Many of us might be unaware of Tuesday’s election. The voter turnout for last month’s primary was only six percent.
“How could this institution of local representative democracy have escaped my attention?” you probably said out loud.
Worry not; you can reestablish your standing in the Civic Engagement Club. Take five minutes and read below. You’ll have a more informed opinion and democracy will work like intended. Then on Tuesday, vote vote vote!
But only vote once. That was just for inspiration.
This Tuesday, November 5th, Durham will elect a Mayor and three city council members. The deadline to register to vote was October 11th. Everyone in the city can vote for all the city council candidates, but candidates must reside within the ward in which they run. Check out this map to determine your ward.
Read an overview of the election and candidates, or let this voter guide help you.
William “Bill” Bell, a Democrat, is the current mayor and has been since 2001. He will face challenger Sylvester Williams, an Independent, for the second time in two elections. Last election Bell won with 82 percent of the vote to Williams’ 18 percent.
You can find full answers to candidate questions here for Bell and Williams (Williams’ responses are from the election two years ago). Briefly:
Williams is currently a pastor at The Assembly at Durham Christian Center and worked as an investment analyst for 25 years. He would like to use public funds to create jobs in Durham, and increase salaries for police officers and hire more. He opposed past city council rulings to allow Mexican migrants to use Mexican issued IDs, and support same-sex marriage.
Bell is a former Durham County Commissioner. He is a Democrat and describes himself as socially progressive and fiscally conservative. He wants to reduce crime, and increase affordable housing and neighborhood revitalization. As a commissioner Bell supported the merge between the city and Durham County Public Schools, and also supports domestic partnership rights for city employees. He recently butted heads with the city council over utility extensions to the 751 South development.
City Council Candidates
Ward 2: Howard Clement is vacating this council seat after 30 years of service. Eddie Davis is running against Omar Beasley.
Ward 3: Pam Karriker is running against incumbent Don Moffit.
Ward 1: Cora Cole-Mcfadden is running un-opposed.