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Sunday February 28th

Mayors of Chapel Hill, Carrboro win by landslide in municipal elections

<p>Chapel Hill mayor Pam Hemminger celebrated the news of her reelection at City Kitchen on Tuesday night.&nbsp;</p>
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Chapel Hill mayor Pam Hemminger celebrated the news of her reelection at City Kitchen on Tuesday night. 

Pam Hemminger won by a landslide against write-in candidate Eugene Farrar. Hemminger will serve her second term as Mayor, and secured 92 percent of votes according to unofficial results from Orange County precincts. 

Hemminger was excited and honored to receive support from the community and said the last two years as mayor have been an incredible experience.

“I just see such a bright future for Chapel Hill,” she said. "We are a creative, inclusive community that try to do even more and I love that about us. We’re a community that cares and so being able to take that energy and focus that into something that's productive for our community is where we’re heading.” 

She said she had felt strong and confident about her campaign and had been looking forward to implement and continue initiatives such as arts programs, the University’s Arts Everywhere program and the town is working on starting a teen task force. 

“We have a civil rights commemoration task force going on right now, and then just a lot of continued changing on how we bring that more commercial space to Chapel Hill to diversify our tax base,” Hemminger said. “We have a strategic plan for affordable housing that I’m very excited about as well.”

Farrar ran his campaign as a write-in candidate and had previously served as Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP president. He said he although he had run as a write-in candidate, that everyone deserves the opportunity to run for Mayor.

“I respect the candidate that is right in the end,” he said. “But it should show other candidates as well as the incumbent. But I’m not deterred about running and I haven’t changed my mind about running.”

Lydia Lavelle also won by a landslide for Carrboro mayor against candidate Mike Benson. She won 87.8 percent of votes according to unofficial results from Orange County precincts. 

Lavelle said she looks forward to serving her third term as Mayor and said she had felt the support of Carrboro from her win. The campaigning experience was an opportunity for Lavelle to re-engage with constituents in a different way by hearing new ideas and keeping an open mind.

“It also really makes you appreciate your friends and your family,” she said. “It really takes a village to run a campaign and to be a mayor, and I’m really fortunate to have all that.”

Although Benson lost the election, he said he was still feeling positive with his family and friends. 

“So there’s a choice on the ballot, people have chosen, they’ve chosen Lydia and for the next two years she’s my queen and I fully support her, if you’re talking about Game of Thrones,” he said. “I fully support her, she’s extremely wonderful and I do support her very much.”

Lavelle said the town had several projects under development that she was excited about, and that her number one priority was working with Orange County to build a southern branch library on South Greensboro street. She also said they were the town is working on possible having an affordable commercial development of (old 86) in partnership with Orange County. 

“That’s a really neat, exciting idea that many of our board members are excited about, trying to keep our local businesses,” she said. “Having a place where they can expand and be part of Carrboro, in a kind of partnership if you will, with the town, and a way to keep them local. Those are just two of the projects I am excited about.” 

Hemminger and Lavelle both expressed similar sentiments that they were excited to continue their tenure as mayor of their respective towns, and proceed with their ongoing projects to improve Chapel Hill-Carrboro. 

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