Forum tonight with the Sierra Club's endorsed candidates: McFarlane, Stephenson head the list | Citizen

Forum tonight with the Sierra Club's endorsed candidates: McFarlane, Stephenson head the list


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Raleigh Councilors Nancy McFarlane and Russ Stephenson
The Sierra Club's NC chapter — very influential with local environmentalists — is out with its list of endorsed candidates in the Raleigh City Council elections. It will host a public forum with them tonight at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship meeting hall, 3313 Wade Avenue.

Doors at 6:30 pm, program 7-8 featuring Q&A with the candidates. Wine and appetizers after — free — the public is invited.

A separate event for the endorsed candidates in Cary will follow, they tell us. The list is below.


For mayor of Raleigh, the group is backing City Councilor Nancy McFarlane, an unaffiliated voter, against a pair of Republican opponents. To replace McFarlane in District A (North Raleigh), the group endorsed a political newcomer, Randy Stagner, a retired military officer who also an unaffiliated voter, over his Republican opponent.

In Raleigh's at-large Council race, the two incumbents are seeking re-election, but only one of them has the Sierra's Club's seal of approval. That would be Councilor Russ Stephenson, a hard-working champion of sustainable development practices and a Democrat.

The Club did not endorse Councilor Mary-Ann Baldwin, who is also a Democrat, nor did it pick the one challenger, Republican Paul Fitts.

In the at-large race, voters can cast one or two votes. The top two finishers are elected if they receive 25 percent of the total number of votes cast. In a three-way race, the top finisher is mathematically assured of receiving at least 25 percent; a runoff is conceivable if the second- and third-place finishers are close.

In the five-way race for the District C (Southeast Raleigh) seat, the Club endorsed incumbent Democrat Eugene Weeks.

It also endorsed District D Councilor Thomas Crowder, who is unopposed for re-election, but it did not endorse either of the other two incumbents running opposed — District B's John Odom and District E's Bonner Gaylord.


In Cary, the Sierra Club is endorsing Mayor Harold Weinbrecht, a Democrat, for re-election against his Republican opponent. For the vacant at-large Council seat formerly held by Erv Portman, who is now a Wake County Commissioner, Lori Bush won the Sierra Club nod.

In the District D race, incumbent Democrat Gale Adcock got the group's endorsement. It made no endorsement in the District B race.


Raleigh, N.C. — Following a careful review and consideration of candidates’ positions and public record, where available, the NC Chapter of the Sierra Club endorses the following candidates for Raleigh City Council and Cary Town Council. Endorsements are based on candidates’ expressed and demonstrated support of conservation and sustainability practices that promote smarter energy use, smarter growth and transit alternatives, creation of greenways, preservation of open space, and improved water and air quality.

“These are the candidates that will help promote and protect our quality of life as they insure we retain our top rating in the nation to do business,” said Timothy Reed, a spokesperson for the group.

Nancy McFarlane - Mayor
Russ Stephenson - At Large
Randy Stagner - District A
Eugene Weeks - District C
Thomas Crowder - District D

Harold Weinbrecht - Mayor
Lori Bush - At Large
Gale Adcock - District D


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