Triangle Politics A weekly look at the local political scene

Bryant requests runoff in GOP Wake district attorney race

May 9, 2014 

John Bryant, the second-highest vote-getter among the Republicans running for Wake County district attorney, has asked for a primary runoff in July.

Republicans will go to the polls on July 15 to choose between Bryant and Jeff Cruden, the Republican candidate who received the most votes in the four-candidate primary.

The runoff was announced Friday.

After Tuesday’s primary, 385 votes separated Bryant and Cruden.

The runoff is set because no candidate in the Republican primary carried 40 percent of the vote.

The primary runoff winner faces Wake County clerk Lorrin Freeman, who emerged from the primary as the Democratic candidate. The general election is Nov. 4.

Kids vote their own way

In the Kids Voting Durham mock election, students differed from their elders on choices for the school board.

Like the grownups, kids favored Mike Lee, who was elected to the District 1 seat. But for District 2, they chose Donald Hughes, the grownups’ second-place finisher, over the adults’ Sendolo Diaminah. In District 3, they favored Lisa Gordon Stella over the adult choice, Matt Sears.

More than 1,500 children voted at schools and precincts in the mock election, an annual Kids Voting Durham event. The nonprofit is an affiliate of Durham County Extension.

Zoning stirs emotions

The Chapel Hill Town Council will discuss on Monday a new zoning district for the town’s 190-acre Ephesus-Fordham commercial area.

The area east of downtown was developed in the 1950s and ’60s before modern flood regulations were in place, and its confusing streets and stormwater problems have stymied previous plans, officials say. The town wants to build new roads and intersections, while implementing a “form-based code” to inspire redevelopment and simplify the approval process. It would allow town staff to make most decisions.

But the plan has drawn public criticism and angry accusations that town staff members are ignoring concerns about flooding. Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt said this week that some residents aren’t going to believe anything the town says.

“If they don’t believe me because their emotions are high, then fine, but the public hearings have made this whole thing better,” Kleinschmidt said.

“I completely understand (the concerns), and I wouldn’t expect anything less than the passion, particularly about flooding issues,” he said. “But some of it, I think, is just disinformation about things and the kind of fear tactics that have been played on folks. I just try to separate that from the content of the concerns that are being expressed, and I think the council is doing that, too.”

You can read the full interview with Kleinschmidt online at

Political events

• Wake County commissioner Rich Gianni will speak to the Apex Peak Republican Club on Tuesday at the Loft at Anna’s Pizzeria in downtown Apex. Social begins at 6 p.m., followed by the meeting at 7. For information, email:

• Wake County commissioners Joe Bryan, Phil Matthews, Rich Gianni and Paul Coble will speak to the Wake County Republican Women’s Club on Thursday at the N.C. State University Club, 4200 Hillsborough St. in Raleigh. Social begins at 11:30 a.m. followed by lunch/program at 11:45. Lunch is $19. Pay at the door, by mail, P.O. Box 30454, Raleigh 27622, or online at Contact the group or make reservations by emailing The deadline for reservations is Monday.

Compiled by Anne Blythe, Jim Wise and Tammy Grubb.

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