The next round of Raleigh elections is shaping up as new competitors and familiar faces jump into the fray.
Councilman Wayne Maiorano confirmed Friday that he would run for a second term in District A. At the same time, an old rival – former councilman Randy Stagner – announced that he will either challenge Maiorano or enter a city-wide race for an at-large seat.
Stagner held off on making his announcement until Maiorano entered the race. The two have a history: They faced off in 2013, when Maiorano unseated Stagner by just 250 votes.
Maiorano is registered as a Republican and Stagner a Democrat, but the elections are nonpartisan. Stagner lost amid acrimony about the firing of former city manager Russell Allen.
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With Maiorano’s entrance, only one sitting council member hasn’t announced whether she intends to run. Councilwoman Kay Crowder said she will make an announcement next week. Councilman Eugene Weeks is running but hasn’t scheduled a formal kick-off event.
Corey Branch already has said that he will challenge Weeks in District C, while DeAntony Collins plans to run against Councilman Bonner Gaylord in District E.
The election is Oct. 6. Candidates may file from July 6 to July 17.
Wake study will go on
The Wake County Board of Commissioners still intends to form a citizens committee to study county representation even though changes in how board members are elected were passed into state law this week.
Wake commissioners will vote Monday on forming the committee, whose charge includes looking at whether parts of the county are under-represented and how responsive commissioners are to the public. The committee was proposed in response to Senate Bill 181, which eliminates having commissioners run countywide in favor of running only in districts.
Wake commissioners had hoped the General Assembly would delay approval of the bill until the committee had a chance to do its work. But the bill became law Wednesday when it was approved by the state House. It was approved by the Senate last month.
“We’re going to approve the concept, but we’re probably going to take a slightly different direction,” said James West, chairman of the all-Democratic board of commissioners. “We still think it’s very important to look at the issue of representation, how we can better represent our constituents.”
Republican lawmakers charged that rural parts of the county were under-represented by having commissioners run countywide. West said he doesn’t think the issue of under-representation is as big a problem as the bill’s supporters made it out to be. But he said the committee will let commissioners get valuable direct feedback from the public.
By Andrew Kenney and T. Keung Hui
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