Hmmm ... the Durham City Council race is getting interesting | News

Hmmm ... the Durham City Council race is getting interesting

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With about a week left to file for Durham City elections, the City Council race is shaping up to be the most interesting, especially with the departure of Incumbents Eugene Brown and Diane Catotti, who announced earlier this summer that they would not run for re-election.

What's not surprising is that Mayor Bill Bell and Councilman Steve Schewel are running for re-election.

What is interesting is the range of seven candidates that have filed for the three City Council at-large seats.

  • Charles Reece, an attorney for Rho, a contract research organization in medical research; former treasurer of state Democratic Party and ex-secretary of Durham People’s Alliance, a left-leaning citizens group.

  • Mike Shiflett, board member of Liberty Arts Foundry, winner of a 2012 Human Relations Award  for his work in community housing, PAC2 chairman and co-founder of Durham-Orange Friends of Transit. An interesting debate could be had between Shiflett, a transit expert and Reece, who has reservations about a light-rail plan that doesn’t include Wake County. (We will all be old and decrepit before Wake gets around to it.)

  • Philip Azar, president of the Inter-Neighborhood Council
  • Sandra Davis, who has often appeared before Council with concerns about housing conditions at the Lynn Haven Apartment Complex in Southeast Durham. 

  • Judging from the Facebook response, the social justice community is excited about the candidacy of Jillian Johnson, community organizer and director of operations for Southern Vision Alliance, a nonprofit that works with youth on leadership development and civic engagement. 
    Jillian Johnson, Durham City Council candidate - LINKEDIN
    • LinkedIn
    • Jillian Johnson, Durham City Council candidate


  • Human Relations Commission member Ricky Hart
  • Dr. Juan Alva, who, The N&O reported, is a retired doctor recovering from brain surgery. He founded the Vickers Clinic, which he sold last year.

Bell will face (so far) James Lyons, managing director of Keys to Life, a community behavioral health nonprofit. He also works at Time Warner Cable (which reminds me, my Internet connection has been iffy lately).
Lyons lists his residential address as Morrisville, but he lives in the portion that extends into Durham County. 

Filing ends July 17.


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