Local Politics

Raleigh mayor won't seek sixth term

Posted April 26, 2011

— Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker announced Tuesday that he won't seek a sixth term, saying that it's time for him to pass the baton to a new city leader with new energy and vision.

Who that new leader could be is yet to be determined, but City Councilwoman Nancy McFarlane has scheduled a Wednesday morning news conference to discuss the mayoral race.

The election will be held Oct. 11, 2011.

Meeker said he won't run for any other public office. Instead, he plans to work full-time at the law firm Parker, Poe, Adams & Bernstein, where he is a partner.

First elected mayor in 2001, he is serving his fifth two-year term. He told reporters Tuesday that he considered not running in the 2009 election.

"Two years ago was not the right time. This country's economy was in collapse, the banks broke, the car companies were bankrupt, our unemployment rate doubled in that time and city revenues were of course declining. So that didn't seem the right time," Meeker said.

Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker Raleigh mayor won't seek re-election

In April 2009, he said he decided to run for his fifth term for three main reasons:

  • To take advantage of future economic recovery to lead the city out of the recession.
  • To plan and fund a regional transit system.
  • To establish the Dix Hill campus as a destination park. 

Meeker teared up Tuesday while talking about knocking down the old convention center and opening up Fayetteville Street to traffic in 2006. He said he regrets that the proposed public safety center downtown has stalled over funding concerns.

"(This is) not in any way a farewell or goodbye, because my wife and I will continue to live, we hope, for years and years to come, maybe decades," he said.

He is married to Anne McLaurin, who is a member of the Wake County Board of Education.

Meeker's five terms tie him with the late Avery Upchurch as one of Raleigh’s longest-serving mayors. Upchurch served the city from 1983 to 1993.


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  • LadyPrime Apr 27, 2011

    He'd fit right in that disaster we call "California". Very progressive. And broke.-RKBA

    Sadly that is the case especially in this terrible time with the economy. Many ideas with sustainability and alternative power sourcing are way too expensive to implement when people are losing their jobs left and right. The focus should not be so much on the environment as it should be about job preservation and getting rid of wasteful spending internally within the City itself. If you stop the politics long enough, maybe issues will finally be dealt with...but I'm using logic again.

  • aspenstreet1717 Apr 26, 2011

    Maybe he can take the 'Randy Parton' convention center with him.

  • Ohprah Apr 26, 2011

    Can we take the cats off the leash now?

  • freddie cadetti 72 Apr 26, 2011

    Meeker had the unique ability to press forward with a liberal agenda without much opposition. It could have been because it's a part time job, or not a real power position. Although I did not agree with much he proposed, he was in fact able to move the City along. Your turn, Big John Odom.

  • kilgoretrout99 Apr 26, 2011

    Thank you for your service, you've done an outstanding job Mayor Meeker! From bars on the windows, to a downtown we all can enjoy and be proud of, you deserve the credit for making Raleigh a city that people can respect, are proud to live in and strive to move into. Now, we must be careful not to regress, and go back to the old republican ways, where only a few reap the benefits and rest pay and only blight grows on streets of our wonderful city.

  • rrzx-14 Apr 26, 2011


  • WRALwontdeletemyaccount Apr 26, 2011

    "could you lower the water rates for the city back to their normal levels before the drought? "

    "Democrat...lower rates" ....in the same sentence?

  • WRALwontdeletemyaccount Apr 26, 2011

    "His more liberal mindset with sustainabililty and with the environment are too west coast minded "


    He'd fit right in that disaster we call "California".

    Very progressive

    And broke.

  • Vietnam Vet Apr 26, 2011

    Looks to me like he's still got a few items still remaining on his mayoral "bucket list". Time to get out 'cause he figures he won't git 'er done.

  • royalnc Apr 26, 2011

    "We are better off now than we were 10 years ago as a city and even if you don't like to admit it, Meeker had a lot to do with it" - dwntwnboy

    "I agree with that assessment. Thanks for your efforts, Mr. Meeker. Best of luck in the future! Hope to see you around downtown Raleigh, now and then."

    And I'll third that statement. Meeker will go down in history as one of the best mayors that Raleigh has ever had.