Local Politics

Durham City Councilman Announces Mayoral Campaign

Posted July 10, 2007 11:05 a.m. EDT
Updated July 15, 2007 10:38 a.m. EDT

— Durham City Councilman Thomas Stith announced Tuesday that he plans to run for mayor.

Stith said current Durham Mayor Bill Bell has been ineffective in fighting the Bull City's rising crime rate. Stith said that if he were mayor, he would make sure the city had enough resources to wage an all-out assault on crime.

"We need a mayor who will make sure our neighborhoods are safe, who will make sure our families are protected," Stith said. "We need a leader who will work to pull together the community by focusing on the major issues of crime, operating an efficient and effective city government, jobs/economic development."

Stith said he would work to restore the public's confidence in city government.

"We must show that we can operate effectively and meet the needs of our citizens without costly budget overruns and missteps such as our yard-waste facility and the multimillion-dollar overrun of our downtown streetscape," he said. "This will take time, but it is something we must accomplish before we can be successful in changing the minds of our citizens and people who are looking at Durham for business and economic opportunities."

Stith has served on the city council for two terms. He stood as a Republican for lieutenant governor in 2004. Bell, who has not filed for re-election, declined to comment on Stith's candidacy.