Nine Candidates Competing To Become Raleigh's Next Mayor
Posted September 28, 1999 7:00 a.m. EDT
RALEIGH — Election day is Oct. 5, andRaleigh's mayoral candidates are making every effort to distinguish themselves from the pack.
With incumbent Mayor Tom Fetzer not running, nine candidates are competing for the top seat.
The seven-member Raleigh City Council makes decisions that affect the whole city. The mayor has only one vote but can, and often does, sway decisions.
"The strength of this position is the occupant's ability to articulate and to persuade and to mold public opinion around the vision that you bring to the role of governing the city," said Fetzer.
Two candidates, Paul Coble and Stephanie Fanjul are sitting council members. Thomas Allen and David Card have not served in office, but Allen has run for a council seat in the past.
Charles Meeker is a former council member and has run for mayor in the past. So has Venita Peyton.
Carolyn Grant, Mitchell Hazouri and Steve Lee are business people seeking political office for the first time.
A lot of money is being spent by several candidates especially on television.
"I'm not offended nor concerned by increasing amounts of money being spent to get people's attention on the mayoral race," said Fetzer.
Hot button issues are coming to grips with Raleigh's increasing traffic and dealing with the negatives of taxes and fast growth.
"None of the candidates have said 'Let's just shut the doors and not let anybody else in.' But, they argue about how we should go about that growth," said Dr. Andy Taylor, political science professor.
Some contend Raleigh should have a full-time mayor, but is now the time?
"If we want to open the pool of candidates, it makes sense to make it full time. But, you know the city seems to be doing OK without one at the moment," said Taylor.
Voters will decide Oct. 5 which candidates will compete in a likely runoff in November.