SURF CITY, N.C. (WECT) - Sitting City Councilman Jeremy Shugarts fell short in his challenge against incumbent Mayor Doug Medlin in this year’s municipal race for Surf City Mayor. Both are non-partisan candidates.
Medlin came out on top, bringing in 664 votes to Shugarts’ 321.
“I feel like the best thing is that the citizens are the ones that expressed their opinions and the citizens are the ones who won tonight, and it was not us, but the citizens who won,” Medlin said.
2019 could go down as a record for voter turnout in Surf City. The chief elections judge at the Surf City Fire Department told WECT’s Anna Phillips it was the best turnout she’s seen in the past decade.
The race became hotly debated after a fake website emerged several months ago seemingly in support of electing Shugarts as Mayor. The content on “ElectJeremyShugarts.com" was disparaging. That website has since been taken down, and Mayor Medlin has denied any knowledge of who created it. In August, Mayor Medlin’s son refused to deny any involvement to Port City Daily.
Medlin has served on the town council for over thirty years.
Shugarts was elected to council in 2017. In August, he was indicted on six counts of elections violations after a woman claimed he used her address to file in that 2017 race.
Shugarts was not up for re-election as a councilman. He’ll continues to serve in that role for the next two years.
Medlin said, “He feels the same way I do, we will work together. You know, elections are something that you’re always... you might lose, you might win. But in his circumstance, he lost the election but he is still on the board. So we will still be working together and we will be working together with one new council person and then two other council persons who were there before.”