An hour before the sun is expected to rise over the mountains in Asheville, N.C., the polls will open at 6:30 a.m. for city voters to cast their ballots in the mayoral primary today, Tuesday, Oct. 8. Polling sites will remain open until 7:30 p.m.
When community activist and downtown waiter Martin Ramsey joined Vice Mayor Esther Manheimer and former city official John Miall this July in the mayoral race, he forced a primary in the City of Asheville election. The votes cast today in the primary and the votes cast during early voting will narrow the field of three candidates down to two.
City elections, including the mayoral race, are nonpartisan. However, Manheimer and Miall are both Democrats. Ramsey is unaffiliated. Only city residents may vote in the election.
Don't know where to vote? The folks at the Buncombe County Board of Elections and the North Carolina Board of Elections can direct you to the correct polling place in a couple of ways:
• Use the polling place look-up feature from the North Carolina Board of Elections: Just enter your home address and press the find button to locate your polling place.
• Call Buncombe County Board of Elections: If you have trouble finding your polling site or need assistance, call the local board of elections directly at 250-4229.
If you haven't been paying attention to this year's race, you can still catch up and be an informed voter at the polls today by reading a compilation of articles that Xpress published about this year's mayoral candidates — from what candidates said during community forums to what they told Xpress when we sat down with them to talk about the issues facing the city.
An overall look at the candidates:
Terms of engagement: Asheville mayoral candidates make their case
Whether it's four years on Asheville City Council, 30 years as a city official or eight years working in a downtown restaurant, all three candidates for mayor tout experience, though they define it in vastly different terms. In an interview with Xpress reporter Caitlin Byrd, the three candidates make their case.
John Miall's Facebook rant:
Saving face: Miall apologizes for online rant
After calling Asheville City Council member Gordon Smith "Gordumb" in a rant posted on a Facebook comment thread last night, mayoral candidate John Miall says he regrets his word choice. This article includes the full and unedited comment from Miall.
The first face-off: Mayoral candidates debate issues affecting the city
Voicing different ideas about funding the Asheville Art Museum, adopting the living wage ordinance and deciding downtown development, the trio of political candidates vying to be Asheville's next mayor debated with one another for the first time on Wednesday, Aug. 28 while also revealing a shared consensus among them about the perceived relationship between the General Assembly and the City of Asheville.
Mayoral candidates square off at packed forum
While some people leaned forward in their seats, others stood in the back of the room and craned their necks — ear first — to hear the positions Asheville's three mayoral candidates have on issues ranging from the police department to school systems. Full audio of the Sept.19 forum is included.
Doubleheader: Mayoral candidates tackle forums sponsored by business and bikes
The stages and the supporters could not have been more different for the Asheville Mayoral candidates yesterday: A power lunch at Magnolia's Bar & Grille sponsored by the more conservative Council of Independent Business Owners and an evening forum at the Odyssey Ceramic Arts Studio hosted by the multimodal-minded group Asheville On Bikes.
Caitlin Byrd can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 251-1333, ext. 140.