RALEIGH — Real estate executive Billie Redmond is expected to announce her candidacy for Raleigh mayor Thursday, hoping her years of involvement in civic and education circles make for a smooth transition into city politics.
Redmond, a registered Republican, plans an event at the historic Occidental Life Insurance Building on Wade Avenue to make a special announcement about entering Raleighs mayoral race.
The entry signals a new phase in the contest to succeed Mayor Charles Meeker, who announced in May that he wouldnt seek a record sixth consecutive term.
The lone candidate until now has been City Councilwoman Nancy McFarlane, representative of North Raleighs District A since 2007.
A McFarlane-Redmond matchup would mean Raleighs next mayor will be a woman and someone who is not a Democrat after 10 years of Democratic leadership under Meeker.
McFarlane plans to run as an independent.
Redmond can rely on longstanding ties to the business community. She's chief executive of Coldwell Banker Commercial TradeMark Properties, a local firm active in 11 Southeastern states.
Redmond recently completed a 10-year term on the board at WakeMed and led a committee in 2007 to help the school district find and buy land for schools.
This week, McFarlane unveiled her campaigns first policy proposal, a small business initiative aimed at helping entrepreneuers navigate the citys various requirements for zoning and business licenses.
McFarlane calls for a small business office at City Hall to serve as a first point of contact. She would establish a nine-member commission of small business owners to identify issues and challenges in dealing with the city.
The city budget approved Tuesday does not include money to pay for the initiative.
McFarlane spent 15 years at Raleigh Community Hospital before founding MedPro Rx, a pharmacy that provides infusion medications and services to clients with chronic illnesses.
The filing period runs through Aug. 12.
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