Veteran politician John Odom has often seemed like the quintessential city councilman. A friendly backslapper, he knows everybody—except, perhaps, for the often-touted sixty-plus people who move to Raleigh every day.
Incumbent David Cox comes across differently. He's soft-spoken yet intense about his desire to constrain development in his sprawling north Raleigh district. Two years ago, Cox—then best known as a leader in a successful neighborhood battle against a supermarket—defeated Odom for the District B seat by 262 votes. Odom, then a Republican, now unaffiliated, is back for a rematch.
Cox is a man who's not afraid to say no. He's been an advocate of smart growth and citizen participation, particularly after McFarlane sought to reduce the influence of citizen advisory councils earlier this year. In 2015, the INDY endorsed Cox over Odom, arguing that "beyond an appetite for any and all development ... we're not quite sure what Odom's bringing to the table these days." We haven't changed our minds.