Local Politics

Meeker handily wins fifth term as Raleigh mayor

Posted October 6, 2009

— Mayor Charles Meeker easily topped three political newcomers Tuesday to win his fifth two-year term leading Raleigh.

Meeker had 62 percent of the vote in unofficial results. Larry Hudson was second with 27 percent, followed by Mark Enloe with 7 percent and Gregg Kunz with 3 percent.

Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker Meeker to focus on local economic recovery

During his eight years as mayor, Meeker has helped revitalize downtown and build a new convention center. He also touts the expansion of city greenways as an accomplishment.

"I hadn't planned on serving this long. Certainly, five terms is a lot," Meeker said late Tuesday. "I look forward to this last term being the most productive, if we can."

He said during the recent campaign that he wanted to focus on leading Raleigh out of the nationwide recession by pursuing federal economic stimulus money for local projects.

"We're trying to get all the stimulus money we can from the federal government and spend that on important projects. Likewise, we need to keep our local capital projects moving," he said. "We were one of the last ones in (the recession); we need to be one of the first ones out."

Meeker said he also is looking at Raleigh's future, targeting projects like turning the Dorothea Dix Hospital campus south of downtown into a regional park and getting a transit system for the Triangle area running.

Meeker was unopposed two years ago, but Enloe, a database administrator, Hudson, an employment recruiter, and Kunz, a business executive and entrepreneur, said they felt Raleigh could do better with new leadership.

Kunz said he would continue working to improve the city, noting he plans to start a business incubation program next week.

Voter Greg Tart, who moved back to Raleigh two years ago after living elsewhere for 15 years, said Meeker was the clear choice to continue Raleigh's growth.

"Seeing where Raleigh is now, it's changed a lot in the 15 years since I've been away. Obviously, he's got something going in the right direction," Tart said.

In City Council races, former Councilman John Odom reclaimed his District B seat, while incumbents swept most other races.

Council members Mary-Ann Baldwin and Russ Stephenson each claimed at least a third of the votes for the two at-large seats on the council. Councilwoman Nancy McFarlane ran unopposed in District A, Councilman James West won more than 85 percent of the vote in District C and Councilman Thomas Crowder won about two-thirds of the votes in District D.

Odom upended Councilman Rodger Koopman by a 59 to 41 percent margin in unofficial results. In District E, where Councilman Philip Isley chose not to seek re-election, Bonner Gaylord took three-fourths of the votes to defeat Waheed Haq.

"We've got a great team here," Stephenson said. "It's fantastic working with Charles and the council for the next two years. There's so much ahead, that will be really fantastic."

West said the City Council needs to focus on economic development, improving safety in some local neighborhoods and strengthening programs for youth and families.

"Charles and I have worked hand in hand. He has a lot of ability," West said.


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  • Professor Oct 7, 2009


  • canes017 Oct 7, 2009

    "people of raleigh..i really hope not to hear any negative things about him now...you had a chance to get rid of him and didn't...now stop your crying."

    Do the people making comments like this HONESTLY believe that the people in this discussion didn't vote?! Seriously, do you think we all sat at home, and the minute polls closed we all started complaining? I dont mind statements like these, but come on, they don't apply to the people here who went out and tried to vote mayor geeker out... 8 years and there have been virtually no significant improvements to this city other than communist water restrictions, no effort to ADD reservoirs to solve our water problems, and some ungodly fixation on outlawing garbage disposals that even the likes of rush limbaugh and jon stewart made fun of on their national radio and tv shows.

  • MakoII Oct 7, 2009


    I see you're speechless.

    Well here's some facts for you.

    There are roughly 195 countries in the world. Nearly 170 are Democracies and Republics ( a form of Democracy )

    And as far as I can tell, they're not changing their form of government any time soon.

    Still waiting for a "failure".

    We know Monarchies and Dictatorships fail. We know Totolinarianisms and Communisms can fail (although China is still going 60 years strong, an exception)

    Unless you propose an alternative, Democracy is the longest serving successful form of government humans have ever known.

    And if IT fails, then NO form of government made by man has "succeeded" by your standards.

  • grenlyn1 Oct 7, 2009

    Well, here's your sign!!!

  • MakoII Oct 7, 2009


    That statement is just madness.

    Why don't you back up your statement with some facts.

    Name the "democracies" that "failed" just as you assert?

    And also, define "failure" so we're clear in understanding why you chose them.

    Heck, JUST FIND ONE.

    This should help you find one:

  • MakoII Oct 7, 2009

    I don't have a problem with Meeker.

    People in town like him, consistently, so they're entitle to have the person they like.

    I DO think that Mayor Meeker, who got his nice little Boylan Heights house for sub 30k and is now paying out the nose in taxes is trying to raise revenue from out of towners with restaruant taxes to pay for sports facilities and the police to harass people and get them on bureaucratical lapses, etc.

    But unfortunately for Raleigites, there IS competition. Better prices, better parking, less harassment, in EVERY other local town outside Raleigh.

    If Raleigh wants a robust downtown, it better start changing it's attitude and WELCOME not HARASS outsiders.

    It's their choice. Either way I don't care. I've got other choices.

  • dcatz Oct 7, 2009

    This is why democracy is a failed experiment.

    To quote :
    A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years.

    Great nations rise and fall. The people go from b*ndage to spiritual truth, to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to b*ndage.

  • MakoII Oct 7, 2009

    Lone Voice in the Wilderness,

    You completely miss the point.

    I don't have to put up with JACK.

    I don't MISS going to Raleigh businesses. THEY miss my money!

    If they want my money back, they'll call off their hounds, and like other towns, NOT harass shoppers.

    Does Apex or Cary make me pay for their sports through restaurant taxes? Nope.

    Do their police cruise around checking my plates and stopping me for a crack in the light cover? Or other bureaucratical slips? Like I said, I BEAT those raps. I paid nada. But the harassment makes me go elsewhere.

    I'm not complaining about Raleigh because I want to eat or shop there. I'm letting people know why I DON'T shop there.

    It's up to you to decide if you want me as a consumer.

    Other towns are more shopper and eater friendly. Raleigh is not.

    Their choice.

  • bmg379 Oct 7, 2009

    can we get Koopman and the other canidates out to take their streetcorner signs down now?

  • Lone Voice in the Wilderness Oct 7, 2009

    You can't be a county resident and expect to vote for a city mayor. That's not the way it works.

    And the flip side, you don't have to pay for city taxes and fees.

    Can't always have your cake & eat it too.