Triangle Politics A weekly look at the local political scene

TriPol: In tweets, Stagner charges 'corruption' on City Council

April 4, 2014 

Former Raleigh City Councilman Randy Stagner took to Twitter this week to accuse current council members of corruption after they voted to restore a crossing guard at Douglas Elementary.

“Paying City tax dollars to man a low priority crosswalk=Corruption,” Stagner tweeted.

Stagner did not respond to requests to elaborate, but in a separate tweet wrote, “Two Council members want to ‘leapfrog’ a project to take care of a political supporter.”

The motion to recommend the crossing guard was made in a committee meeting by Councilwoman Mary-Ann Baldwin and seconded by Councilman Wayne Maiorano, who defeated Stagner in last year’s election.

“I didn’t know that addressing a citizen’s concerns about school safety and their children was corruption,” Baldwin said.

The request came first from Kevin LeCount, a political strategist for the State Employees Association of North Carolina. Before the issue went to council, Maiorano met with the principal, teachers and parents at Douglas, and many also cited safety worries at the intersection. The police department had dropped the guard because of “very low pedestrian activity,” according to a report.

Durham candidates endorsed

Incumbent Sheriff Mike Andrews picked up election endorsements from the business-oriented Friends of Durham and the self-described “progressive” Durham Peoples’ Alliance over challengers Clarence Birkhead and Ricky Buchanan in the May 4 Democratic primary. No other party has fielded candidates.

Durham’s third major PAC, the Committee on the Affairs of Black People, holds its endorsement meeting this weekend.

In the District Attorney race, the Friends endorsed attorney Brian Aus, while the PA chose current Assistant District Attorney Roger Echols. Former Assistant DA Mitchell Garrell is also running in the nonpartisan election.

In three contested races for School Board, the PA endorsed Mike Lee in District 1, Sendolo Diaminahin District 2 and Matt Sears in District 3. Lee also won the Friends’ endorsement, but the PA favored Terrence Ray Scarborough in District 2 and Lisa Goron Stella in District 3.

Bryan heads straw poll

Incumbent Joe Bryan had a wide lead in a straw poll last week against Republican challenger Fred Puryear, in the race for the District 1 seat on the Wake County Board of Commissioners.

Puryear, a firefighter from Knightdale, will challenge Bryan in the May primary for the chance to contest Democrat Sig Hutchinson in the fall. In a straw poll at the annual Wake GOP convention of about 600 people Monday, Bryan got 86 percent of the vote. Puryear got 14.

The poll also gave Jennifer Knox the lead in the GOP nomination race for Clerk of Superior Court, with 55 percent of the votes. Barbara Moore got 32 percent and Joe Teague, 13 percent. In the race for District Attorney, Jefferson Griffin polled at 47 percent, followed by Jeff Cruden at 24 percent, Terry Swaim at 20 percent and John Walter Bryant, 10 percent.

Political events

• A “Meet your Democratic Candidates” event from 2-4:40 p.m. Sunday at the Lennox at Brier Creek Clubhouse, 3200 Falkwood Road welcomes four Democratic candidates for Wake County Board of Commissioners seats: John Burns, Matt Calabria, Jessica Holmes and Sig Hutchinson.

Compiled by Colin Campbell, Jim Wise and Martha Quillin.

Got a tip, item or coming event? Fax Triangle Politics at 919-829-4529, or send email to metroeds@newsobserver.com. Send items by noon Thursday.

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