For the first time since 2003, Raleigh’s District D will not be represented by a Crowder. 

Kay Crowder, who has held the seat since her husband, Thomas, died in 2014, announced on Facebook Friday that she would not seek a runoff. Martin secured 47 percent of the votes in Tuesday’s election, to Crowder’s 33 percent. 

“I thank all of the residents of Raleigh’s District D for the great honor and privilege of serving as your city councilor,” Crowder wrote. “It has been exciting to be a part of the wonderful changes that have made this city the best in the country. I wish Mr. Martin all the best as he works to keep District D a wonderful place to live, work, and play.”

Martin, a twenty-eight-year-old progressive who has pushed for increased housing density and police reform, will become the city’s first openly gay council member. He will also be its youngest. 

Jonathan Melton, another young, gay progressive, led Russ Stephenson for the at-large seat on Tuesday, but Stephenson has not announced a decision about a runoff.  

“I am feeling so many things,” Martin said Friday afternoon. “Most of all, I am feeling humble. The issues we were campaigning on, all the things we talked about, I have to take action on.”

Martin said he was shocked by Tuesday’s results; he’d hoped to make a runoff with Crowder, but he didn’t expect to come out ahead, much less by fourteen points. 

“My team—they killed it,” he said. 

Martin also said he wanted to acknowledge the work Kay and Thomas Crowder had done for the city and District D over the past sixteen years. 

“I would like to have a working relationship with her when she’s ready,” he said. “I think that’s important.”

Update: As The News & Observer first reported on Twitter, Stephenson announced Friday that he, too, would forgo a runoff. In a post on Facebook, Stephenson congratulated Melton on running a “strong campaign based on progressive and positive messages that I myself have aspired to throughout my Council service.”

Contact editor in chief Jeffrey C. Billman at 

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