Asheville City Council Election 2015: Update on who might be running

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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Ashvegas: The City You Love. The News You Want.UPDATE Dec. 17: Lael Gray tells me she’s not planning another run for council, and that she’ll work to have people vote for Julie Mayfield if Mayfield decides to run. From Gray:

While I’m definitely flattered that anyone is speculating about my possible intentions to run for city council next year, I want to clarify that I will not be running for office.

In 2012 I took on the position of Executive Director at the Asheville JCC, and this keeps me quite busy. 2015 is our 75th anniversary year, so you’ll be hearing more about that in the not too distant future. Even with all of the exciting work going on at the JCC right now, I do plan to continue my community service as the Chair of the city’s Sustainability Advisory Committee on Energy and the Environment (SACEE) and supporting Smart Start through advocacy for early childhood education.

Original post Dec. 16: A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about early speculation on who might be running for Asheville City Council next year. The seats now held by Jan Davis, Marc Hunt and Chris Pelly are up for grabs in 2015. Here’s a quick update.

None of the three incumbents have said publicly whether they will seek re-election, but the rumor mill has been churning about whether or not Davis would seek re-election. Davis was first elected in 2003, and served as vice mayor in 2007-09. The early word was that Davis would likely not seek another term. But in recent weeks, I’ve heard that Davis’ supporters are urging him to run again. On a City Council stacked with progressive Democrats, Davis fills the role of a more conservative voice. We’ll see.

There’s been some conjecture that Lael Gray may make another run at City Council. In next year’s City Council election, the top three vote-getters will be elected, and back in the 2011 election, Gray lost out on a third-place finish by some 40 votes to Davis. She ran hard and was clearly disappointed. Will she run again? (Sidenote: City Councilman Gordon Smith was at Gray’s election night party and was giving her a hug when her campaign manager, David Roat, knocked Smith in the back of the head. Roat worked on Smith’s successful 2009 run for Council.)

Who else is thinking about running? West Asheville neighborhood activist Rich Lee has expressed an interest in seeking a seat. And Julie Mayfield, co-executive director of the Western North Carolina Alliance, has said that she is also considering a run. James Bullman, a homeless Asheville resident who initially announced that he will run in 2015, now says he’s not, according to the Asheville Citizen-Times.

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1

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  1. NFB December 17, 2014

    According to the ACT this morning Keith Young, who ran for County Commission in district one in 2012 and 2014 is also considering a run.

  2. RedHotPoker December 17, 2014

    Thank you Lael Gray for your decision. It is the right one.

    1. Barry Summers December 17, 2014


  3. Valerie Patenotte December 17, 2014

    Oh, for heaven’s sake!! I am a personal friend of David Roat’s and he ran my successful bid for a hotly contested position as delegate to the Democratic National Convention. He is a good person, a smart strategist, and good democrat. I am not sure what place that blurb even had in this article. Was it just to stir the pot? My grandmother always said “when you stir the pooh pot it stinks.” It serves no one. Everyone involved in that situation needs to pull and Elsa and “let it go.” I like Gordon just fine but there are always two sides to every story and the truth somewhere in the middle. That “side note” should be removed.

  4. Alan Ditmore December 16, 2014

    Smith can certainly be aggravating, especially for a social progressive, I still wonder what motivated Roat, though I don’t doubt he had one. Of course if Smith didn’t drop charges against a fellow social progressive, that is a problem with Smith too. Smith should man up and take a blow, though not Simerly.

  5. Barry Summers December 16, 2014

    “Terry Bellamy: I am running for re-election as Asheville mayor”


    Oh… six year old article. Never mind.


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