Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane, with visions of Dix Park as a major destination dancing in her head, will run forand probably wina fourth term in city elections set for October 10.

The more interesting elections will happen down the ballot. With the July 7 filing deadline less than two months away, excitement is mountinghaven’t you noticed?about the cast of candidates running for city council. Currently, the cast of characters is mostly familiar.

Incumbent Kay Crowder has announced she’ll run again for the District D seat she won in 2015. She initially joined the council after the death of her husband and predecessor, Thomas Crowder. First-termer David Cox is back on the ballot, too.

So is at-large member Russ Stephenson, seeking his seventh term. He’ll hold a campaign kickoff on May 25 at the home of state Senator Jay Chaudhuri, a Wake County Democrat. While council members Mary-Ann Baldwin, Corey Branch, Dickie Thompson, and Bonner Gaylord haven’t announced their reelection bids, none has indicated an intention to step aside, either.

As for newbies, attorney Stacy Miller has announced he’ll run for one of the two at-large seats now occupied by Stephenson and Baldwin. Miller was previously appointed to a council seat in 1997. On Tuesday morning he was joined by Nicole Stewart, the development director of the N.C. Conservation Network. In an email announcing her run, the thirty-five-year-old Stewart included statements of support from former mayor Charles Meeker (she is married to a business partner of Meeker’s son, David) and Wake County Commissioner Jessica Holmes.

They’re unlikely to be the only high-profile challengers to emerge.

This article appeared in print with the headline “+GAMETIME.”