Nancy McFarlane Presides Over a Thriving City. Charles Francis Says She Doesn’t Deserve the Credit. | Wake County | Indy Week
Pin It

Nancy McFarlane Presides Over a Thriving City. Charles Francis Says She Doesn’t Deserve the Credit. 

Raleigh's mayor isn't just a figurehead at civic ceremonies. She—or, depending on how things shake out next week, he—is the leader of a city council that decides how to spend nearly half a billion taxpayer dollars a year.

Those council members came to power in a 2015 election that brought out fewer than five thousand votes in one council district. Only 36,172 ballots put incumbent Mayor Nancy McFarlane in office for a third term.

In the municipal elections on October 10, McFarlane is bidding to remain in office for a fourth term, partly on the strength of general contentment with the city's direction, at least based on a community survey that showed that more than 90 percent of Raleigh residents were mostly or very happy with the state of things.

Opponent Charles Francis, a Raleigh native and lawyer, doesn't buy that most of Raleigh is satisfied with its government. He says the mayor is aloof, and Raleigh can do better. And he thinks increased turnout will help him overcome the mayor's popularity.

The party lines in this contest are complicated. Although McFarlane is backed by many prominent Democrats, the mayor is unaffiliated, part of a category of voters that outnumbers Republicans in Wake County. Francis, meanwhile, is a Democrat and has gained the endorsement of the county Democratic Party, which previously backed McFarlane. The race is officially nonpartisan, and it's not clear that party endorsement will matter much.

The race heated up this week, with both major candidates announcing increased war chests and spending. A victory for Francis would not only be a big upset—an incumbent mayor in Raleigh hasn't lost reelection since 2001, when Charles Meeker defeated Paul Coble—but would also mark something of a sea change in the normally steady Raleigh politics.

Here, in the INDY's last issue before the election, we profile the two leading candidates, an effort to give voters some last-minute insight on the two people who might lead the city for at least the next two years.

Comments (7)

Showing 1-7 of 7

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-7 of 7

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Wake County



Twitter Activity

Comments

They don't want to point fingers?

Okay. I will.

finger =====> Laura Riddick.

Laura Riddick is …

by Unabashed Liberal on Wake Commissioners Are Angry About the Register of Deeds Mess, But They Don’t Want to Point Fingers (Wake County)

At least one Wake County Commissioner, Jessica Holmes, did point fingers, it seems.

"For me, not getting around to …

by Leanne Sigmon on Wake Commissioners Are Angry About the Register of Deeds Mess, But They Don’t Want to Point Fingers (Wake County)

Most Read

Most Recent Comments

They don't want to point fingers?

Okay. I will.

finger =====> Laura Riddick.

Laura Riddick is …

by Unabashed Liberal on Wake Commissioners Are Angry About the Register of Deeds Mess, But They Don’t Want to Point Fingers (Wake County)

At least one Wake County Commissioner, Jessica Holmes, did point fingers, it seems.

"For me, not getting around to …

by Leanne Sigmon on Wake Commissioners Are Angry About the Register of Deeds Mess, But They Don’t Want to Point Fingers (Wake County)

Whatever the reasons/excuses, Wake County officials failed in their clear duty to audit the Register of Deeds office, which handles …

by Leanne Sigmon on Wake Commissioners Are Angry About the Register of Deeds Mess, But They Don’t Want to Point Fingers (Wake County)

The Table of contents implies that three candidates have risen to the top in fundraising. Which three? …

by chiburbbi on Here Are the Seven Candidates Running for Raleigh’s Two At-Large Seats (Wake County)

got my ballot already :)

by theseatree on Here Are the Seven Candidates Running for Raleigh’s Two At-Large Seats (Wake County)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation