Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane, officially filing to keep her job Thursday, says she’ll campaign on her record of leading a city where most residents are “pretty happy,” according to a survey.
That doesn’t mean she’s brushing off the candidacy of banker-attorney Charles Francis, fifty-four, who became the first to file for mayor last week. October 10 municipal elections will include contested races for city council as well as for the mayor’s job.
“I see every race as competitive,” McFarlane said after signing up at the Wake County Board of Elections. She was accompanied by a passel of family, from husband Ron McFarlane to granddaughter Madison, who will turn three in October.
The mayor didn’t rise to the chance to respond directly to comments by Francis, who on the day he filed described McFarlane as aloof and disengaged. Vying for her fourth term as mayor, she noted that she’s spent ten years in public service, counting two terms on city council.
“I’m just going to focus on the record of work that we’ve done,” she said. McFarlane acknowledged that she can appear preoccupied. “Sometimes maybe I’m just doing my job.”
The often-cited survey, released in February by the national company ETC Institute, found that 42 percent of Raleigh residents rated the city’s quality of life as excellent, while another 49 percent rated it good. Traffic and growth emerged as areas with lower levels of satisfaction.
Within the generally positive ratings were some areas, such as overall communication with the public and stormwater management, in which the southeast sector of the city showed less satisfaction.
McFarlane says traffic and affordable housing, important issues for a possible new term, are intertwined. Effective public transit can provide means for residents to get to good jobs without driving in the heavily unpopular traffic.
“Affordable is more than just the price of the house,” she said.
McFarlane is unaffiliated politically, while Francis is a “proud Democrat” who’s been involved in local party leadership.
“It’s a nonpartisan race,” the mayor pointed out.