Local News

Meeker, Odom In Inter-Office Race For Mayor

Posted August 1, 2003 7:15 a.m. EDT

— Raleigh's race for mayor finally took shape Friday.

The filing period is over, and only two candidates are left: incumbent Charles Meeker and Deputy Mayor John Odom.

Meanwhile, Cary mayor Glen Lang faces two opponents: Ernest McAlister and Julie Robinson.

Meeker has a commanding view of downtown Raleigh from the 14th story of his law office. It is a hands-on approach to shaping Raleigh's growth that makes him want to serve a second term.

Odom also wants the top job, saying it is time for a more conservative approach to growth and taxes.

Voters will have an easy time seeing a difference in the candidates.

"A mayor really ought to be out there," Meeker said, "be a champion to our city, promoting our city and making it a better place all the time. That kind of active style is what separates us."

Odom said it is time for him to be mayor because "I've been a role player for a long time.

"As conservatives, we always talk about about our taxes, low taxes," Odom said. "I think we've done that over the years."

The campaign to win the mayor's chair at City Hall usually attracts a bunch of wannabes. In the 2001 election, there were 10 candidates. In 1999, there were nine candidates.

This year's two candidates plan different campaign strategies for the Oct. 7 election. Meeker's campaign gets into full swing after Labor Day. Odom began his campaign began two months ago with yard signs and flyers.

In other filing news, the filing period ended with a rush of candidates for the Wake County Board of Education. Four candidates paid their $5 filing fee just before 12.

Two may not be eligible because they are too young. The Board of Elections will rule on the matter next week.