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Cornelius News

Cornelius local election roundup

From left: Robert Carney, Scott Higgins, Susan Johnson, Michael Osborne and Todd Sansbury

Town Board

There will more change again on the Cornelius Town Board starting in December as a result of Tuesday’s election. Scott Higgins, Robert Carney and Susan Johnson will join incumbents Michael Osborne and Todd Sansbury on the five-member board. Two years ago, the board was literally turned upside down with an all new cast.

One of those newcomers, Commissioner Colin Furcht, lost by almost 400 votes in Tuesday’s election. Previously, veteran Commissioner Dave Gilroy announced that he would not run again, and Denis Bilodeau ran for mayor, opening up the playing field.

Mayor’s race

Cornelius Mayor Woody Washam apparently scored a razor-thin victory Tuesday night, defeating challenger Denis Bilodeau by just 13 votes. With all four Cornelius precincts reporting, Washam captured 2,767 votes while Bilodeau had 2,754 votes, a difference of less than 1 percent.

Woody Washam | Photo by Jason Benavides

It means an unprecedented fourth term for Washam, but the closeness of the race indicated that people were ready for a change, according to Commissioner Dave Gilroy, who opted not to run this year.

The race was a nail-biter right up to 10:40 pm when the results from precinct 242, which encompasses The Peninsula, posted, showing Washam had won by a mere 13 votes. Ironically, Bilodeau won the precinct, but not by a large enough margin to soundly defeat Washam, who won the three other precincts.

Denis Bilodeau

Former Commissioner Kurt Naas said Washam had a “tremendous advantage as a well-connected, long-term incumbent which was just enough to overcome any reservations about his record.”

4-year terms

The four-year term referendum went down by a 61% to 38% margin. The proposal would have changed town terms to a staggered four-year system. Ironically, a similar referendum was approved in Davidson by a 56% to 43% margin.

CMS bonds

A $2.5 billion bond referendum which would fund 30 high-priority CMS projects was approved countywide by a two to one margin during Tuesdays election. Included in the bonds will be funds for a new Cornelius Elementary School. The projects are designed to improve educational environments, offer more academic options, and alleviate overcrowding. Unlike previous CMS bond votes, this year’s proposal received support from local town boards, including Cornelius, as well as the Lake Norman Chamber.

In the election for the CMS school board, 14 candidates ran for three open positions. The winners were Lenora Shipp, Monty Witherspoon and Liz Monterrey.

Provisional Ballots

There are a total of 366 provisional ballots that have not been counted, according to the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections. Final results will not be known until the canvass which occurs 10 days after the election.

—Rerported by Dave Vieser