Pinehurst has elected two newcomers to the Village Council, according to unofficial but complete returns from the polls Tuesday night.
Jeff Morgan led the voting in four of Pinehurst’s five voting precincts and early voting, with a total of 2,465 votes. Patrick Pizzella followed with 2,301. Together, Morgan and Pizzella netted 62 percent of votes cast in Pinehurst.
Once the results are certified, they will be seated in December and begin four-year terms in the seats currently held by Kevin Drum and Judy Davis.
Drum, the sole incumbent in the race, received 1,757 votes, trailed by Emily Stack with 1,135. Davis did not run for a second term.
The new council will lead Pinehurst through the next phase of implementing its 2019 comprehensive land use plan and help set development guidelines for the Rattlesnake Trail and N.C. 5 corridors. It will also tackle what’s shaping up to be a busy five-year plan for construction that involves a third fire station, public works relocation and library expansion.
Morgan, an Asheboro native, is a retired Army colonel and orthopedic surgeon. He’s currently chief of staff of the Fayetteville VA Coastal Healthcare System, which covers 19 counties in North Carolina.
During his campaign, he laid out a pragmatic approach to working through Pinehurst’s development quandaries and emphasizing growth that’s consistent with the village’s existing economic drivers.
“I feel very proud that the citizens of Pinehurst have elected me. The work starts now and I will do my best to represent the citizens of Pinehurst,” Morgan said.
“A lot of it is the growth issues that we talked about, and traffic, and making sure that we’re addressing infrastructure. Pinehurst has a significant problem right now and that's that we have outgrown our infrastructure and we need to be more proactive in ensuring we address that in the future.”
Pizzella was first drawn into those debates back in 2016, when he got involved with the campaign to oppose the Greens at Arboretum apartment complex on McCaskill Road. Not long after that he was appointed deputy U.S. Secretary of Labor by President Donald Trump.
He’s now successfully been elected to office himself on his first try, after a 28-year career in federal government.
“As a first time candidate I’m elated at the showing of support and I look forward to joining the council,” said Pizzella.