Mayor Bill Bell will face three opponents in his eighth and final mayoral race, while 10 people filed to run for three at-large City Council seats.
Bell faces three newcomers to the Durham political scene for the two-year mayoral term.
The at-large City Council race includes one incumbent, first-term Councilman Steve Schewel, as his fellow at-large members Diane Catotti and Eugene Brown are not seeking re-election. Others seeking the four-year term include a physician, an attorney and a mix of political newcomers and long-time community and neighborhoods activists.
Candidate filing ended at noon Friday. The primary election will be be held Oct. 6, and the municipal election will be held Nov. 3.
Career: Executive vice president and chief operating officer of UDI Community Development Corporation
Community activities: Chair of the Triangle Transit Board of Trustees, member of the African American Mayors Associations’ Board of Trustees, and member and former chair of the North Carolina Metropolitan Mayors Coalition.
Top issues: Advance initiatives on affordable housing, inner-city revitalization and poverty reduction.
▪ John Everett
Career: retired self-employed construction contractor
▪ James Lamar Lyons
Career: Technical operations coordinator at Time Warner Cable
Community activities: Mentoring youth at Keys to Life, a nonprofit organization that he founded in 1998; Volunteering with the Easter Seals and The Salvation Army.
Top issues: Address the crime in Durham; Ensuring there is quality affordable housing and improving Durham Public Schools.
▪ Tammy Lightfoot
Career: Personnel manager at Walmart in Morrisville
Top issues: Address blight and other problems. She would like to clean up boarded-up homes near Fayetteville Street and other areas, increase health care services across the city and address violent crime.
▪ Juan Alva
Career: A physician who founded Vickers Clinic, a private inner-city Durham clinic, in 1982. Alva sold the clinic about a year ago. He is currently convalescing from brain surgery in February, doing consultant work and working on autobiography, he said.
Community activities: Former president of the Pastoral Council and Home & School Association at St. Thomas More Catholic Church and school in Chapel Hill and former president of a Chapel Hill chapter of the Legion of Mary.
Top issues: Advocating for Durham’s most marginalized citizens, including Hispanics and African Americans, equal education and improving the city.
▪ Philip Azar
Career: A former corporate attorney who now develops rental properties.
Community activities: president of the InterNeighborhood Council, former president and board member of Trinity Park Neighborhood Association
Top issues: Address affordable housing, preservation, transportation and the environment, as well as improve community policing.
▪ Sandra Shazette Davis, who couldn’t be reached for comment.
▪ Ricky L. Hart
Career: Case worker for Orange County Child Support Services.
Community activities: Hart is past chair of the Durham Human Relations Commission and North Carolina’s grand master for the International Free and Accepted Modern Masons.
Top issues: He wants to explore how the city’s revenue streams are used, understand city sewer and water fee increases and look at whether there are issues with racial equity and racial justice in Durham.
▪ Jillian Johnson
Career: Director of operations for the Durham-based nonprofit Southern Vision Alliance, which works with youth and young adults on leadership development and civic engagement.
Top issues: Ensure that everyone benefits from Durham’s ongoing revitalization process, hold the Police Department accountable to the community and govern based on principals of racial, economic and environmental justice.
▪ Charlie Reece
Career: Attorney who serves as general counsel for Rho, a Durham-based contract research organization.. His previous experience includes serving as an assistant attorney general for the N.C. Department of Justice for more than four years and as an assistant district attorney for Forsyth County for nearly four years.
Community activities: Treasurer of the N.C. Democratic Party and former secretary for the Durham People’s Alliance.
Top issues: Ensure there is affordable housing in Durham and a continued focus on reform in the Police Department centered on reducing the enforcement priority of low-level marijuana offenses. He also wants to explore the issue of light rail and whether it’s wise to move forward without the participation of Wake County and Raleigh.
Career: Founded the Independent Weekly, now Indy Week, and served as publisher for 29 years is currently an assistant professor of public policy at the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University.
Community activities: Former vice-chair of the Durham Public Schools Board of Education; Youth soccer coach for 18 years at the YMCA, Strikers Club, Brogden Middle School, Riverside High School; Founder and former board member of Crayons2Calculators, a non-profit supplying free supplies to Durham Public Schools teachers.
Top issues: Supports Bell’s anti-poverty initiative, continue a push for affordable housing and an end to homelessness in Durham, advocate for the construction of more sidewalks, ball fields, bike lanes, trails and a regional rail system.
▪ Michael Shiflett
Career: Owner of American LAbor/LAB ACM, a Durham-based medical laboratory equipment company
Community activities: past president of InterNeighborhood Council, chair of Durham Businesses Against Crime and Kids Voting Durham.
Top issues: Address neighborhood issues, such as blight and crime, help connect people to city and county services and other resources and give the city’s youth an opportunity to be heard.
▪ Robert Stephens
Career: Director of Alumni Teacher Leadership for Teach for America Eastern North Carolina
Community activities: Black Lives Matter organizer and participant in Raleigh, Durham and other events across the nation
Top issues: Ensure there is affordable housing in Durham, improve community and Police Department relations, promote economic development in under-developed areas.
▪ John Tarantino, a former City Council and Durham Public Schools Board candidate who couldn’t be reached for comment before deadline.
Key election dates
Early voting for the primary starts at 9 a.m. Sept. 24 to Oct. 3 at 1 p.m.; Primary election, Oct. 6; Early voting for the municipal election starts at 9 a.m. Oct. 22 to Oct. 31 at 1 p.m.; Municipal election Nov. 3.