Substitute teacher Christina Jones and architectural designer Jennifer Truman each declared their candidacy for the Raleigh City Council this month. 

Jones, former chairwoman of Raleigh’s Citizens Advisory Council—which used to oversee 18 subgroups representing different areas of the city—is running in District E, which covers northwest Raleigh.

Jones is campaigning to restore communication between council members and residents. The current council has faced a barrage of criticism around its lack of community engagement, particularly after the majority of members voted to dismantle Citizen Advisory Councils (CACa) in 2020, a decision that blindsided Jones. 

“I have watched as our voices have been cut out of the equation over the last 3 years. Developers seem to have every seat at the table, and we need to clear some room for the community,” Jones said in a news release. “I plan to open the door to conversation and give the opportunity for dialogue between City Leadership and those who are served.”

Jones said she wants to see “people like me” represented on the council, so “our concerns are held up high and valued.”

Also running for city council is Jennifer Truman, in District D. Truman is a member of the Raleigh Transit Authority, which makes recommendations about the city’s bus system. She’s a strong advocate for transit improvements, including expanding bus service and adding bike lanes and sidewalks to Raleigh roads. 

Truman also co-leads the Southwest Raleigh Community Engagement forum, helping facilitate discussions with residents about development around Dix Park, Lake Wheeler Road, and other areas. 

“I’ve lived in the District for 15 years and made it my home,” Truman says. “I speak up from the perspectives I hold … as a student, as a young professional, as a working mom, as a person who relies on public transportation, as a city employee, as a representative of small business clients trying to build their dreams.

“When issues impact my life, my work, or my neighbors’ lives, then I have consistently shown up to comment and provide a solutions-oriented perspective.”

Local elections will be held in November after the current city council voted in a closed session to permanently move its elections to even-numbered years. The election was initially delayed by setbacks in the decennial census, which held up redistricting. 

Who Else Is Running?

Although candidate filing doesn’t open until July, several people have already announced their intentions to run for a seat on the Raleigh City Council as well as in the mayoral race. So far, education consultant Terrance Ruth is the challenger facing current Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin, who is running for re-election this year. 


The Raleigh city council has two at-large seats, currently held by incumbents Jonathan Melton and Nicole Stewart. While Melton is running for re-election, Stewart announced last year she would not seek a third term. Also in the race are James Bledsoe, Portia Rochell, and Joshua Bradley. 

District A

This seat is currently held by incumbent Patrick Buffkin, who is running for state Senate District 13. If Buffkin doesn’t win the May primary, he will still have time to file for re-election to the city council but hasn’t yet confirmed he would do so. 

Mary Black, with Climate Action North Carolina, and attorney Cat Lawson are also making bids for the seat. 

District B

Incumbent David Cox hasn’t announced whether he will seek re-election. Minu Lee, a senior at N.C. State University, has declared his candidacy for the seat. 

District C 

Incumbent Corey Branch is running for re-election. He’s being challenged by Frank Fields, owner of a car detailing company, and Wanda Hunter. 

District D

Incumbent Stormie Forte hasn’t confirmed whether she will run for re-election or for one of the at-large seats. In the running now are Truman and Jane Harrison, a coastal economics specialist and professor at NC State.

District E 

Incumbent David Knight is running for re-election. Jones is also in the race. 

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