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Cornelius News

Clark Wins Huntersville Mayoral Race

Nov. 7. By Mark Washburn. In a race dominated by vexing issues of growth, public safety and clogged traffic, former Democratic lawmaker Christy Clark cruised to victory as Huntersville’s next mayor Tuesday while two incumbents were ousted from the town commission.

Clark, a Huntersville teacher, won with 48 percent of the vote over Dan Boone, an eight-year incumbent on the town commission, who got 34 percent. Derek Partee, who also serves on the town board, finished third with 17 percent.

Christy Clark


With one of the highest population jumps of any city its size in the nation since 2000, Huntersville faced a contentious election based largely on managing its runaway growth. Roads, development and meeting increasing demand for services dominated the race for town board — with 15 active candidates battling for six seats, the biggest field in recent memory.

Since 2000, Huntersville’s population has leaped nearly 140 percent to more than 62,000, and it has become the largest of the satellite suburbs around Charlotte. With about 40 square miles in its borders, it has borne the biggest surge in housing and retail development in North Mecklenburg and still has room to grow. Huntersville’s official Growth Plan forecasts a population increase of about 75 percent — to more than 105,000 residents — by 2040.

Dan Boone

Complaints about frustrating commutes, crowding in schools and a fear of rising crime are binding topics in the thriving suburb.

In the race for board of commissioners, Jennifer Hunt, a former teacher and relative newcomer to town politics, ran first with nearly 10 percent of the vote. In her campaign, Hunt cited connecting the town to nature as a goal.

She was followed by Nick Walsh and Edwin Quarles, with about 9 percent each. Quarles is a retiree with a resume strong in social justice initiatives; Walsh was first elected to the town board in 2017 and stressed his hope that the Red Line commuter train, connecting North Mecklenburg to Charlotte, would soon arrive.

Other top vote-getters:

Derek Partee

— Alisia Bergsman, who ran on a platform of adhering to the town’s 2040 Plan growth plan while providing affordable and workforce housing.

— Amanda Dumas, who identified a need for updating infrastructure and affordable housing as key campaign issues.

— LaToya C. Rivers, an investigator with Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services and a newcomer to town politics. Rivers stressed in her campaign that the town needed to develop affordable housing to benefit working-class residents.

Losing were incumbents Rob Kidwell and Amber Kovacs. With the failure of Boone and Partee in the mayoral race, Huntersville will have a majority of freshmen commissioners.

Also failing to win one of the six seats were Frank Gammon, Matt Jones, Justin William Moore, John O’Neill, Eric Rowell, Anna Rubin and Jamie L. Wideman. Mike DeVoney and Michael Gandino registered to run but decided not to campaign.

In the mayor’s race, Boone stressed transportation projects and hiring full-time firefighters for the town while Partee, a retired law enforcement officer, ran on a growth-focused platform and stressed public safety.

Clark had emphasized her bipartisan leadership while in the state House and finding solutions to traffic congestion and crowded schools. Melinda Bales, who has served as mayor since 2011, is leaving office and plans to run for state legislature

In other ballot issues, the town’s parks and recreation bonds referendum appeared headed for approval by about a 2-to-1 margin. For the town’s $50 million transportation bond issue, the margin of approval was about 4-to-1.