Photo by Jenny Warburg

No surprise here: Durham Mayor Steve Schewel announced Monday he’ll seek re-election this fall.

Schewel served four years on the Durham Public Schools Board of Education and six years on the Durham City Council before being elected mayor in 2017. 

“It has been my great honor and joy to be the mayor of Durham for the past year-and-a-half,” Schewel said in a statement. “I’m just getting started moving my agenda forward, and I’m running for reelection so I can help lead us towards the realization of our common vision—to make the city we love a city for all.” (Disclosure: Schewel founded this paper in 1983 and sold it in 2012).

Candidate filing for the October primary election doesn’t start until July 5, but every current council member whose term is expiring has already announced intentions to run. Council members Jillian Johnson, Charlie Reece, and Javiera Caballero announced last month that they would be running as a slate, recently putting out a joint affordable housing platform.

Schewel says affordable housing will be a “cornerstone” of his re-election campaign. In his annual State of the City address in February that he would ask the council to place on the November ballot a $95 million housing bond. If the referendum is approved by voters, the bond would build more than eighteen hundred new, affordable rental units, mostly downtown; preserve another eight hundred affordable units; and move at least seventeen hundred homeless households into permanent housing.

Schewel said he would also be rolling out an economic development plan over the next year that is “based on shared prosperity which will include resources to support the development of minority- and women-owned businesses.”

Schewel also highlighted the need to work on a new regional transit plan now that the Durham-Orange Light Rail project has been discontinued.

“We need to build a beautiful phoenix that can rise from the ashes of the Durham-Orange Light Rail,” he said. “We need to gather our partners together and thoughtfully move ahead to create a transportation plan that both strengthens Durham’s existing bus system and links us to our Triangle neighbors with a regional transit system as well.”

One reply on “Durham Mayor Steve Schewel Is Seeking Re-Election. Here’s Why It Matters”

  1. Yes, we should grant the additional police force and more but that should have been added before the new station was built which shows some ethical issues. Also, the housing crisis was created by our leadership just like our president created a crisis at the border. The light rail we need to go back to Gotriangle why would you spend tax dollars before obtaining the right ways needed, why would county/ city not say anything, and why was not taxpayers told of shirt fall.

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