Incumbents on Tuesday captured the mayoral race and seven of nine seats on Fayetteville's City Council.
Challengers who claimed victories in the Dist. 2 and Dist. 5 races, though, weren't considered upset winners — both having outpolled their incumbent opponents back in October's primary.
Here’s how the two newcomers won and what they say they plan to bring to the city:
Dist. 5: Lynne Greene ousts incumbent Johnny Dawkins
While Councilman Johnny Dawkins didn’t fare as poorly as Dist. 2 Councilwoman Shakeyla Ingram — a fellow incumbent who lost her race by 30 percentage points — his 20 percentage-point loss represented a significant victory for Lynne Greene in this election’s most contentious race.
Greene is a realtor and broker at Coldwell Banker Advantage and a real estate developer at Braxton Village Developers LLC, according to her campaign website. Her campaign has focused on supporting local businesses and improving public safety in Fayetteville.
“I'm honored that they had confidence in me to help make the city better,” Greene told CityView after Tuesday’s preliminary results were announced. “And I'm looking forward to working with other city council members to make our city safe again and open for business.”
Once she’s sworn in, Greene’s main priorities, as outlined on her campaign website, are to:
Greene outpolled Dawkins in last month’s primary by 11 percentage points. Dawkins told CityView then that his performance was “terrible” and he had hoped to fare better in the general election. The vote deficit, though, was even more pronounced in Tuesday’s race.
“Every time I've met with my opponent, he shows his driver's license,” Greene said at the Greater Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce candidate forum on Oct. 18. “I really don't care where he lives. What I do care about is will he be here in our best interest in five years? Will he be here in five years?”
Dawkins pulled out and displayed his driver’s license — with Fayetteville address — when he introduced himself at the Chamber forum in October.
Dawkins himself has previously been involved in verbal conflicts with other council members; critics have accused him of suppressing diverse voices and perpetuating a toxic work environment. In particular, detractors have referenced an incident in November 2021 during which Dawkins, who is white, raised his voice at Yvonne Kinston, a Black former council member, during a discussion about board appointments and diversity.
Greene’s campaign message centered around a call for change.
“The District 5 residents are ready for change, and I think they cast their vote that way,” Greene told CityView after October’s primary.
District 2: Malik Davis beats incumbent Shakeyla Ingram
With his 30-point win on Tuesday, Malik Davis will assume Fayetteville’s Dist. 2 seat.
Davis, 28, a Fayetteville native, attended Cape Fear High School. He previously worked as a certified nursing assistant at Cape Fear Valley Health and an administrative assistant for Cumberland County Schools. He now works in the clerk of courts office for Cumberland County under Lisa Scales.
Davis was also part of the inaugural Fayetteville Millennial Commission, now known as Fayetteville NEXT. He served as the chairman of the commission until his term ended in 2023. Davis also sits on the board of directors for Fascinate-U Children's Museum, and is the vice president of the Young Democrats of Cumberland County.
Davis placed first in the crowded Dist. 2 primary last month, which had seven candidates, and got 34.3% of the vote. Incumbent Ingram placed second with 21% of the vote.
Ingram’s tenure on the council has not been without controversy. She was censured in December 2021 for using profanity at a council meeting, calling the council at the time “the most corrupt a** board I’ve seen.” Most recently, she has been criticized for not doing enough to address constituents’ concerns over complaints regarding safety and maintenance issues at United Management properties in her district.
Davis has stated during his campaign he plans to “bridge the gap” in Dist. 2, by being an advocate for his generation and working to address safety issues and increasing resources for the houseless population.
“As a representative for District 2, my district comes first, and then I serve the people of the city,” he said.
Once he begins his term, Davis wants to form subcommittees for residents within his district to get their input on specific issues, such as homelessness and crime.
“I can't do it alone,” he said. “I'm just the leader at the table and the fresh voice at the table for them.”
Davis will serve Dist. 2 as a councilmember for the next two years.