No political robot, Sookram ventures into Chapel Hill mayor race | News

No political robot, Sookram ventures into Chapel Hill mayor race

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Tim Sookram heard about a month ago than an election was coming up in November.

Never mind that he moved here just last summer, that this is his first bid for any office or that he’s never attended a Chapel Hill Town Council meeting, Sookram is running for the mayor’s office.

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  • Photo courtesy of Tim Sookram
“I guess it was just easy to get in. I thought it would be a bit of fun,” says Sookram, a http://www.timsookram.com/and indie rocker. “The Orange County Board of Elections is really easy to deal with and the current mayor, Mark Kleinschmidt, was running unopposed. … It’s just something to spend my extra time on to improve the community.”

Sookram moved to town from Austin, Texas with his fiance, who got a job at UNC Hospitals. He says he’s “always whining to her about how things could be better.”

Among his critiques are that the community should be better connected with bus service that runs later in the evening. He says he can get downtown for dinner from his University Mall-area abode, but that the buses stop running while he’s eating, leaving him stranded.

He wants development that’s “more central, more connected, less suburban-anywhere-America kind of look.”

“Chapel Hill is kind of in a bit of an urban crossroads here where we’ve built up a lot of stuff and we’re not really sure where to go,” he says.

Admittedly a novice on the local government scene, the Gentle Robot guitarist says he’s open to new ideas and wants to hear from voters.

“I’ll do my best. Mayor Kleinschmidt, I spoke to him, and he seems like a really nice guy, but you never know. It’s just the two of us in the race so far; the filing period ends Friday,” he says. “If it’s just me and him, hey, I’ll look at it as 50-50. … Stranger things have happened.”

He’s already won something. He owns the chapelhillmayor.com URL and Twitter handle.

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