The challengers, including Hemminger, Nancy Oates, Jessica Anderson and David Schwartz, are all endorsed by the Chapel Hill Alliance for a Livable Town. CHALT has gained momentum in this year’s municipal elections.
A poll done last week by Public Policy Polling, a left-leaning polling firm, showed Hemminger in the lead, with 43 percent of participants reporting they would support her in the upcoming election, compared with 37 percent for incumbent Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt. Gary Kahn, another candidate, polled at 2 percent.
Hemminger, a former Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools board member and Orange County commissioner, rose 18 percentage points since the last Public Policy Polling survey in late September.
Hemminger said she was encouraged and excited by the polling results.
“I’m just excited my message is getting out there,” she said.
Kleinschmidt said voter turnout is going to be the critical factor.
“Polling at a municipal level in a town as small as Chapel Hill is really just information,” he said. “I think what that tells us is that it’s really close.”
Town Council candidates endorsed by CHALT came out as front-runners as well, according to the poll results, along with incumbent Jim Ward.