A Raleigh City Council candidate’s outspokenness on the recently-approved state budget drew criticism this week from one of his opponents.
J.B. Buxton, one of three candidates for Raleigh’s District A, held a press conference Wednesday to denounce the legislature’s decision to include a new auto repair tax in the budget.
“This is bad for the residents of District A, and bad for businesses like Eastgate Shell,” Buxton said in a statement, referring to the station on Wake Forest Road where he held the press conference.
“I hope the Wake delegation is not supportive of these efforts,” Buxton added, “And it shows why we need individuals on the City Council who will fight for the needs of this district and the City – and understand that we need a better partnership with state government on improving education and growing jobs.”
The campaign for Dickie Thompson, another District A candidate, said the event shows Buxton is more interested in state politics than local issues.
“There has been some speculation that he’s using this race as a stepping stone for higher office,” said Dave Miranda, Thompson’s campaign manager.
Miranda noted Buxton’s background in state politics. Buxton was a senior education adviser for former Gov. Mike Easley from 2001 to 2006 and deputy superintendent for the state Department of Public Instruction from 2007 to 2009.
“Dickie is a public servant,” Miranda said. “J.B. is a politician.”
In response, Buxton dismissed Miranda’s speculation and said state legislation shouldn’t be off-limits to local candidates.
“I’ve got one interest and that’s to serve on the city council,” Buxton said. “I called out those issues because they’re important to residents and businesses in District A.”
“It’s not like the city is isolated from what the state does,” he added.
What’s so funny?
Mayor Nancy McFarlane is serious about running for a third term as mayor, but she doesn’t mind joking about her experiences.
McFarlane is scheduled Saturday to participate in SPARKcon, an annual Raleigh arts festival hosted by the Visual Art Exchange.
She’s expected to tell stories about her time as mayor during an improv event that will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. at Kings, at 14 W. Martin Street downtown.
Her anecdotes will serve as jumping-off points for improv comedian Mister Diplomat. “At least, that’s what I’ve been told!” McFarlane said in a text.
The event is free and open to all ages.
Former Fuquay-Varina commissioner Ed Ridpath said this week he would consider rejoining the board if he is elected, even though he unexpectedly resigned last month in the middle of his re-election campaign.
Ridpath said he won’t actively campaign for his old seat, but said if he gets enough votes Nov. 3 to win one of three available seats he will accept the voters’ decision.
Ridpath, who was finishing his first term on the board, submitted his resignation Aug. 22, citing private family matters. Reached by phone Wednesday, Ridpath again declined to say why he resigned. But he said he discussed the issue with his wife, Jeanne, and he expects the matter to be resolved by January, when the new board will be sworn in.
The deadline for removing candidate names has passed. Ridpath will appear on the ballot alongside six other candidates, including incumbents Charlie Adcock and William “Bill” Harris, Marilyn Gardner, Bryan Hanes and Henry J. Kuhn. Challenger Beth Cassels-Anderson’s name is there, too, even though she withdrew from the race Tuesday because of a job promotion and upcoming leg surgery.
▪ Democratic candidates running for municipal offices in Wake County have been invited to speak to the Democratic Women of Wake County on Thursday, Sept. 24, at the N.C. State University Club, 4200 Hillsborough St. in Raleigh. Buffet opens at 11:30 a.m., followed by the program at noon. Lunch costs $20, payable at the door. For reservations, email Pam Sturgeon at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 919-896-7747 by noon Monday.
▪ The Fuquay-Varina Chamber of Commerce hosts the first of two candidate forums from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24, in the multi-purpose room of Windsor Point Retirement Community, 1221 Broad St. fuquay-varina.com
Compiled by Paul A. Specht and Will Doran.