Carrboro Town Council member Damon Seils is projected to become the next mayor of Carrboro according to unofficial results, defeating Carrboro restaurateur and photographer Michael Benson.
Seils won all eight precincts that voted in Orange County on Tuesday. He finished with 3,749 votes in Orange County, making up 90.25 percent of the votes. Benson received 376 votes, 9.05 percent.
Coming into the election, Seils received endorsements from multiple organizations, including Equality NC, LGBTQ Victory Fund and the Progressive Democrats of Orange County.
He has served on the Carrboro Town Council since 2013 and was a leader on the Carrboro Connects plan, which is devoted to developing affordability and sustainability in the town. He has lived in Carrboro since 1999 after he finished graduate school.
Seils decided to run for mayor after current Carrboro Mayor Lydia Lavelle announced in May she would not run for reelection. He said he realized he'd played a large role in many major initiatives the Town was working on and thought it would be an incredible opportunity for him to be in a new leadership role.
Seils credited Lavelle and former Carrboro Mayor Mark Chilton.
"They taught me how to be mayor, and, well, they will always be my mayors," Seils said at his watch party Tuesday night.
He said this election was the right opportunity for him to step up even more in the community after his involvement with the Carrboro Town Council.
“Being on the Town Council has been probably the most important experience of my life in terms of developing my leadership in the community and working with community members to achieve our shared visions,” Seils said.