Durham, North Carolina, 2021 municipal election results


Elaine o'neal

Elaine o’neal

The results on early election night in Durham mirror the October primary, with the closest race in Ward 3 where the two candidates face off for the first time.

Elaine O’Neal is set to become the city’s first black female mayor. His challenger, city council member Javiera Caballero, has suspended his campaign after finishing far second last month. His name stuck on the ballot.

O’Neal, a former judge and acting dean of NC Central University Law School, has so far received 9,654 votes. Caballero, the city’s first Latina council member, has 1,460 votes.

In constituency races 1 and 2, incumbents DeDreana Freeman and Mark-Anthony Middleton are expected to retain their board seats after finishing far ahead in the primary.

In the first results, Freeman has 8,268 votes and his opponent, Marion T. Johnson, 2,763 votes.

Freeman and Johnson have different views on public safety, a key issue for many voters. Freeman supported hiring more police and other measures. Johnson emphasized alternatives to policing.

In Ward 2, Middleton, who in addition to supporting more police officers advocated for gunshot detection technology, currently has 9,952 votes, ahead of his opponent, Sylvester Williams, who has 911 votes.

AJ Williams and Leonardo Williams are competing for the Ward 3 seat after Pierce Freelon, nominated to fill a vacancy last year, chose not to run for office. As they were the only two candidates, they automatically proceeded to the general election.

They split the key mentions. The Durham Committee on Black Affairs and the Friends of Durham supported Leonardo Williams, restaurant owner and former teacher. The Durham People’s Alliance PAC and the Durham Association of Educators supported AJ Williams, a community organizer.

Leonardo Williams has 6,084 votes against 4,762 votes for AJ Williams in the first results.


Elaine O’Neal, 86%

Javiera Caballero, 13%


â–ª DeDreana Freeman *, 74%

â–ª Marion T. Johnson, 13%



â–ª Mark-Anthony Middleton *, 91%

â–ª Sylvester Williams, 8%


Ward 3

Leonardo Williams, 56%

AJ Williams, 43%

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