In the past 10 years, the elected mayors of Hillsborough, Chapel Hill and Carrboro have been registered Democrats. In those 10 years, no Republican has won a seat on Chapel Hill’s town council or Carrboro’s Board of Aldermen. More Republicans and unaffiliated candidates have won in Hillsborough and for the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Board of Education seats, although they are few and far between.
As a result, some Republicans are forced to consider switching parties in order to obtain political office.
Gary Kahn, a candidate for Chapel Hill mayor, and Evelyn D. Lloyd, an incumbent of over 20 years for Hillsborough town commissioner, changed their party registrations from Republican to Democrat ahead of the November municipal elections.
Adam Jones, who is running for a seat on the Chapel Hill town council, is the only Republican.
“I talked to several previous council members, or people who ran in the past, and one of them told me that I was never going to win as a Republican in Orange County,” Jones said. “If I was serious about running, I would have to change my affiliation to at least Independent, if not Democrat.”
Jones said he decided against doing so because he didn’t want to lie to the public.
Lloyd believes party registrations don’t affect the vote, but she said she changed her party affiliation this year because her opponents within her party, whom she said were more conservative, had drastically different opinions from her. She also wasn’t satisfied with the Republican Party’s decisions in the state legislature.
“The environment has been hurt a lot,” she said. “In Raleigh, the Clean Water Fund money has been cut — I’m against fracking.”