‘Vibrant’ leader gets most Raleigh write-in votes

The 18 candidates on the ballot for eight seats on the Raleigh City Council apparently left a lot to be desired in some voters’ eyes.

Approximately 470 write-in votes were cast in the Raleigh council elections on Oct. 6.

While some were random attempts at humor – Kermit the Frog, Ivana Trump and pizza rat all received votes – many of them were cast in an apparent reaction to the city’s recent crackdown on late-night drinking in downtown Raleigh.

In the mayoral race, which incumbent Nancy McFarlane won with 26,800 votes, downtown bar owner Zack Medford garnered the most write-in votes with 15.

Medford co-owns Paddy O’Beers, Coglin’s and Common 414 on Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh. He was one of the loudest voices against the new downtown dining restrictions and formed a nonprofit known as “Keep Raleigh Vibrant” to lobby for pro-business candidates.

Medford’s advocacy was enough to vault him past “Mayor Pat,” who got 11 write-in votes. Mayor Pat is likely a reference to Gov. Pat McCrory, former Charlotte mayor.

“A 25 percent margin of victory sounds like a mandate to me,” Medford said Thursday. “Patios for everyone!”

Medford said he was surprised that he got the most write-in votes for mayor considering polling showed widespread support for “Deez Nuts.” Nuts, also a satirical presidential candidate, rose to prominence after polling relatively well in Iowa, Minnesota and North Carolina.

Nuts drew a total of 10 votes across five of the seven council races, but posted only three in the mayoral race.

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article41972844.html#storylink=cpy

Zack Medford