Local Politics

Fields narrowed for mayor in Durham, Fayetteville

Posted October 10

Decision 2017 graphic

— City Councilman Steve Schewel and businessman and former Councilman Farad Ali will face off next month to become Durham mayor, while Fayetteville Mayor Nat Robertson will face Mayor Pro Tem Mitch Colvin in his re-election bid.

Eight-term Mayor Bill Bell didn't seek re-election, making the Nov. 7 race the first time Durham voters will choose a new mayor since 2001.

With more than half of precincts reporting, Schewel had captured 50 percent of the votes cast, while Ali had 30 percent, according to unofficial results.

Four other people ran in the primary: professor and musician Pierce Freelon, minister Rev. Sylvester Williams, small-business owner Shea Ramirez and retired police officer Tracy Drinker. Freelon had 16 percent of the vote, while the others' results were in the low single digits.

Combating poverty through providing more affordable housing and creating more jobs and lessening the disparity in growth between downtown and other parts of Durham were common issues in the campaign.

In Fayetteville, Colvin was the top vote-getter in the four-person primary, with 45 percent, according to unofficial results. Robertson finished with 32 percent.

City Councilman Kirk deViere finished with 22 percent, and social activist Quancidine Gribble came in a distant fourth.

Robertson said he wants to focus on downtown development and parks projects, while Colvin said he'd like to do more to market the skilled workforce in Fayetteville created by veterans getting out of the service.

Voter turnout was about 13 percent in Durham and 10 percent in Fayetteville.


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