Caroline Sullivan, a former Wake County commissioner, announced Monday that she will run for mayor of Raleigh. Her announcement video, posted on Facebook, was reminiscent of Mayor Nancy McFarlane’s announcement she would not seek re-election, which alluded to the infighting that has become ever-present on the current city council.
“We cannot waste time on divisiveness and pettiness,” Sullivan said. “The pace of change has accelerated and we must change in a way that provides promise and opportunity for every Raleigh resident.”
McFarlane encouraged Sullivan to run, sources have told the INDY.
Sullivan was on the Wake County Board of Commissioners from 2014–17. She is originally from Charlotte but has lived in Raleigh since 2001. She currently serves as the executive director of the North Carolina Business Committee for Education, a nonprofit operating out of the governor’s office that aims to promote career development tools for young people.
Sullivan was essentially left out in the cold in 2016 by the General Assembly’s chicanery. After Democrats swept the Board of Commissioners in 2014, the Republicans redistricted the Wake County seats, creating five single-member districts and two “super” districts in an effort to help elect Republicans. Sullivan chose to run in a super district instead of seeking her District 4 seat again. But a federal appeals court blocked the legislature’s redistricting as unconstitutional, which meant Sullivan’s district vanished. She couldn’t run for her old seat because, by the time, the primary was over.
She later backed away from the public eye after being diagnosed with cancer.
“As a cancer survivor, I know that time is precious. Raleigh’s future must be better than it’s past,” Sullivan said.
Her campaign will prioritize affordable housing, government transparency, economic mobility, and turning the vision for Dix Park into a reality, she said.
“I have the passion and a record of leadership to bring people together to make Raleigh one of the best place to live, work and place in the country,” Sullivan said. “We grow stronger when we grow together.”
This is a developing story. Check later for updates.