Carrboro Mayor Lydia Lavelle announced Wednesday that she will not be seeking re-election in the upcoming mayoral race, after serving as the town’s top dog since 2013.

“It has been a great honor to serve Carrboro, the town I consider the most progressive in North Carolina,” Lavelle said in a press statement. “Carrboro’s core values have been my lodestar as mayor. With the support of this small-but-mighty community and the hard work of my colleagues on the Town Council, we have translated Carrboro’s progressive reputation into leadership and action on important statewide issues.”

Lavelle, who has worked at the North Carolina Central University School of Law since the 1990s, has helped Carrboro lead on progressive issues, especially LGBTQ+ rights. The town was the first in North Carolina to take a stand against HB 2 and one of the first to enact anti-discrimination ordinances to protect queer people after a provision of the HB 2 compromise, HB 142, ended in December 2020.

Lavelle began her local political saga in 2007, when she was elected to the Carrboro Town Council (formerly the Board of Aldermen).

There are no official candidates for the 2021 election yet—they can’t file until July 2 at the earliest. Council members Randee Haven-O’Donnell, Jacquelyn Gist, and Barbara Foushee will be up for re-election this year, although none have announced plans quite like Lavelle’s. The group is also planning to appoint a new town council manager before election season.

Lavelle says that after fourteen years in the public eye, she’s ready for something new.

“To everything there is a season, and I look forward to exploring what comes next,” she said in the statement.

Follow Digital Content Manager Sara Pequeño on Twitter or send an email to

Support independent local journalism. Join the INDY Press Club to help us keep fearless watchdog reporting and essential arts and culture coverage viable in the Triangle.