You won't see anyone with White House ambitions in the crowd. Nor anyone who wants to work in the State Capitol. Instead, beginning at noon today, people can step forward and list their names as someone who wants to sit on a city or town council or a school board. The winners, in elections to be held this fall, will be the ones deciding how much you pay in taxes and where your kids go to school. Here's a quick look at key dates and races in Durham, Orange and Chatham counties.
DURHAM: Voters will elect a mayor and three at-large council members.
KEY QUESTION: Will Mayor Bill Bell keep his seat, or will his dogged challenger, council member Thomas Stith III, win by urging a tougher stance on crime and lower property taxes? Also, who will run to fill Stith's seat?
CHAPEL HILL: Voters will choose a mayor and four at-large Town Council members.
KEY QUESTION: Will voters support the mostly unified council after a year of aggressive moves, such as approving the Downtown Economic Development Initiative on Parking Lot No. 5 and halting development in the northwestern region of town?
CARRBORO: Voters will choose a mayor and three Board of Aldermen members.
KEY QUESTIONS: Will Alderman Dan Coleman, who was appointed last year to fill a vacant seat, win his first full-term this election? And will Lydia Lavelle, a rival for Coleman's seat, win a place on the board? Lavelle announced Thursday she will run for alderman.
CHAPEL HILL-CARRBORO SCHOOL BOARD: Voters will elect four to the seven-member board.
POLITICAL FOOTNOTE: Elizabeth Carter has said at several board meetings that she doesn't intend to run again.
HILLSBOROUGH: Voters will elect a mayor and three Town Board members.
ONE THING TO WATCH: Will anyone challenge Mayor Tom Stevens in his first re-election bid?
PITTSBORO: Voters will elect a mayor and three members of the town board.
ONE THING TO WATCH: Will Clinton Bryan III, appointed when his father died, run for his first full term on the board?