In 2015, Corey Branch scored the biggest upset of the Raleigh municipal election, defeating incumbent Eugene Weeks by fewer than three hundred votes. This year, he’s up against two main challengers: Libertarian Olen Watson, a construction company owner who is flush with unconventional but intriguing ideas, including increasing density zonings throughout the city and implementing “no-stop ticketing” to reduce police profiling of minorities; and Triangle Downtowner publisher Crash Gregg.

Watson or Gregg would be the first white person to represent District C in thirty years, and a victory by either would likely mean the Raleigh City Council would become an all-white body. That’s not an ideal outcome.

But that’s not why we’re endorsing Branch. We’re doing so because he’s served the city and his district well, stressing the need for economic development and better policing in southeast Raleigh, as well as addressing the dearth of grocery stores in the area and access to transportation. Branch is the type of young African-American political leader the city needs.