NEWS

Mike Sobol headed back to office after win in Black Mountain mayoral race

Karrigan Monk
Black Mountain News
Mayoral candidate Mike Sobol speaks to the crowd at the Sept. 21 candidate forum.

Former Black Mountain mayor Mike Sobol is headed back to the office following his defeat of incumbent Larry Harris on Nov. 8. Sobol has received 61.1% of the vote with 100% of precincts reporting.

The results are unofficial until the Buncombe County Board of Elections processes all absentee ballots and does a final canvass, with those meetings held Nov. 18.

"I feel vindicated from back where I didn't get elected before," Sobol said. "The main thing is I feel good about my victory, and the margin of my victory, goes ahead and reflects on what the people want. They want some change in city hall."

Sobol previously served as mayor from 2013-17 after serving as what was then known as a town alderman from 2003 until he was elected mayor the first time. He ran for reelection in 2017, losing to Don Collins. Harris was appointed mayor after the retirement of Collins in 2020.

Harris sent an email to Sobol and Black Mountain News on Nov. 9 congratulating Sobol on his win.

"Your margin of victory is indicative of a perceived need for change," Harris wrote. "I wish you the best in your efforts to use your mandate for the good of the town."

Sobol ran for a seat on the then Board of Alderman in 2020, and despite dropping out of the race before Election Day, received 5% of the vote.

He said he is looking forward to working with Town Council and said it is no longer just "Mike Sobol for Mayor," but "Team Black Mountain."

"I'm just pleased and looking forward to getting started," Sobol said. "We've got a lot of issues, but I think that as we all work together, honest people can disagree. We're going to have disagreements, but the more dialogue we have, the more we consider the issues and the long-range plan, the better off the town will be."

Town council candidate Alice Berry speaks to the crowd at the Sept. 21 candidate forum.

Five candidates were vying for two seats on Town Council. Alice Berry will take one of those seats with 29.9% of the vote. Incumbent Bill Christy was second with just less than 21% of the vote, but only 33 votes separated him from challenger Rick Earley.