William Keith Young is a Black Male and was selected by the progressive ‘machine’ to win his current seat on Asheville City Council as a pre-emptive political rebuttal to a Republican-led legislature that sought to impose a district election system for the sake of diversity. (The same is true for Vijay Kapoor from the poorly-represented South Asheville.)
Young was the top vote-getter in the 2015 election, along with Brian Haynes and Julie Mayfield, edging out Rich Lee who finished a disqualifying fourth.
1. Keith Young: 6,315, 18.22%
2. Brian Haynes: 6,271, 18.10%
3. Julie Mayfield: 6,114, 17.64%
4. Rich Lee: 5,376, 15.51%
Young was elected under the previous non-partisan at-large system, where the entire city’s voting population decides the composition of city council.
Under the proposed district system, Young would have to compete for election in 2020 from Municipal District 2, which splits Downtown Asheville into two, and North Asheville into two, and also does not include West Asheville at all. (I speculate that Young’s race for reelection would be more competetive under such scheme.)
According to Young’s voter card, his residence is currently in Precinct 01.1.
If state law S.B. 813 is contradicted by a charter amendment, a municipal primary would be held in March under an at-large system. Jake Quinn: “You’ve got to register in December to run in March [primary]”
However, S.B. 813 would remain in effect as a Local Law and some provisions would still apply, such as the extension of certain terms by a year to 2020 and 2022. Section 1.(e)
The proposed charter amendments do not contradict state law in its provision to extened council terms, they only contradict the provisions that impose districts and eliminate primaries.
“To consider adoption two ordinance amendments to the City of Asheville Charter for the following purposes: A. To provide for at-large elections for the members of the City of Asheville City Council; B. To provide that Asheville City Council elections be conducted by the nonpartisan primary and election method.”