Raleigh mayoral race likely headed for runoff; city council welcomes newcomers

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Raleigh’s mayoral race is likely to head to a runoff as Mary-Ann Baldwin (38%) led Charles Francis (31%).

Baldwin, who served 10 years on the Raleigh City Council, campaigned on her experience, as well as issues like affordable housing and transportation.

Mary-Ann Baldwin.

We’re talking about students being able to stay here, our kids being able to afford to live here, (and) our seniors being able to afford to live here,” Baldwin said.

Francis found himself in a similar position two years ago when he ran for mayor. He was in the lead when he got to his campaign’s party, but it will now be up to him whether to call a runoff.

“I think what we need to do is to pivot for the future. Look, Raleigh is a great place for some people, perhaps many people. But, in order for it to be a great place for all people, we don’t need to go backwards to ten years of service. We need to pivot to the future.”

Francis didn’t explicitly say if he’ll call for a run-off. His campaign said it will make a definitive statement at a later time.

Caroline Sullivan also garnered more than 11,000 votes. Baldwin had 20,726 and Francis finished with 16,900.

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As for Raleigh City Council, Saige Martin defeated Kay Crowder for the District D seat. Crowder has held that seat since 2014. Jonathan Melton won one of the two at-large seats. Current council member Nicole Stewart won the other.

“It shows that Raleigh voters are not pleased with the direction of the city council, but are really excited for a change in where we can and where we hope to be as a city,” Stewart said.

“There were not new candidates stepping forward. I’m a family law attorney and I’ve done some community organizing work. And I’ve really built my career on bringing people together and to try to facilitate that compromise. And I wasn’t seeing a lot of that in the council in the past two years,” said Melton.

Crowder could seek a runoff against Martin. Current council member Russ Stephenson could also seek one against Melton.

In Cary, bonds for parks and recreation facilities and transportation won in landslides. Mayor Harold Weinbrecht also ran away in his re-election.

Sandy Roberson won the race for Rocky Mount mayor. Henderson Mayor Eddie Ellington had 53% of the votes over Sharon Owens with 88% of precincts reporting.

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