge from retired banker Kim Price, despite being outspent by his opponent. Reid is the first elected African American mayor – and second ever – of Gastonia, and he served on City Council for several years before returning to politics in 2017. He won with 53% of the vote, according to preliminary results.
While voters approved of Reid's leadership, they kicked out two incumbent City Council members. Challenger Charles Odom beat two-term Ward 4 incumbent Todd Pierceall with 61% of the vote and Donyel Barber ousted one-term incumbent David Humphries in Ward 6 with about 58% of the vote.
Several issues are facing Gastonia, including growth from people priced out of Charlotte and the planned Franklin Urban Sports and Entertainment District, a public-private revitalization effort west of downtown that includes an entertainment complex.
In South Carolina, Fort Mill Mayor Guynn Savage handily won reelection Tuesday, taking 61% of the votes. Savage was fending off a challenge by Bret McNabb.
But over in the city of York, challenger Mike Fuesser knocked longtime incumbent Mayor Eddie Lee out of office with 52% of the vote, according to preliminary results. Lee has been in office since 2002. Fuesser is currently the District 4 City Council member; Stephanie Jarrett was the sole candidate running to replace him.
Incumbent Hickory City Council members Charlotte Williams of Ward 2 and Danny Seaver of Ward 3 will keep their seats. Ward 1 council member Brad Lail wasn't on the ballot this time around. Tony Wood will take his place after beating Carmen Eckard with 66% of the vote, according to preliminary results.
RELATED LINK: See Full Coverage of the 2019 Elections