Paula Blackmon

The neighborhood lawns and mailboxes east of Abrams and north of Gaston will now be free of clutter; west of Abrams, not so much.

Incumbent District 9 Council member Paula Blackmon convincingly won another two-year term, easily handling opponents Judy Kumar and John Botefuhr. In District 14, incumbent David Blewett will meet challenger Paul Ridley in a June 5 run-off election.

Blackmon won 63.1% of the vote against Kumar’s 20.4% and Bohtefur’s 16.5%. The margin of victory seems unusually large given the spirited campaign. Another surprise is newcomer Kumar’s finish ahead of neighborhood businessman Bohtefur. After this knock-out, Blackmon looks tough to beat if she chooses to run for remaining two terms of her four-term limit.

Ridley garnered 45.7% of the tally, ahead of Blewett’s 32.1% and third place Elizabeth Viney’s 22.2%. Since no candidate reached the 50% plus 1 vote margin to be declared the winner, a run-off will be held Saturday, June 5, with early voting beginning Tuesday, May 25.

Even with a solid lead in Saturday’s election, winning the run-off will be no lay-up for Ridley since run-offs are typically hard to forecast. Turnouts are notoriously low. The race will come down to whose supporters are motivated to vote again. And will Viney endorse a candidate and work to get her voters to the polls once more?

Five more weeks of campaigning in District 14. Buckle up.

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