It's never NOT an election year in Raleigh given that congressional elections are every even-numbered year and, in between, every odd-numbered year has elections for two-year terms on the Raleigh City Council.
McFarlane has the Dix Park deal with Gov. McCrory in her kit and no opposition in sight as yet. She's a political independent with lots of Democrats supporting her. As for a Republican opponent, the GOP in Raleigh is a damaged brand at best.
Of the other seven members of council, I count five who'd either like to be mayor some day or, in the case of John Ddom, have actually run for mayor. All five will be seeking re-election to their council seats this year as far as I know.
I don't believe Eugene Weeks, the District C incumbent, has any mayoral interest. Weeks, assuming he tries to keep his seat, may have a serious challenger in Corey Branch, a member of the Raleigh Transit Authority who's been talking up a possible candidacy. Branch is very visible in the debates over future bus and/or rail transit in the city.
Kay Crowder, who was appointed last fall to complete her late husband Thomas Crowder's term as the District D member, is likely to run for election but has made no final decision as yet.