Durham Mayor Steve Schewel announces he will not seek reelection

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – Durham Mayor Steve Schewel announced Thursday he will not seek reelection for a third term.

“I hope that in my time as mayor I have made one thing very clear to the whole world. That is, everyone is welcome in Durham,” Schewel said. “Whatever your race or language or religion, we want you here in Durham.”

The decision comes as Schewel is about to welcome a new grandchild.

Schewel thanked his wife, Lao Rupert, for her support.

“I’m so looking forward to more dinners at home with her,” he said. 

He also said after 14 years in elected office, its time for something new.

Schewel was elected to city council in 2011 and served until 2017 when he was elected mayor.

He was reelected as mayor in 2019.Schewel led the curt through the downtown gas explosion in 2019. He was also the first mayor in the state to impose a stay-at-home order when the pandemic started last year. 

“I’ve been lucky in my life, I’ve done a lot of things I’ve enjoyed, but nothing I’ve enjoyed as much as being mayor,” Schewel said. “I love this city, I want to figure out how to continue to serve this city, and it doesn’t have to be in elected office.”Schewel still has six months until the term ends.

In that time, he said his goals include addressing the spike in gun violence, working to create more affordable housing, and creating the city’s new community safety department. 

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