FAYETTEVILLE -- Come January, most of the members of the City Council will have had less than a handful of years of experience.
Voters on Tuesday ousted two sitting members of the council, Mark Kinion in Ward 2 and Sloan Scroggin in Ward 3. Political newcomers defeated both. Sarah Moore defeated Kinion with 59% of the vote, and Scott Berna defeated Scroggin by 53%.
The other two incumbents who were up for reelection, Sonia Harvey and Teresa Turk, each began service in 2019 and went unchallenged.
Sarah Bunch in Ward 3 will become the council's longest-serving member. She began her first term in 2017 and won reelection in 2020.
D'Andre Jones in Ward 1 and Holly Hertzberg in Ward 4 both began their service last year. Mike Wiederkehr gained a seat representing Ward 2 in a special election held this year.
The most recent time an elected incumbent lost his race was in 2018 when John La Tour lost reelection to Turk. Kyle Smith, who was appointed to the council in 2017, lost to Hertzberg in the 2020 election.
Kinion was the longest-tenured member of the council, having served since 2011. He commended Moore for working hard and running an admirable campaign.
"I'm certain she will bring the same commitment serving as council member for Ward 2," Kinion said.
Kinion said he thinks he's spent more than 600 Tuesday nights at council meetings or agenda sessions. The best part was the people he worked with, and he said looked forward to supporting Moore in future endeavors.
"I do look forward to working with her as a partner," Kinion said. "We share a lot of the same values and the same principles."
Moore said she felt the outcome showed strong support in her ward for ushering change in the city. She said she wants to help the city become a model in the state for tackling issues such as affordable housing, health care capacity for mental health and recovery resources and bringing typically disenfranchised populations into government dealings.
"I think Ward 2 is definitely really wanting progressive, very transformative solutions," Moore said.
Scroggin said he intends to find other ways to support issues he cares about in the city. He wondered if a push for "new blood" in Ward 2 may have carried over to the Ward 3 election.
The makeup of perspectives on the upcoming council will be interesting, Scroggin said. The Ward 2 election went farther left and the Ward 3 election went right, he said.
Scroggin said the discrepancy in the dollar amounts between his and Berna's campaigns likely had an impact on the outcome. Berna raised more than $31,000 and spent nearly $15,000 compared to Scroggin's $4,000 or so raised and spent.
"There is some concern moving forward that City Council races just aren't going to be grassroots, that it's going to be a money draw," Scroggin said.
Berna said the dollar discrepancy was indicative of the excitement for his candidacy. He said he knew it would be difficult and expensive taking on an incumbent and ran a deliberate, professional campaign as a result.
Donations to Berna's campaign ranged from political action committees to individual contributions of less than $100, he said. Berna said he leans conservative politically but his goal was to resonate with people from a wide range of political spectrums.
"We worked extremely hard to communicate with folks. That's my viewpoint on why were were successful," Berna said. "Sloan ran a good campaign, and I applaud him for that. It was a really tight campaign, but there's got to be a winner and there's got to be a loser."
By the numbers
Complete but unofficial vote totals for Tuesday’s Fayetteville City Council elections were:
Ward 2, Position 1
Moore 2,507 (59%)
Kinion 1,719 (41%)
Ward 3, Position 1
Berna 4,800 (53%)
Scroggin 4,322 (47%)