Theodore Nollert, Amy Ryan and Melissa McCullough have won three of the four open seats on the Chapel Hill Town Council, according to unofficial results. The fourth spot is currently held by Elizabeth Sharp, but Renuka Soll is 16 votes behind — within the margin for a recount.
Ryan won the highest amount of votes, McCullough and Nollert won the second and third amount. Sharp appears to have won the last seat on the council with 10.7 percent of the vote.
This election had the highest turnout for a Chapel Hill election in at least the last 10 years.
Searing, who lost the mayoral election to Jess Anderson, ran on a platform based on opposition to this summer's Housing Choices LUMO amendment passed this summer by the town council, 6-3. Sharp ran on Searing's slate and is the only one of the top four candidates who is opposed to the LUMO change. Soll also ran on Searing's slate and is opposed to the change.
Neither Soll nor Sharp responded to multiple requests for comment from The Daily Tar Heel.
Jon Mitchell and Erik Valera also supported the LUMO change but lost — with Valera earning 9.52 percent of the vote and Mitchell earning 8.59 percent.
The election centered around housing and development policy issues — particularly changes to Chapel Hill's land use management ordinance.
"The people that we vote for tonight will make or break the kind of work that we've been doing for the last 20 years," Delores Bailey, the executive director of EmPOWERment, Inc., said at the First Baptist Church polling place.
Ryan was the only incumbent in this year's race for council. She won re-election to her seat with 13.88 percent of the vote.