Corrected: Edwin "Eddie" Woodhouse, Jr., a Republican, is running for the District A seat; his father, Edwin Woodhouse was the executive director of the North Carolina Poultry Federation. The senior Edwin Woodhouse is a registered Democrat.
It’s the last day to file as a candidate for City Council and in Raleigh, there’s a race of varying degrees of competitiveness in each of the five districts, and at-large. District A in particular will be fun to watch. Here’s
who all is running, as of Friday at noon.
Mayor Nancy McFarlane has a challenger in Dr. Robert “Bob” Weltzin, a chiropractor who also challenged the mayor for her seat in 2013. Weltzin has lived in Raleigh for 5 years now, and in the interest of transparency, was totally upfront about a DWI conviction he received shortly before moving here. The Wake County Republican party endorsed Weltzin last time; will they do it again? Here’s his mayoral sales pitch from 2013, per his LinkedIn page:
“Provide effective visible leadership for all of Raleigh. To reduce the 350% tax increase since 2002 with a debt total of $2.4 billion. To assist the city's less fortunate while building a strong vibrant community.”
McFarlane won in 2013 with 73 percent of the vote compared to Weltzin’s 22 percent. Weltzin may get a few more votes this year, due to seemingly everyone’s discontent with the UDO remapping, but he’s been invisible, basically, since 2013 so it’s hard to take him seriously as a candidate.
City Council At-Large:
Dr. Rpbert L. Weltzin, DC
So, there’s Craig Ralph, a Republican developer.
And, interestingly, Matt Tomasulo (who the INDY profiled
last year) just threw his hat in the ring. Tomasulo is the young visionary behind the Walk Your City
campaign, which boosted Raleigh’s walkability by installing informational street-signs all over and just outside of downtown. A designer and entrepreneur, it’s hard to gauge how serious he is throwing his name in the mix at the last minute, but he’d definitely bring some fresh ideas to the Council.
They'll of course go up against incumbents, Russ Stephenson and Mary-Ann Baldwin.
Jeremy M. Lange
We’ve got J.B. Buxton.
: Buxton served as Democratic Gov. Mike Easley's top education aide, and as Deputy State Superintendent of the North Carolina school system. Buxton is a nationally known education consultant and currently chairs the new PAVE Southeast Raleigh charter school.
He'll be a formidable candidate, but, he's been getting some blowback from the NORCHOA folks (he voted in favor of the Dunn and Falls of Neuse Roads rezoning on the Planning Commission back in February). Raleigh residents have also expressed concern over Buxton and the Planning Commission's March vote
to approve remapping property at the Falls Lake dam and Neuse River to Neighborhood Mixed Use (NX), which could permit a gas station on the site where The Bike Guy Shop is currently located on Fonville Road.
Richard “Dickie” Thompson, the chairman of the RDU Airport Authority Board, has filed to run in District A as well. A civil engineer with a degree from N.C. State University, Thompson has worked at his family’s contracting business, J.M. Thompson Contractors
, for thirty years. Thompson has also served on the City of Raleigh’s Planning Commission.
Richard "Dickie" Thompson
Finally, there’s Edwin “Eddie” Woodhouse Jr., the son of longtime executive director of the North Carolina Poultry Federation
Edwin Wilbur Woodhouse. The Woodhouse family has deep political roots in North Carolina, and ties to both Republicans and Democrats. According to this report
, Woodhouse worked foe Sen. Jesse Helms for years.
This is likely to be a tight race; both Buxton and Thompson could have a hard time distancing themselves from Maiorano’s pro-development rep, which he caught so much flack for. Woodhouse looks to have come out of nowhere, though he likely has a lot of legislative connections.
Former Councilman Randy Stagner sent out a statement noting that he’s definitely not planning to run for City Council; he’ll continue his work in national security at the U.S. State Department in Washington.
There's incumbent John Odom and newcomer David Cox.
There's incumbent Eugene Weeks, and newcomer Corey Branch.
Remember when young, Democratic newcomer Jim Kemp Sherron ran for the District D seat
against the popular late-Councilman Thomas Crowder in 2013? Well here is some de ja vu: Ashton Mae Smith, the community engagement and employee project manager at Citrix is running against Crowder’s wife, sitting Councilwoman Kay Crowder.
Smith looks to be more politically active than Sherron was; she chairs the board of the Friends of the City of Raleigh Museum, and sits on the DHIC board. She was a WakeUp Wake County board member and is a member of the Urban Land Institute of the Triangle. But I’ll say it now—she will have a very tough time beating Crowder.
Ashton Mae Smith
There's incumbent Bonner Gaylord, and newcomers DeAntony Collins
and Edie Jeffreys.