Local Politics

Meeker faces opposition for Raleigh mayor

Posted July 9, 2009

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— Mayor Charles Meeker on Thursday officially entered the race to seek a fifth two-year term as Raleigh's top official, and for the first time in a while, he will have competition.

Raleigh native Mark Enloe, a data administrator and political neophyte, also filed for the mayoral race, saying the city needs new leadership after eight years under Meeker.

Mark Enloe, Raleigh mayoral candidate Challenger says Raleigh needs new ideas

"It's too long. We need some fresh ideas," Enloe said. "Some of what Mayor Meeker has done has been on the right track with parks and recreation (and) transportation. He says he's for these things, but we're just not making these things happen. I want to bring a new energy and make it happen."

Meeker said in April that he would seek re-election to help lead Raleigh out of the recession. He said his experience in leading the city through the downturn that followed the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks could be beneficial to helping Raleigh's economy recover once again.

Two other goals he had laid out for another term are planning and funding a regional transit system and establishing the Dorothea Dix Hospital campus as a destination park within the city.

"Now is a hard time for the city. I don't feel good leaving right now. There very important things top accomplish," he said.

As mayor, the 58-year-old has been a strong advocate for downtown redevelopment and environmental issues.

During his tenure, Raleigh opened a new downtown convention center, reopened Fayetteville Street to traffic and underwent a boom in downtown condominium development.

He backed stiff water restrictions during the 2007-08 drought as Falls Lake dried up, and he has championed the city's effort to adopt energy-efficient lighting and hybrid vehicles. He also pushed for higher impact fees from developers to help pay for Raleigh's growth and for limiting the size of homes built in the city's older neighborhoods.

Defeating a popular incumbent like Meeker will be a difficult task for Enloe, according to political strategist Scott Falmlen.

"I don't think anyone is untouchable, but I think the mayor is in an enviable position," Falmlen said. "He has provided strong leadership for the city of Raleigh. The city has made great progress under his leadership."

Many observers have said City Councilman Philip Isley would present the strongest challenge for Meeker. Isley declined to comment Thursday on his plans for this fall's election.

Meeker said he's ready for anything.

"I really don't know what will happen. The citizens pick the mayor," he said.

31 Comments

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  • kenr Jul 17, 2009

    Mark Enloe is clearly a better choice than Meeker.

  • ncwebguy Jul 13, 2009

    Raleigh is a lot better off than it was eight years ago, and a lot of that has to do with Mayor Meeker.

    Wasting taxpayer dollars? Meeker *stopped* the efforts of former mayor Paul Coble (now on the Wake County BoT) to give North Hills a parking deck with taxpayer's dollars. *That* would have been a waste because they are building it themselves right now. The BoT voted for the give away.

    Fayetville Street, the Convention Center, etc. are investments in the future of the city. The city benefits from low taxes because it has attracted people to move here, which helps spread the costs out.

    I'm glad I live in Raleigh, and I'm glad the "can't do"ers don't.

  • james27613 Jul 10, 2009

    Chuck will not get elected for another term,
    remember he was against the Raleigh Convention Center!

    If the city built it when it was originally proposed,
    Raleigh could have saved millions of dollars,
    instead the project was over the budget due to high costs of
    steel, concrete, copper wire and pipe and labor.

  • streetfightinman Jul 10, 2009

    Some dumb people will still vote meeker in remember, meeker voted himself a 4% raise this year and city manager 4.5%
    time for him to walk down fayetteville st. for the last time,
    wasting taxpayers money is what he was best at.

  • Southern Girl Jul 9, 2009

    Meeker needs to go. Too many terms, too long, and a do-nothing Mayor.

    Hopefully, he would not run again, but looks like this isn't going to happen.

    Legacy? Giving 10% raise to Manager during the time that school teachers, state employees, etc. are either getting a cut or getting laid off all together.

    Meeker could have stopped this, but he did not. He needs to go. Raleigh cannot afford him.

  • geosol Jul 9, 2009

    Hey, why don't the far righties recruit Sarah Palin to run here??!!?!

    That would be hysterical!!

    Go Sarah!!!

  • foetine Jul 9, 2009

    Waybe Taylor needs to run

  • 5Rs Jul 9, 2009

    Everyolne should be in opposition to Meeker. He has saddled us with a money sink in the Convention Center, he has supported the wasteful 'roundabouts' on Hillsborough St, he has knuckled under to every ridiculous claim about bias in hiring, the list goes on and on. someone else is needed to put a little rationality into the city functions.

  • colliedave Jul 9, 2009

    Everyone always complains about him but noone runs against him. Why don't some of you asking for someone else to run step up to the plate a try it?

    I would but I would lose my disability income if I won. Also, I am uglier than sin and meaner than a rattlesnake.

  • rhondajohnson1983 Jul 9, 2009

    With pleasure I will vote for Mark Enloe!!!!

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