Local Politics

Trio vie to make final cut in Fayetteville mayoral race

Posted September 29, 2015 6:54 p.m. EDT

— Voters next week will narrow the field of candidates for Fayetteville mayor.

Mayor Nat Robertson, former City Councilwoman Val Applewhite and retired postal worker Ted Donovan face off in the Oct. 6 primary, with the top two voter-getters advancing to the Nov. 3 general election.

Robertson defeated Applewhite two years ago by 260 votes in his first run for mayor. He served four terms on the City Council between 1989 and 2001.

He said his record as mayor speaks for itself.

"Over the past 22 months, we've made some great accomplishments in the city. You know, everything from building the first swimming pool since 1948 to reducing crime rate by double digits for the second year in a row," Robertson said. "If you compare the candidates, what we've done and what we've done so quickly, there's no comparison at all. I'm still the guy for the job."

Applewhite served three terms on the City Council before losing her bid for mayor in 2013. She said Fayetteville has to rebrand itself if it wants to attract new business.

"We need you to create jobs for our soldiers that are exiting," the Air Force veteran said. "You have Special Operations Command here, and the country already knows when they dial 911, we pick up. Why not brand ourselves as a cyber-security go to?"

Donovan said a heated dispute with the city over his property prompted his mayoral aspirations, and his goal is to cut city spending if elected.

"Reduce property taxes, reduce the government, reduce the ordinance laws. Some of them are absolutely, to me, absolutely asinine," Donovan said, adding that he would put his salary as mayor back in Fayetteville's budget for other uses.