Political newcomer Brenda McNair on Tuesday upset incumbent Larry O. Wright Sr. for the District 7 seat on the Fayetteville City Council, according to unofficial returns.
McNair received 679 votes compared with Wright’s 656, according to unofficial results from the N.C. State Board of Elections.
Wright was first elected to the City Council in 2013.
This was the first time McNair had run for office. She ran on a platform of change and envisioned becoming more of an advocate for the people.
Wright and McNair are both ordained ministers. Wright is head of Heal the Land Outreach Ministries. McNair owns several businesses.
Wright said he doesn't feel bad about losing per se, because, “when one door closes, one door opens.”
“We congratulate the winners and hope they are successful in their endeavors on City Council and their efforts to help move the city forward,” Wright said.
Wright said he plans to continue to serve the community.
“That was my goal from the very beginning of my tenure was to make Fayetteville a better place,’’ he said. “We are still going to work with our community. That's what we did before we became a city councilman and that’s what we will continue to do as a pastor and a minister in outreach.”
“We will look for opportunities to serve,” he said.
McNair said she faced roadblocks from the mayor and some members of the council who supported Wright. But she said many residents came out to say they were ready for a change.
“There was so much support from people coming out of nowhere that I have never heard of before,’’ she said. “People reached out to me and volunteered to help.”
McNair said she couldn’t have done it without that support.
“I want to thank God because this was really tough for me,’’ McNair said. “It was my first time running and it couldn’t have been done without him. I want to thank my team and the citizens for coming out and voting for me and believing in me.''
She said she’s “ready to take this city to the next level.’’