by Lisa Sorg
What does $47,000 buy in Durham politics? Apparently very little, about 13,000 votes. Despite support from a Greensboro-based Super PAC, Omar Beasley and Pam Karriker lost their bids for seats on Durham City Council.
As the INDY reported earlier this week, the N.C. Homeowners Alliance, a Super PAC with ties to the N.C. Association of Realtors, had injected large sums into two races for city council..
Former Hillside High School teacher Eddie Davis beat Beasley in Ward 2, by a 65-34 margin. Davis received 11,413 votes, compared with Beasley’s 6,086. The results are unofficial until next week.Howard Clement had held that seat for three decades before retiring this year.
Don Moffitt, who had been appointed to council to replace Mike Woodard when he was elected to the state senate, won in Ward 3 in a tighter contest. He received 9,817 votes or 56 percent of ballots cast; Karriker, a former appointee to the county commission, received 7,490 or 43 percent of the vote.
Beasley and Karriker also had the endorsements of the Friends of Durham, a conservative-leaning group, and the once-powerful Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People, whose political influence has waned over the past several years.
Moffitt and Davis were endorsed by the INDY, Durham People's Alliance and the Sierra Club.
In the mayoral race, incumbent Bill Bell didn’t have to break a sweat, winning easily over pastor and perennial candidate Sylvester Williams by an 86–13 margin.
In Ward 1, Cora Cole-McFadden ran unopposed.
Voter turnout approached 10.5 percent, with 18,299 ballots cast. Only 6.1 percent of registered voters cast ballots in the October primary.
See results at the Durham Board of Elections website.