Cameron Runyan has won Columbia City Council’s at-large seat in Tuesday’s elections.
Runyan collected 4,856 votes, Robert Bolchoz had 2,780 and Joe Azar was a distant third with 627.
In District 3, Moe Baddourah, with 1,325 votes, and Daniel Coble, with 1,265 votes, will go head-to-head in a runoff April 17. Jenny Isgett got 1,005 votes.
Brian Newman, the incumbent, was the clear winner in the District 2 race.
Voter turnout was low all day. In the end, 8,417 city residents voted.
Polls workers earlier in the day said hundreds of people cast ballots at some precincts, but that voter numbers were far smaller than in previous city elections. Other polling places by mid-afternoon had yet to hit 100 voters.
By 2 p.m., 207 people had voted at Hand Middle School, Ward 12's polling place. At 1:30, about 190 people had cast ballots at Rosewood Elementary, in Ward 13. At 1:50 p.m., 121 people had voted at Logan School, in Ward 4. By 2:30 p.m., 213 had voted at A.C. Moore Elementary, in Ward 10.
But at 1:30, only 60 people had voted in the Hampton precinct, at South Kilbourne Elementary.
Black-majority precincts posted some of the lowest voter totals. Fewer than 60 people had voted by 1:15 p.m. in Ward 33, at M.L. King Park. By 12:30 p.m., 35 people had voted at Fairwold, at Pendergrass-Fairwold Elementary. And by 12:40 p.m., only 91 people had voted in the large Greenview precinct in north Columbia.
Near the Heathwood and Lake Katherine neighborhoods, two precincts were combined at Kilbourne Park Baptist Church. By 2:45 p.m., 103 people had voted in Ward 24, and 174 people in Ward 25.
On the city's south side, at Meadowfield Elementary, poll manager Nell Killoy said the election wasn’t on people’s radar the same way a mayoral, state or national election would be. By 3:35 p.m., 113 people had cast ballots.
At the Woodland Park precinct next door, turnout was slightly better, with 284 voters at 3:30 p.m. Poll manager Linda Allred said earlier in the day that she didn’t expect to see lines form out the door, but the precinct had seen steady traffic. The neighborhood is established, with a lot of longtime residents, she said, helping to bolster turnout. “This a good precinct,” she said.
Voter turnout in the nonpartisan election for three council members was expected to be low.
By 4:55 p.m. Monday, 335 people had voted absentee, compared with 1,617 who cast absentee ballots in the last nonmayoral race in 2008, according to the Richland County Elections and Voter Registration office.