Raleigh city council member Patrick Buffkin, who represents District A, is not seeking re-election, he announced Monday. 

Buffkin declined to run for re-election following a failed bid for the Democratic nomination for NC Senate District 13. Buffkin lost the May primary to Lisa Grafstein, a disability rights lawyer who swept the northern Wake County district with 66 percent of the vote. Senate District 13 includes many of Buffkin’s current constituents in Raleigh’s District A. 

Buffkin, who was first elected to the city council in 2019, could still have filed for re-election to the Raleigh city council next month but decided against it, saying he’s looking forward to the birth of his first child in September. 

“Rachael and I are incredibly excited to welcome our first child into the world, and it is the right time for me to focus on our home life,” Buffkin said in a news release. “It has been a great honor to represent North Raleigh on the City Council. I have been a part of making government work better for people and contributing to a sustainable and equitable long-term future for Raleigh. It has been an incredibly rewarding experience.”

Buffkin, who previously served on the city’s parks and greenways board, is a part of the current council’s pro-development cohort. He and Mayor Pro Tem Nicole Stewart, who has also declined to run for re-election, will each be stepping down in December. David Cox, one of the few voices on the council for neighborhood preservation, is also declining to run for re-election. That leaves three seats on the eight-person council open to newcomers.

Two candidates have already thrown their hats in the ring to fill Buffkin’s seat. Mary Black, a 27-year-old environmental justice activist, and Cat Lawson, an intellectual property lawyer and Duke University law professor, have each announced runs for Raleigh city council’s District A. 

Buffkin said he will use his remaining time on the city council to campaign for the parks bond on the ballot in November, as well as a penny tax increase to support park maintenance. He is also prioritizing getting raises for Raleigh police officers and firefighters and creating a municipal service district for the Midtown area, he said in the news release. 

“Passing the parks bond in November is probably the most important issue on the ballot, while our city continues to advance on housing affordability and transportation,” Buffkin said. 

Filing for the Raleigh City Council elections begins July 1.

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Follow Staff Writer Jasmine Gallup on Twitter or send an email to jgallup@indyweek.com.