Kay Crowder, who represents southwest Raleigh on the City Council, hopes to keep the seat in her family’s name another two years.
Crowder, 61, recently announced her plans to seek re-election in October. She was appointed to the council in 2014 after her husband, Thomas Crowder, died. He had served five terms on the council, from 2003 to 2014.
Crowder, a Democrat, is known for scrutinizing development proposals and for promoting financial conservatism. She was the council’s lone critic of a recently adopted bike-rental program that will place bikes for rent throughout downtown. Crowder said the city should use the money on sidewalks instead.
She said she wants to continue promoting “smart” economic development, while also improving Raleigh’s infrastructure and protecting its neighborhoods.
“I feel lucky that I’ve been able to serve you for the last two years and really do want to build on the foundation of bringing unity to my constituents,” Crowder said in her video announcement.
Her campaign is planning a kick-off party at Sitti Authentic Lebanese restaurant in downtown Raleigh on May 10 at 5:30 p.m.
After she was appointed to the council, Crowder quickly gained influence and responsibility.
She was a key vote in 2015 when Kane Realty sought to rezone a property in downtown Raleigh’s warehouse district, where the company plans to build a 17-story tower. Crowder met with John Kane, the company’s CEO, to encourage the inclusion of retail space in the tower’s west side, across from the Union Station transit hub that’s currently under construction.
That October, she won her first election bid with 61 percent of the vote. Mayor Nancy McFarlane then appointed Crowder as mayor pro tem, which means Crowder runs council meetings in McFarlane’s absence and is second-in-command.
Crowder is also one of only two council members – the other being McFarlane – serving on the Dix Park Master Plan Executive Committee. The committee, which also includes members Jim Goodmon and N.C. State University Chancellor Randy Woodson, is a key decider in how the 308-acre property will develop into a “destination park” in the coming years.
“It’s important that we get that right,” Crowder said in an interview. “How will the park affect those edges, whether it’s Lake Wheeler, Western Boulevard, the university or Boylan Heights?”
Crowder is one of four residents to announce their candidacy for the Raleigh City Council. Mayor Nancy McFarlane, councilman Russ Stephenson and former councilman Stacy Miller announced their election bids earlier this year.