Local News

Novice Mayor Eager For Challenge Of Guiding 'Fayettenam'

Posted November 17, 2001 7:18 a.m. EST

— When results were tallied on Election Day, Marshall Pitts Junior burst into victory lap around a crowded room of friends and supporters. He ended with a fist-pumping leap through the air.

The youthful-looking lawyer had just been elected the first black mayor of one of North Carolina's largest cities. Victory parties and champagne were ahead.

He must also deal with racial tension, economic problems and ``Fayettenam's'' long-standing image as a grubby garrison town when he takes office December Third.

He must also work with businesses dependent on two military bases -- the Army's Fort Bragg and Pope Air Force Base -- as the city's civilian population digs in for a war that could drag on.

If large numbers are deployed, as they were in the Gulf War a decade ago, the economic drain could be fatal for some businesses and spell trouble for local government.