by Bob Geary
No surprise, but a nice boost for the McFarlane campaign in front of the TV cameras: Mayor Charles Meeker, who's been a Nancy McFarlane supporter from the get-go but never made an on-camera endorsement, did so today at a press conference: He wants McFarlane to succeed him as mayor.
The event was held in a conference room at the Parker, Poe law firm where Meeker's a partner. It was festooned with McFarlane signs — done in the same green & blue motif that Meeker used in his winning campaigns.
For more on the Raleigh elections, and the Indy's endorsements, click here.
With a week to go until Election Day Oct. 11, the announcement helps focus attention on a mayoral campaign that, so far, has played second banana to the red-hot Wake school board elections. Meeker said McFarlane's been a key ally of his during her four years on City Council. (Meeker's been mayor for 10.) But he credited her with leading on stormwater issues, a key rezoning case in North Raleigh (the resulting Whole Foods complex is a whole lot greener than it would've been) and getting an ordinance passed that bars dog tethering, which speaks to the breadth of her interests, Meeker said.
For her part, McFarlane's claimed her role as a Meeker devotee. She says the fact that Raleigh was rated the No. 1 city in America by Business Week recently (among Raleigh's other accolades) speaks to how successful Meeker's been — with her support. She'll continue the policies that put Raleigh on top, she says.
McFarlane, a political independent who is endorsed by the Wake Democratic Party, faces Republicans Billie Redmond and Randall Williams in the Oct. 11 election. If no candidate receives 50 percent of the vote, there will be a runoff election between the top two finishers on Nov. 8.
Early voting is underway now through Saturday; if you haven't registered yet, you're too late for Election Day, but you can register and vote at the same time at Early Voting sites. Information about one-stop voting and registration can be found on the Wake County Board of Elections website.