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Asheville Primary Election Results: Manheimer faces Roney for 3rd term as mayor

Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer took the next step to her third term in office, coming in as the top vote getter in the non-partisan city primary election Tuesday.

Manheimer topped the five candidate field with 42% of the vote. Coming in second was first-term city council member Kim Roney, who received 33% of the vote. They will now face each other in the fall general election. Cliff Feingold, Michael Hayes, and Johnathan Wainscott finished third, fourth, and fifth respectively.

Speaking to BPR's Lilly Knoepp Tuesday night, Manheimer hinted at what could be the major theme of the election - how to heal some of the divisions that have formed in the city as its national and international profile increased during her first two terms. "We are definitely a split community. I think you see that tonight not in my race necessarily but in the district attorney's race for example. We're a progressive community but with differences of opinions on terms of approach."

Roney is someone who has clashed during her first year and a half in office with other members of city council, which includes the mayor, on approach. During BPR’s Mayoral Forum last month, Roney said, “ I'm running for mayor, not because I can fix all the challenges by myself, but because I'm committed to a process and a open meetings policy that instead of excluding people from solutions invites people to the table to bring their professional and lived experience, to work on the challenges ahead of us together.

The 11-candidate field for the three Asheville City Council seats on the fall ballot was also whittled down Tuesday. The top six candidates advanced (listed in order of most votes received) - Maggie Ullman Berthiuame, Sheneika Smith, Antanette Mosley, Allison Scott, Nina Tovish, and Andrew Fletcher. Smith and Mosley are the only incumbents on the ballot.


Matt Bush joined Blue Ridge Public Radio as news director in August 2016. Excited at the opportunity the build up the news service for both stations as well as help launch BPR News, Matt made the jump to Western North Carolina from Washington D.C. For the 8 years prior to coming to Asheville, he worked at the NPR member station in the nation's capital as a reporter and anchor. Matt primarily covered the state of Maryland, including 6 years of covering the statehouse in Annapolis. Prior to that, he worked at WMAL in Washington and Metro Networks in Pittsburgh, the city he was born and raised in.
Lilly Knoepp is Senior Regional Reporter for Blue Ridge Public Radio. She has served as BPR’s first fulltime reporter covering Western North Carolina since 2018. She is from Franklin, NC. She returns to WNC after serving as the assistant editor of Women@Forbes and digital producer of the Forbes podcast network. She holds a master’s degree in international journalism from the City University of New York and earned a double major from UNC-Chapel Hill in religious studies and political science.