An incumbent mayor and two unopposed commissioner candidates secured quick victories Tuesday night in the town’s election.
Mayor Tom Stevens, an artist and consultant, overcame his first challenge in 12 years to secure a seventh two-year term. Stevens had 848 votes to 86 votes for his opponent, travel counselor Cindy Talisman, with all four Hillsborough precincts counted.
Stevens had touted several town achievements during his time in office, including the opening of Riverwalk and building parks, pushing forward with a long-term development plan, and maintaining a 40 percent commercial tax base – the largest in Orange County.
Talisman has never held political office but was a candidate for town commissioner in 2015. Both candidates cited traffic, development and economic vitality as important campaign issues.
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The election results affirm that Hillsborough is on the right track, Stevens said in a telephone interview.
“I’m here with Commissioner (Kathleen) Ferguson and Commissioner (Jennifer) Weaver, and I think we have a good team in Hillsborough,” he said. “Things aren’t necessarily perfect, but we are headed in the right direction. This is a community that people who live here love, and people who visit here, they love it. There’s so many people who contribute to making Hillsborough such a wonderful place.”
Hillsborough voters also elected Weaver and Ferguson to second terms on the town’s Board of Commissioners. The women, first elected in 2013, had 50.31 percent and 47.89 percent of the vote, respectively.
They said during the campaign that their focus will be on continuing the work to preserve Hillsborough’s quality of life, affordability and sustainability. The town could see its population of over 6,500 people explode in the next decade, as new businesses and subdivisions, including Collins Ridge and Waterstone, are built.
Tom Stevens* ... 90.60%
Cindy Talisman ... 9.19%
Board of Commissioners (2 seats)
Kathleen Ferguson* ... 47.89%
Jennifer Weaver* ... 50.31%
4 of 4 precincts reporting