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The fate of Republican representation on Raleigh's City Council is now in the hands of District A voters.
With Wayne Maiorano declining to run for re-election and David Cox defeating John Odom in District B, the Republicans will be able to claim a spot on Council only if Edwin "Eddie" Woodhouse wins the one runoff on the November ballot. If Dickie Thompson wins, Council will consist solely of Democrats and left-leaning independents. (Yes, we know, Council is ostensibly nonpartisan.) Concerns about ideological hegemony are legitimate, but they're no reason to side with Woodhouse.
We endorse Thompson, a small-business owner and chair of the board of the RDU Airport Authority. Thompson is Mayor Nancy McFarlane's choice. He'll be a strong ally to McFarlane and will likely subscribe more to the "neighborhood protection" view than the "pro-development" one. Given the pro-neighborhood tilt of the other Council elections earlier this month, this seems to be what voters want. And given the power developers have exerted in recent years, it's also what Raleigh needs.
Woodhouse has some experience working for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which he says makes him knowledgeable about affordable housing. But his priorities read like a laundry list of Republican talking points: slow spending, fiscal responsibility and "pay down the City's $2 billion debt." (The city reported a total debt of about $1.6 billion as of June 30.)
Thompson pulled in the most votes in the three-way race Oct. 6, but didn't clear the 50-percent-plus-one threshold to avoid a runoff. The third District A candidate, JB Buxton, came in only 88 votes behind Woodhouse. Buxton is a Democrat, so there's a good chance his voters will throw in for Thompson Nov. 3. As they should.