Moffitt picked for Durham City council seat

jwise@newsobserver.comJanuary 7, 2013 

Don Moffitt

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— Business consultant Don Moffitt was sworn in as the City Council’s Ward 3 member Monday afternoon, following a vote in a special council meeting.

Moffitt, a former Durham Planning Commission chairman, won the seat by a 3-2 vote over Durham Center Access Director Anita Daniels. The council then voted to make the election unanimous.

Councilman Howard Clement was absent from the special election meeting, though he took part in candidate interviews Friday.

Offered the option of being sworn in immediately, Moffitt took the oath, received congratulations and went to the City Clerk’s office to get agenda materials for Monday night’s regular council meeting.

“Now it’s time to get to work, for me,” he said.

Moffitt took over for former Councilman Mike Woodard, who won election to the state Senate in November. Besides Moffitt and Daniels, Edward Kwon and Jason Melehani applied to serve out Woodard’s term, which expires in December. The seat will be up for election in this fall’s city election.

Moffitt has said he planned to run for election to a full term if he won appointment to Woodard’s seat. Retiring Downtown Durham Inc. CEO Bill Kalkhof, who lives in Ward 3, has also said he is interested in running for a political office.

Ward 3 covers roughly the city’s western third.

Council members Diane Catotti and Steve Schewel announced before the vote that they favored Moffitt, while Mayor Pro Tem Cora Cole-McFadden, while mentioning no names, said she felt it was important the council choose a woman.

“I don’t want to sound sexist, but I’m just telling it like it is,” Cole-McFadden said. “Women are working hard all over the city.”

Catotti, Cole-McFadden and Schewel commended all four applicants, and Moffitt said he was “particularly honored” to be chosen “given the other candidates. ... all distinguished citizens of Durham.”

Moffitt had been endorsed for the seat by the Durham People’s Alliance political action committee, while Daniels received endorsements from the Friends of Durham and the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People.

Wise: 919-641-5895

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