RALEIGH, North Carolina — Local elections at the city and county level can have a major and direct impact on our daily lives. Will Raleigh make room for more affordable housing? Will developers be allowed to build 40-story buildings in Midtown? Will the Triangle have access to a commuter train and improved public transit?
Among some of Raleigh voters’ biggest concerns: Who will do the best job of handling the rapidly rising cost of living?
Outgoing Mayor: Mary-Ann Baldwin
Baldwin served five terms on the Raleigh City Council before being elected mayor in 2019.
Raleigh’s growth and development increased during Baldwin’s tenure, with the mayor supporting increased residential density through rezoning efforts that allow for the construction of townhouses, cottages, and grandma’s apartments.
If elected, Baldwin hopes to expand Bus Rapid Transit in her second term – and possibly build a commuter rail as a regional transit system in the Triangle area.
Along with all the development, a higher cost of living has drawn criticism from some long-time residents.
Mayoral Candidate: Terrance Ruth
Ruth moved to Raleigh in 2009. A former teacher and principal, he currently works as an assistant professor at North Carolina State University’s School of Social Work.
Its platforms have a strong focus on community engagement and affordability.
“I believe in the ‘housing first’ approach, which is embraced by commissioners and council,” he said. Ruth wants to make sure local leaders pay attention to “the less invested sections of our city.”
He points out that although Raleigh is currently one of the fastest growing cities in the country, growth means nothing if it’s not affordable to live here.
“It seems retrograde that an affordable housing solution is playing a part in displacing longtime residents and contributors to our environment as a city,” he wrote on his campaign website.
Ruth says he is passionate about developing tomorrow’s leaders. He works with various social justice groups, including the NAACP and breach repairers.
Mayoral Candidate: DaQuanta Copeland
Copeland began serving his community as a teenager by volunteering in his community. She currently runs a non-profit organization serving at-risk youth and children and serves as vice chair of the Wake County Health and Human Services Board.
With more than 20 years as a community organizer and advocate, Copeland says if elected, she will aim to give the Raleigh community more voice.
With incumbent Mayor Baldwin being criticized for cutting time for residents to speak at council meetings, Copeland said she would aim to increase community engagement.
“We see so much about businesses and buildings, but people… don’t feel welcome,” Copeland said. “People are being kicked out. People building the city are not welcome in the city.”
Raleigh City Council Elections
The city council is also up for election in 2022.
Seven candidates are vying for two seats at large:
- James Bledsoe
- Joshua Bradley
- Stormie Strong
- Anne Franklin
- Jonathan Melton (incumbent)
- John Odom
- Mary Black Branch,
- Whitney Hill
- Catherine Lawson
- Min Lee
- Jakob Lorberblatt
- Megan Patton
- Jeremiah Frank Pierce
- Corey branch (incumbent)
- Frankish fields
- Wanda Hunter
- Robert Baumgart
- Jane Harrison
- joseph kennedy
- Jennifer Truman
- Christine Jones
- David Knight (holder)
Watch WRAL.com on Election Day for updates on local race winners
On Tuesday, Nov. 8, WRAL News will update this story with the winners of each race, including Raleigh’s mayor and city council.