For six months, Robert Williams Jr. sought a new election in the tiny city of Sharpsburg, where he lost the mayor of 2017 with only three votes.
His Beef: Dozens of voters were turned away from elections in a majority black district where only 12 ballots were printed.
Williams was brought to salvation on Tuesday night. The voters elected him to lead the city of 2,000 inhabitants, according to unofficial results.
This time, in a Rematch ruled by a Wake County judge, Williams defeated incumbent mayor Randy Weaver with seven votes.
But his victory changed quickly sour. Shortly after the polling stations closed, Williams was arrested for falling near Town Hall shortly before his car crashed. Other allegations include wearing a hidden weapon and resisting an officer.
Williams, arriving home Wednesday after being released from the Nash County Detention Center, made calls to his lawyer and hung up the phone. He would not call the lawyer on a follow-up call.
No details of the circumstances surrounding the arrest were reported by the Sharpsburg police. But WNCN reported that the police responded to a resident complaint that almost crashed Williams. After following him, he ran off the curb, police said.
His blood alcohol content was 0.1
Sharpsburg is located about 55 miles east of Raleigh and is south of Rocky Mount. It is divided into three counties: Nash, Edgecombe and Wilson.
Williams served in the army during the Gulf War and worked as a police officer at Rocky Mount. His Facebook page shows him as a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Brotherhood.
He is a former city council and was previously Mayor of Sharpsburg. He was appointed mayor in 2011 after the Rocky Mount Telegram, but lost to Weaver in 2013.
Since the 2017 elections, Williams has won praise for his fight against electorate alienation. He posted his personal phone number on his Facebook page and offered to vote for everyone.
"A voteless people are a hopeless people!" he wrote.
The level of fallout over Williams' arrest and June court date remains unclear. The vote will be official next week.
But the case of the elected mayor already attracts mixed reactions in the city
"I'm sorry the city chose a drunk to be the next mayor," said Weaver an interview.
He received 162 votes to Williams' # 169 votes.
"They got what they chose," said Weaver. "I'm going back to retirement."
But the followers turned bitterly to Weaver's Facebook page.
"I'm sorry, last night," wrote a woman. You know, they never had a black man who led Sharpsburg.
The city had recently submitted its district-level elections by an Act of the General Assembly and the residents, who were accustomed to choosing Town Hall, found themselves to be 20 minutes drive to Wilson County polls Voters charged.
Following the 2017 elections, resident Linda Pitt wrote an affidavit stating that she had just made that kind of voyage, only to find out at polls that ballots were all used up, according to the Scalawag journal, who wrote about the election in March story: "A rare victory over the electoral withdrawal of voters in North Carolina."
The district election officials later cited an inaccurate report and supported Williams' call for a new election.
The appeal received support from the Southern Coalition for Social Justice in Durham, after Judge Paul Ridgeway of the Wake County Superior Court voted to elect Jaclyn Maffetore, coalition official, Scalawag magazine said, "Sharpsburg is a really good example of what happens if the polling station is not accessible, they have no transport.
Williams case is scheduled for June 5 in the Nashville District Court.