Murphy wins Kinston mayor’s seat by nose
November 03, 2009 9:55 PM
The Free Press
B.J. Murphy, a 29-year-old businessman who ran and lost the race for Kinston mayor four years ago, ran and won Tuesday, finishing a mere 61 votes ahead of the second-place finisher.
Murphy collected 1,337 votes to edge out retired businessman Earl Harper (1,276) and City Council veteran Jimmy Counins (903). All vote totals are unofficial until canvassed.
A Republican running in one of the few partisan municipal elections in the state, Murphy will head a Kinston City Council comprised entirely of Democrats. The two council seats in play this year were filled in the Sept. 15 primary and incumbent Robert A. Swinson and newcomer Bobby Merritt enjoyed walk-over wins Tuesday.
During a forum for mayoral candidates two weeks ago, Murphy pledged to form “blue ribbon” commissions to promote small business development alongside industrial growth, to cut back city spending, “hold ElectriCities’ feet to the fire” to bring down electric rates and appeal the U.S. Justice Department’s ruling against non-partisan elections in Kinston.