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Cornelius News

Miltich is top vote-getter in Cornelius Commission race; Naas, Bilodeau land seats on board

The new mayor: Look for a better relationship with commissioners


Nov. 9. By Dave Yochum. UPDATED Results are in for the Cornelius Town Commission race. In a surprise, two-term Town Commissioner Jim Duke is five votes short of the necessary fifth-place finish. In terms of ideology and neighborhood roots, he will be replaced on the town board by Denis Bilodeau, another long-time business and community leader.

The first-place finisher is Dr. Mike Miltich, with 2,042 votes, which means he likely becomes Mayor Pro Tem when the new board is seated in December and members vote on the mayoral stand-in.

Mike Miltich​ ​2,042
Kurt Naas​ ​2,014
Dave Gilroy​ ​1,994
Denis P. Bilodeau​ ​1,908
Thurman Ross, Jr.​ 1,893
Jim Duke​ ​1,888
Tricia Sisson​ ​1,564
William Rakatansky​ ​1,440
Michelle Ferlauto​ ​1,310
Ava Callender​ ​1,299
Richard J. Stilwell​ ​408

Nevertheless, the results could change—and Ross and Duke are only five votes apart.

Provisional and the final absentee votes are counted at “Canvass”  10 days after a general election, which, in this case, means Nov. 17.

In another surprise, the board remains all male, despite the fact that three of the 11 contestants were women. Political consultant Andy Yates said they may have split the so-called “women’s vote,” although none of them seemed to have a specific brand or ideology that resonated with voters.



The sitting Mayor Pro Tem, Woody Washam, has been elected mayor. Washam, who met with town staff yesterday, ran unopposed. Washam said he is excited about the high level of citizen turn out in Cornelius and is looking forward to leading the town as mayor as well as working with the newly elected board. The popular businessman and community leader was the top vote-getter back in the 2015 commission race.

He has begun discussing key committee and board assignments with commissioners, who, more recently, have been assigned their duties..

It took 1,892 votes to get a seat on what amounts to the town’s “board of directors.” They set our taxes and choose where and how to improve roads and parks.


Four members of the new board are white. Only Ross is an African American, with roots in the Smithville community. They will be sworn in at a December meeting.


Political consultant Andy Yates said there was a “bitterly divided electorate that’s not sure what they wanted.” Only 152 votes separate the first place winner, Miltich, from the sixth place finisher, Jim Duke.

“I don’t think there is a clear mandate for any of the different sides that emerged during this election,” Yates said.

In Davidson, Rusty Knox demolished incumbent John Woods, 2,134 to 985.