Whitley, Bramlett and Hunt emerge victorious for seats on Albemarle City Council

Published 11:53 pm Tuesday, November 8, 2022

In the three races for seats on the Albemarle City Council, an incumbent won reelection while a former councilman and former Albemarle police officer also emerged victorious.

District 4 Councilman Chris Whitley, who retired from Wells Fargo Bank in 2016 after 38 years in banking, won a third term on the Albemarle City Council by defeating David Morgan, a retired car dealer and former county commissioner. He received 56 percent of the vote (718) to Morgan’s 43 percent (556) in unofficial results from the Stanly County Board of Elections.

Whitley had the advantage in both Election Day votes (+59) and in-person early voting (+111), which was more than enough to blunt Morgan’s slight absentee by-mail advantage (+8).

“It’s very humbling that so many people do trust you to serve in the community and it makes you really want to try to do a good job,”¬†said Whitley, who has been on council since 2013. “It gives you encouragement that you’re doing something right.”

Going forward, Whitley is excited to see the downtown area continue to grow, especially with a new brewery opening soon behind city hall and the old Albemarle Hotel being turned into luxury apartment units.

“That’s pretty exciting to see some of the older buildings getting renovated and becoming economically viable,” he said.

Whitley is also looking forward to the completion of the 287-acre Albemarle Business Center, which can hopefully bring more companies into the city and generate thousands of new jobs.

In a Tuesday night Facebook post shortly after the final results, Morgan congratulated Whitley on the victory, writing he will “continue to do all I can for our community.”

Chris Bramlett, who was previously elected to an at-large seat on the council in 2015, won his second term Tuesday night, as he defeated challengers Scott Hopkins and Tim “TJ” Morgan. Bramlett won with 37 percent of the vote (1,521) compared with 33 percent for Hopkins (1,380) and 29 percent for Morgan (1,204).

Though Hopkins had a slim 15-vote edge in Election Day votes, Bramlett won by outpacing his rivals in both one-stop early voting  (+141) and absentee by-mail (+13).

The owner of Starnes Bramlett Jewelers in downtown Albemarle lost an extremely close election in 2020 and was not sure what the outcome would be for this one.

“I need to thank the people of Albemarle for having confidence in me and what I can do for the city,” he said, adding he will do everything in his power to make the city a better place.

As a councilman, his priorities will be ensuring Albemarle has a good economic development plan and one that is proactive as opposed to reactive.

“We need to seek out the kind of business and industry we want for our city and we need to go out and get it,” he said.

As a Trustee Emeritus of Pfeiffer University, Bramlett wants the city to continue to enhance its relationship with the college, especially Pfeiffer’s Center for Health Sciences facility in downtown Albemarle.

David Hunt, who had a 30-year career in law enforcement including 25 with the Albemarle Police Department, secured the seat for District 2, defeating Devron Furr and Tanner Denton. He received 40 percent of the vote (358) compared with 34 percent for Devron Furr (301) and 25 percent for Tanner Denton (220).

Hunt actually trailed Furr, who is the principal of Locust Elementary, by slight margins in Election Day (-8 votes) and absentee by-mail voting (-4) but took home the victory by receiving 69 more early in-person votes.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to again serve the citizens of Albemarle after retiring from the police department,” he said, noting he sees his result as an opportunity “to be part of the growth and good things that are happening in the city.”

His priorities once he takes office include focusing on sufficient infrastructure for future growth and making sure the city grows at a sustainable rate.

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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