Local Politics

Raleigh councilman losing battle with cancer

Posted September 2, 2014 1:44 p.m. EDT
Updated September 3, 2014 5:41 p.m. EDT

— Councilman Thomas Crowder told other members of Raleigh City Council on Tuesday that he has "exhausted all options for a cure" as he battles testicular cancer.

Crowder said he he will continue to serve as long as his health allows, and he asked Mayor Nancy McFarlane to appoint his wife, Kay, to serve out the remainder of his term of office should he have to step down. His term ends in December 2015.

In a voice choked with emotion, Councilman John Odom made a motion to name Crowder the sole mayor pro tem – the two men currently share the title – and the council voted unanimously in favor of the plan.

Councilman Russ Stephenson called Crowder's announcement a "gut check" for everyone, adding that Crowder is a fighter and Stephenson thought he would beat cancer.

"I'm not giving up yet," Crowder responded.

Crowder has served on the City Council since 2003, and he helped lead efforts to revitalize downtown.

"It has been one of my most humbling and rewarding life experiences," he said of his time on the council. "Citizens of District D in Raleigh, thank you for allowing me the privilege to serve you."

The rest of the council and those attending the council meeting gave him a standing ovation.