DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – It’s election season in Durham. The city will choose its next mayor as well as who sits on the City Council. 

The results are in after Durham’s primary election Tuesday night. Six City Council candidates and two candidates for mayor will move on to the general election. 

For the mayor’s seat, Leonardo Williams landed the most votes with just over 12,000. Right behind him in second is State Senator Mike Woodard. 

CBS 17 caught up with both of them Wednesday.

On the issue of affordable housing, Williams said he’s most focused on diversifying housing options while creating a cheaper and more efficient way to get around.

“The more housing you build, the more affordable housing you get,” Williams said. “But also, it becomes an affordable living concept because you now have multiple ways and options to getting around.”

On crime and gun violence, Williams said he wants to work with the county to enhance social services, with a special focus on Durham’s young people.

“When I was a band director, the band was big,” Williams said. “The band is small, we have more youngsters on the street causing trouble. We need our kids back in the band. We need kids back in extracurricular activities.”

As far as the plans Mike Woodard has for the city, he wants to start construction as soon as possible on a number of affordable housing units. He also said it could be beneficial to incentivize developers to provide more housing options for people living at or near the area median income. 

“I want to dig more into how we accelerate [planned affordable housing],” Woodard said. “We’re going to face some challenges because of labor shortages in the construction industry. But let’s find out how quickly we can accelerate that.”



When it comes to crime and gun violence, Woodard said he’ll bring together experts to discuss what can be done while working to make sure law enforcement is sufficiently staffed. 

“We’ve got to address the short-term, making sure that our law enforcement folks are helping our communities feel safe,” Woodard said. “Long-term, providing the wrap-around services to get to the chronic causes of crime.”

Now, voters turn their attention to Nov. 7, when in addition to the mayor’s race, they will also be voting on three City Council seats.