Local News

Durham Mayoral Candidates Square Off in NAACP Forum

Posted October 30, 2007 1:22 a.m. EDT
Updated October 30, 2007 5:45 a.m. EDT

— Durham voters will head to the polls next week to cast their ballot for mayor. Those vying for the job faced off in a forum Monday night.

Incumbent Mayor Bill Bell went head-to-head against his opponents City Councilman Thomas Stith and write-in candidate Minister Paul Scott.

“I think we need to have leadership that doesn't run away from the problem,” Stith said.

The race between Bell and Stith has been heated from the start, with Stith calling Bell soft on crime.

“I think the biggest myth is that Durham is unsafe as a city and I think it doesn't help when you have leaders doing programming on TV telling people that it's unsafe to sit on their porches for political gain," Bell said.

The candidates fielded questions about everything from immigration to jobs.

"On Nov. 6, I say vote for change. Vote to move our city forward. We can be better and we will be better with new, strong leadership," Stith said.

Bell said it will take more than a just a strong leader to turn Durham around.

"When you point your finger this way, you look that way also and you ask truthfully, what are you doing with this issue of gangs in this community, because it's a community,” he said.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) hosted the forum.