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Second chance for change in Pittsboro 

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On March 18, voters in Pittsboro will conduct a do-over of one contest from last November's election.

The Independent strongly endorses candidate Michele Berger, an associate professor at UNC with diverse professional and civic experience and a strong grasp of the issues, with a particular focus on solving Pittsboro's affordable housing shortage.

Berger finished six votes behind Hugh Harrington in election results that returned two incumbents to office. Complaints of voting irregularities surfaced immediately, and after multiple hearings, the N.C. State Board of Elections ordered a new election for the third of the three contested town board seats.

Berger's progressive voice is sorely needed on the five-member board, which faces enormous challenges of upgrading its antiquated public water system and coping with the pressures of exponential growth in its town of 2,500. Berger, who is African American, would expand the board's diversity in both race and gender, as well as political ideology.

Harrington, a political newcomer, would add a vote to a majority on the board whose hallmark, so far, has been to preserve the status quo rather than adapt to changing times.

As Berger said in her Independent questionnaire: "We have an opportunity to break through the stagnation and negativity that has defined much of Pittsboro politics for the last three decades."

One-stop voting is open until Saturday, March 15, at the Chatham Board of Elections, 984 Thompson St. Election Day is Tuesday, March 18. More info: www.chathamnc.org, 545-8500.

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