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Friday, June 14, 2024

N.C. voters overwhelmingly elect 3 African American men to lead cities

By Yasmine Regester, Peacemaker Staff Writer / November 10, 2023



This year’s Election Day in High Point has become an historical moment in time with the people electing its first African American man to the mayoral seat.

According to complete but unofficial results, Cyril Jefferson, an incumbent High Point councilman, was elected on Tuesday night with 56 percent of the vote.

“This work we’re doing in the city is something that is critical. We called this watch party tonight, ‘High Point United.’ This was not going to be a watch party for a particular person, this was going to be a watch party for our city, and for our city to cast a vision forward on where we’re going to go,” said Jefferson, as he addressed his supporters on Tuesday night.

“Here we are now tonight, as a group, united, and I can’t wait to see what we’re going to do next,” he added.

Jefferson defeated fellow councilmember Victor Jones, who received 43 percent of the vote. Jefferson is only the second Black mayor in the city’s 164-year history. Former Mayor Bernita Sims was the first African American woman mayor elected by High Point in 2012 and served one term ending in 2014. This win also makes Jefferson the youngest mayor elected in the city’s history.

Jefferson has served as the Ward 1 City Council member since 2019. His campaign platform led with two priorities: to collaborate with small businesses, and to attract large-scale private investments to downtown High Point.

“I’m humbled by the fact that so many people have believed in the message that we’ve put forward – that if we’re united today, we’ll be stronger tomorrow. And I’m looking forward to bringing that vision to fruition,” said Jefferson.

High Point City Council Results

Council At-Large
Britt W. Moore 28.07%
Amanda Cook 26.50%
Sam Carr 22.92%
Willie H. Davis 22.08%

Ward 1
Glenn Chavis 26.18%
Vickie McKiver 73.24%

Ward 2
Cody Locklear 29.78%
Tyronne Johnson 69.72%

Ward 3
Rizwan Bahadur 26.65%
Monica Petters 72.52%

Ward 4
Wesley Hudson 51.50%
Patrick Harman 48.21%

Ward 5
Beverly Jo Bard 39.57%
Tim Andrew 60.21%

Ward 6
Heather Brooks 39.85%
Michael Holmes 59.73%

The City of Durham also elected a new mayor on Tuesday night. Leo Williams, a restaurateur, has served on the Durham City Council, representing Ward 3, since 2021. He defeated Sen. Mike Woodard, who has represented the Bull City in the North Carolina Senate since 2012. Williams won more than 63 percent of the vote and Woodard garnered 36 percent of the vote.

Gibsonville Mayor Lenny Williams, ran unopposed in the 2023 elections and was reelected to serve a sixth, four-year term. Williams served as an alderman between 1993 and 2001. He won his first election as mayor in 2001. Since then, he has won five, four-year terms in 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019.


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Since 1967, the Carolina Peacemaker has served as North Carolina’s leading news weekly with a national reputation. Founded by Dr. John Kilimanjaro, the newspaper is published by Carolina Newspaper, Inc.

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