It's always an election year in Raleigh. Congressional elections are held in even-numbered years and Raleigh City Council races are every odd-numbered year.
Thus, in 2015, Mayor Nancy McFarlane is running again as evidenced by a recent invitation to her fundraiser March 18 at the Southland Ballroom. Yes, you can be a sponsor for $2,000 or a cheapskate sponsor for $250 and still make it into the sponsors' reception. Or, just pay $50 for a ticket and you get to listen to bluegrass band Chatham County Line.
McFarlane has the Dix Park deal with Gov. McCrory in her kit, and no opposition in sight as yet. A political independent, she has a lot of Democrats supporting her. As for a Republican opponent, the GOP in Raleigh is a damaged brand, at best.
Of the other seven members of council, I count five who would either like to be mayor some day or, in the case of John Odom, have actually run for mayor. All five will be seeking re-election to their council seats this year, as far as I know.
I don't believe Eugene Weeks, the District C incumbent, has any mayoral interest. Assuming he tries to keep his seat, Weeks may have a serious challenger in Corey Branch, a member of the Raleigh Transit Authority who's been talking up a possible candidacy. Branch is very visible in the debates over future bus and/or rail transit in the city.
Kay Crowder, who was appointed last fall to complete the term of her late husband, Thomas Crowder, as the District D member, is likely to run for election but has made no final decision.
Raleigh elections are scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 6, with runoffs, if necessary, on Nov. 3.