The write-in votes for Greensboro City Council are out.
A manipulative and anonymous campaign that featured campaign signs posted predominantly in majority black precincts and robo-calls suggesting that voters dissatisfied with candidates for mayor and council should write in their choice appears to have garnered 61 votes for Yvonne Johnson.
Johnson ran at-large and received the largest number of votes of any candidate. A former mayor, the write-in campaign appears to have been designed to draw votes away from mayoral candidate Robbie Perkins, a longtime political ally of Johnson's. Perkins had no trouble defeating incumbent Bill Knight in spite of the dirty tricks.
In other concerted campaigns, Jean Brown earned 26 votes in the at-large race, and Tony Wilkins won 22 votes in the District 5 race. Brown ran at large, but was eliminated in the primary. Wilkins’ was the recommended candidate of YES! Weekly, which declined to endorse either incumbent Trudy Wade or challenger Jorge Cornell. Wilkins also received votes in the at-large and District 1 categories.
Someone named Eric Ginsberg received a single vote in District 2. The voter might have intended to write in YES! Weekly staff writer Eric Ginsburg.
Other mayoral write-ins included, not surprisingly, two mayoral candidates who got primaried out: Bradford Cone, Tom Phillips and Chris Phillips. Other vote-getters in the mayoral category include former at-large candidate Cyndy Hayworth, former Councilman Mike Barber, activist Ed Whitfield, at-large candidate Wayne Abraham, former congressional candidate Teresa Sue Bratton, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Mayor Keith Holliday, Bennett College President Julianne Malveaux, former Councilwoman Goldie Wells and Rhinoceros Times Editor John Hammer.
Hammer also won eight votes in the at-large race. District representatives and candidates, including Mary Rakestraw, Jim Kee, Trudy Wade, Dianne Bellamy-Small, Nancy Hoffmann, Bradley Hunt and Zack Matheny, polled at the top of the write-in list for the at-large category. Others who received at-large write-in recognition include farmers market supporter David Brantley Craft, former blogger Ben Holder, District 1 candidate Donnell Hardy, presidential candidate Herman Cain, Triad Business Journal publisher Doug Copeland and Guilford County Elections Director George Gilbert.
A total of 82 write-in votes was cast in District 5 — the most in any district. In addition to Wilkins, other names on the list include former at-large candidate Sal Leone, with four votes, District 2 candidate C. Bradley Hunt, Deep Roots Market General Manager Joel Landau, former District 5 Councilwoman Sandy Carmandy [SIC], former Mayor Jim Melvin, pastor Julie Peeples and News & Record Editor John Robinson.
District 3 attracted 46 write in votes, the second largest district tally. Hayworth, Rakestraw and Wade each earned two write-in votes. Other names include community organizer Wesley Morris and Action Greensboro Director of Projects Cecelia Thompson.
Perennial presidential candidate Ron Paul seemed to pop up in virtually every category. Others who received votes, whose eligibility to serve is questionable, include Betty Boop, Need Better Choices, Obama, Mickey Mouse (three votes), Tupac Shakur, Donald Duck (two votes), Jimmy Buffett, George Bush, Bill Clinton, Trash Collector, Hal Jordan, Open Landfill, Chicken Little, A None Lying Politician and Anybody who is Not in office.