Wake County

Meet the 2 candidates who want to represent southwest Raleigh on the City Council

A crane towers over a construction site on Hillsborough Street in Raleigh’s District D. The corridor has been the site of new, student-oriented development in recent years.
A crane towers over a construction site on Hillsborough Street in Raleigh’s District D. The corridor has been the site of new, student-oriented development in recent years. cseward@newsobserver.com

Voters in southwest Raleigh will decide Oct. 10 whether they want to stick with their incumbent Raleigh City Council representative or go with a political newcomer.

Kay Crowder wants to keep her District D seat that she’s held since the council appointed her after the death of her husband, five-term councilman Thomas Crowder, in 2014.

Crowder faces challenger Bobby Junior Plott, an actor who goes by BJ. Plott apparently hasn’t done any campaigning ahead of the election. He does not have a campaign website, yard signs or a publicly available platform.

Crowder said her campaign had reached out to Plott but had not heard back.

District D includes N.C. State University, Cameron Village and many of Raleigh’s older neighborhoods. Hillsborough Street has seen lots of new development, prompting concerns from some residents about losing neighborhood character.

Election Day is Oct. 10, but early voting has already begun.

Kay Crowder Harry Lynch N&O file photo

Kay Crowder

Bio: Crowder, 61, is a Raleigh native who attended Cary High School. She was a media sales manager at a local television station before taking a marketing position at financial services firm Edward Jones.

Issues: Crowder said her focus is preserving older neighborhoods. She cast the lone dissenting vote last year when the council approved a bike-share program, saying she thought the money could be better spent on transportation and social services. If re-elected, Crowder said she’d continue pushing a proposal to grant free bus passes to Raleigh’s school-age children.

Endorsements/affiliations: Crowder is a registered Democrat. She has been endorsed by the Wake County Democratic Party, the Raleigh-Wake Citizens Association, the Sierra Club Capital Group and Raleigh’s police and fire associations.

Fundraising: Crowder has raised $31,500 this election cycle and had a total of $57,900 on hand at the beginning of September.

Her own words: “People have become sort of used to a more suburban model, but with 68 people moving to Wake County every day, that model won’t be sustainable. I believe it’s certainly part of my job to help people feel comfortable about that.”

Bobby Junior (BJ) Plott Courtesy of BJ Plott

Bobby Junior Plott

Bio: Plott is a 26-year-old actor and producer who attended Broughton High School. Plott said he is the owner of production firm RAMstar studios. In an interview with a film blog, Plott detailed his involvement with a planned “Wizard of Oz” prequel and his intention to cast Margot Robbie and Amy Adams in the film.

Issues: In a brief email response to an interview request, Plott said he’d like to finish the Dix Park project, increase pay for city employees, especially first responders, and fix traffic.

Endorsements/affiliations: Plott is an unaffiliated voter.

Fundraising: In campaign finance documents, Plott agreed that his campaign would not receive or spend more than $1,000.

His own words (via email): “(My) campaign is low-key because I’m running it alone and don’t know how to run a campaign. This is my first time running, and I have no help. I want to run for president in 2028 and need some political experience.”

Gargan: 919-829-4807; @hgargan