David Cox is very sad.

The sixty-one-year-old incumbent on the Raleigh City Council was the only of his cohort—the current development skeptical majority who have been calling the shots since 2017—to win re-election outright Tuesday. 

“I should be elated for this victory,” he wrote in a post on social media. “Instead I am the exact opposite.”

Cox defeated challenger Brian Fitzsimmons with 54 percent of the vote from District B. The other members of the city’s Growth and Natural Resources Committee—a five-person block formed after Cox and crew usurped Mayor Nancy McFarlane’s committee appointments in 2017—did not fare as well; in District E, Stef Mendell was obliterated by challenger David Knight, who garnered nearly 70 percent of the vote; Kay Crowder was overpowered in District D by newcomer Saige Martin, who received 47 percent of the vote to her 33 percent; and Russ Stephenson came in third in the at-large race after Jonathan Melton. District A’s Dickie Thompson decided not to even try and seek re-election. He will be replaced by Patrick Buffkin. 

These so-called NIMBYs have wielded control of the council for two years. No matter what happens next month, they won’t have a majority anymore. 

And while Stephenson and Crowder may call for a runoff, their chances of winning aren’t great. Nor are chances great for their political ally in the mayoral race, Charles Francis, who is expected to call for a runoff just like he did against McFarlane in 2017. On Tuesday, Mary-Ann Baldwin defeated Francis by seven points, with Francis netting only 31 percent of the vote. That’s fewer votes than he got against McFarlane in October 2017 and he ultimately lost by 18 points in the November runoff.

So more than likely, Cox will be left the odd man out when the new city council is seated in December. And he’s not happy about it.

Nor is he trying to make nice. On Wednesday, he thanked supporters for his victory, despite a “constant barrage of attack mailers filled with misrepresentations and, in some cases, outright lies,” but also threw a not-so-subtle barb at the prospective newbies on the council.

“I am grateful for another opportunity to serve and represent the residents of District B and the City of Raleigh. Whether this new Council will do the same remains to be seen,” Cox wrote.

On Thursday, he abandoned subtlety altogether.

Instead of trying to build bridges, Cox prefers to hurl unfounded accusations against his soon-to-be colleagues. 

There’s a lot to unpack here, but first off—his fearmongering isn’t accurate. None of the candidates supports the RDU quarry, nor have any proposed filling the downtown with billboards. While many candidates think the CAC system needs to be looked at again so that more citizens can be engaged in decisions, cutting funding hasn’t been discussed. 

And a Sheetz on every corner? Really? That’s your nightmare? 

These divisive tactics are partly why the rest of Cox’s cohort have likely lost their seats. While Cox remains, he will effectively be stripped of his power—a lone man with a raised fist shouting at the sky as the new council moves the city forward in the direction the voters asked for; he’ll be the dissenting vote, the outraged social media post. 

And if he keeps up the antics, it may only be for one more term. 

In some ways it’s poetic justice— that’s how the GNR crew has treated council member Nicole Stewart this whole time, as an outsider excluded from discussions until it gets to the council chamber. 

Stewart, however, says she will take the high road come December. 

“I refuse to treat him the way they treated me the last two years,” Stewart says. 

Maybe Cox should take a note. 


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One reply on “David Cox Is Sad After Getting Re-Elected”

  1. David Cox was also busy “hiding” comments on his cranky Facebook post with which he disagreed. When called out on this behavior, he unhid all comments critical of him and then called me a liar. He’s as anti-free speech as they come, and I hope he is isolated on the council for his malfeasance.

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