City Councilor Nancy McFarlane

Any lingering doubt that the Wake County Democratic Party would get behind City Councilor Nancy McFarlane in the Raleigh mayor’s race — because she’s an unaffiliated voter and an independent officeholder — was just dispelled. The party’s executive committee met and endorsed McFarlane, according to an enthusiastic statement from Wake Dems Chair Mack Paul.

McFarlane is running against two Republicans, Randall Williams and Billie Redmond. Redmond has the official Wake GOP endorsement.

In the contested District C race for City Council, the Dems endorsed the incumbent, Eugene Weeks, over fellow Democrats Corey Branch and Shelia Jones. Racquel Williams, an unaffiliated voter, and Republican Paul Terrell are also running in District C.

Incumbent Councilors Russ Stephenson and Mary-Ann Baldwin are the lone Democrats running for the two at-large Council seats. Both were endorsed, as were incumbent Thomas Crowder, who’s unopposed for re-election in District D, and newcomer Randy Stagner (in the initial post I neglected to say he’s also an unaffiliated voter), who’s running for McFarlane’s District A seat.

Like Crowder, the remaining incumbent Council members, Republican John Odom in District B and the unaffiliated Bonner Gaylord in District E. are running unopposed.


In the District 6 school board race, the only one with multiple Democrats running, the party as expected endorsed Christine Kushner over the late-announcing Mary Ann Weathers and the folksy George Morgan, both of them retired educators. Kushner, a policy analyst by trade (and a former journalist), started her campaign months ago and had an impressive roster of supporters already.

Kushner’s main opponent in District 6 is Republican Donna Williams, co-founder and first president of the Northern Wake Republican Club, which I can report from first-hand observation is about as all the Wake Democratic clubs put together. District 6 should be an easy win for the Democrats, however, unless there’s some sort of Tea Party tide running out there.

Oh, and let us not forget, the school board races and the Raleigh and Cary municipal races are nonpartisan. That doesn’t mean all the candidates are, or that the parties aren’t involved. (In olden days, North Carolina only had one party. And even when there were two, school board issues remained above the fray for many years — but no longer.)

What nonpartisan means today is that the ballot won’t tell you which candidates are “D” and which are “R” and which are “UNA” or “L” for Libertarian. If you want to know, you need to find out before you go into the pollng place.

Here’s the statement from the Wake Democrats, which includes all of their endorsements in municipal races:

Nancy McFarlane for Raleigh Mayor, Five Experienced Candidates for School Board

For Immediate Release – August 30, 2011 Raleigh, NC – The Wake County Democratic Party issued official endorsements following a vote of the County Executive Board. The Party is endorsing a full slate of candidates in the October 11 and November 8 elections.

In the hotly contested Wake County School Board elections the Party endorsed:

Wake District 3 – Kevin Hill
Wake District 4 – Keith Sutton
Wake District 5 – Jim Martin
Wake District 6 – Christine Kushner
Wake District 8 – Susan Evans

Wake County Democratic Chairman Mack Paul said, “The five candidates that we have endorsed exemplify everything that Wake County citizens deserves on our School Board. They are experienced, they are consensus builders and they will bring true stability to the Board. Two years ago Ron Margiotta, and the rest of the School Board Majority, made a number of empty promises to voters that they have not met. They have divided our county and made us a national punchline. It is time for a change. When our endorsed candidates are elected, they will lead us out of the mess that the Board Majority has created.”

In the Raleigh Mayoral race the endorsement went to City Council member Nancy McFarlane. McFarlane is a registered unaffiliated.

“Nancy McFarlane has served with distinction on the City Council,” said Paul. “She is well positioned, by virtue of her business experience and civic leadership in Raleigh, to carry on Charles Meeker’s legacy of reasoned, forward thinking leadership. The Wake GOP may disagree given their recent attacks but Mayor Meeker’s leadership has been instrumental in driving Raleigh’s growth, the revitalization of downtown and more.”

The Democratic Party endorsements for Raleigh Council went to Mary-Ann Baldwin (At Large), Thomas Crowder (D), Randy Stagner (A), Russ Stephenson (At Large) and Eugene Weeks (C).

“Our endorsed candidates will lead Wake County forward with the same type of forward thinking and reasonable leadership that our Democratic and independent leaders have offered in recent years. It is time to elect candidates that can unite Wake County and build on the progress of those who came before us. Our endorsed candidates will work with every citizen of Wake County to build a stronger County for all of us,” said Mack Paul.

Other October 11 Endorsements:

Cary Mayor
Harold Weinbrecht

Cary Council at Large
Lori Bush
Cary Council District B
Jeff Foxx
Cary Council District D
Gale Adcock

November 8 Endorsements:

Apex Town Council
Bill Jensen

Fuquay-Varina Mayor
John W. Byrne

Fuquay-Varina Board of Commissioners
William (Bill) Harris
Ed Ridpath
Jason Ora Wunsch

Garner Mayor
Ronnie Williams

Garner Town Council
Ken Marshburn
Amaka Flynn
Jackie Johns

Holly Springs Town Council
Otis G. Byrd
Ken Henke
Ray Riordan
Arthur (Pete) Utley, Jr.

Knightdale Mayor
Jun Lee

Knightdale Town Council
James Roberson

Morrisville Council at Large
Pete M. Martin
Morrisville Council District 1
Linda Lyons
Morrisville Council at Large
Steve Rao

Wake Forest Board of Commissioners
Ben Clapsaddle
Sherry Ward

Wendell Mayor
Harold Broadwell

Wendell Board of Commissioners
James W. Parham

Zebulon Board of Commissioners
Glenn York


Paid for by the Wake County Democratic Party:

Not authorized by any candidate or candidate committee. Contributions are not tax deductible for federal income tax purposes.