Durham Committee issues endorsements
The Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People has endorsed incumbents Mayor Bill Bell and City Council Member Steve Schewel, along with two other candidates who will be newcomers to the City Council if elected.
In addition to Bell and Schewel, the DCABP is endorsing Ricky Hart and Michael Shiflett, according to comittee Chairman Ralph Hunt, a former state senator.
The Durham Committee is the first of the city’s three major political action groups to announce endorsements for the October primary, in which four candidates for mayor and nine candidates for city council are seeking to be elected to the office of mayor or to three at-large city council seats.
Hunt said the group’s decisions were made Saturday morning during a meeting at the new Durham Committee office at 601 Fayetteville St.
Ralph Hunt, Jr., chair of the group’s Political Action Committee, said the endorsement decision was strongly supported by members of the Durham Committee’s general body, which supported the slate of the top three candidates who were endorsed by the political committee after “spirited discussion” of the candidates who had been interviewed by the committee. Candidates must be interviewed by the political committee in order to gain the committee’s endorsement.
Hart has been a member of the Durham Committee for a number of years and is a former chair of the city’s Human Relations Commission as well as a former treasurer of the political committee. Shiflett has been involved in community organizations in the city for many years and is a former chair of the InterNeighborhood Council.