Matthews makes history with Larry Whitley, Mint Hill to bid farewell to Lloyd Austin
The votes are in, and both the Matthews and Mint Hill boards of commissioners will welcome incumbents and newcomers alike next month.
Both incumbent mayors, Jim Taylor of Matthews and Ted Biggers of Mint Hill, will retain their positions. Biggers ran unopposed, winning against only a small number of write-in votes.
Taylor received 1,674 votes (85.23 percent) in a landslide win against Robert Guy Powell III, who did no pre-election campaigning and did not respond to any interview requests from Matthews-Mint Hill Weekly. Powell received 280 votes (14.26 percent), and there also were a small number of write-in votes.
The real news surrounds both towns’ board of commissioners – particularly the election of several newcomers. Six seats were up for grabs on the Matthews Board of Commissioners with four incumbents seeking re-election. All four incumbents – Commissioners John Higdon, Chris Melton, Jeff Miller and John Ross – were re-elected.
Challenger John Urban won, coming in third place, following a first-place tie between Higdon and Melton. December will mark Urban’s return to the board, having previously served two terms, from 2009 to 2013.
“(I’m) extremely, extremely pleased with the outcome,” Urban said on Wednesday, Nov. 4, following his win. “Obviously, the last election was extremely disappointing for me … (but) I think this was a huge, huge victory for us. Moving forward, (I plan to) go back to my agenda where we were two years ago and slowly move the town forward and talk about smart growth issues.”
The true new face to the Matthews board is Commissioner-elect Larry Whitley. Whitley is a retired captain of the North Carolina Highway Patrol, has been pastor of Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church for more than 18 years and is an active member of the Crestdale community – a historic African-American community near downtown Matthews. Whitley will be the first African-American elected to the board since the town was established in 1879, 136 years ago.
“I’m just excited and want to really thank everybody for the support and the prayers, and (I’m) just ready to go to work,” Whitley said on Nov. 4, following his win. “I just ask for everybody’s prayers as we move Matthews forward.”
Four seats were up for grabs on the Mint Hill Board of Commissioners, with all four incumbent candidates seeking re-election. Three out of the four incumbents – Commissioners Carl “Mickey” Ellington, Richard Newton and Tina Ross – will serve another term in office.
Commissioner Lloyd Austin will end a stint of 18 consecutive years with the town board, losing to challenger Dale Dalton, who came in fourth place with 967 votes. Austin finished fifth with 790 votes.
Commissioner-elect Dalton has been in the construction industry for more than a decade, previously working as a food broker for 25 years. He has lived in Mint Hill for five years and previously ran for election in 2013.
“It’s an honor,” Dalton said on Nov. 4, following his win. “I had a lot of help from the other board members, and I even had a lot of help from Lloyd Austin, who I (won against). The biggest thing is I’m very happy with the way things are going; I just want to make sure we kind of keep it that way, keep the small-town feel as we grow.”
Matthews and Mint Hill elected officials are scheduled to be sworn in during the towns’ first board of commissioners meetings in December.
The following unofficial election results are according to statistics from the North Carolina State Board of Elections. Incumbent candidates are designated with “I.” Find more information at www.ncsbe.gov.
- Jim Taylor (I) – 1,674 votes (85.23 percent)
- Robert Guy Powell III – 280 votes (14.26 percent)
- Write-in, miscellaneous – 10 votes (0.51 percent)
Matthews Board of Commissioners
- John Higdon (I) – 1,319 votes (14.22 percent)
- Chris Melton (I) – 1,319 votes (14.22 percent)
- John Urban – 1,281 votes (13.81 percent)
- John Ross (I) – 1,270 votes (13.69 percent)
- Jeff Miller (I) – 1,219 votes (13.14 percent)
- Larry Whitley – 1,108 votes (11.94 percent)
- Gina Hoover – 1,009 votes (10.88 percent)
- Nobie Thrasher – 728 votes (7.85 percent)
- Write-in, miscellaneous – 25 votes (.27 percent)
Mint Hill Mayor:
- Ted Biggers (I) – 1,603 votes (96.8 percent)
- Write-in, miscellaneous – 53 votes (3.2 percent)
Mint Hill Board of Commissioners:
- Tina Ross (I) – 1,228 votes (19.21 percent)
- Richard Newton (I) – 1,134 votes (17.74 percent)
- Carl “Mickey” Ellington (I) – 1,102 votes (17.24 percent)
- Dale Dalton – 967 votes (15.13 percent)
- Lloyd Austin (I) – 790 votes (12.36 percent)
- Alan McKenzie – 533 votes (8.34 percent)
- Harry Marsh – 323 votes (5.05 percent)
- James Stapleton – 301 votes (4.71 percent)
- Write-in, miscellaneous – 13 votes (0.2 percent)