Candidates in the upcoming Chapel Hill and Carrboro municipal elections received endorsements from the NEXT Chapel Hill & Carrboro advocacy group.

NEXT, which describes itself as a group that supports progressive values in the two towns, shared the candidates the group supports in the 2019 election races on Monday. It said it evaluated candidates based on their experience, depth of knowledge on important community issues and support of community growth that features creating more affordable housing, addressing of climate change and acceptance of diverse populations.

For the mayoral races, NEXT endorsed the incumbents: Pam Hemminger for Chapel Hill and Lydia Lavelle for Carrboro. It pointed to both mayors’ history of supporting plans for a regional transportation system and work to combat climate change. Hemminger is facing a challenger in Joshua Levenson; Lavelle is running unopposed.

In the Chapel Hill town council race, the advocacy group voiced support of incumbent Michael Parker and candidates Sue Hunter and Tai Huynh.

For the Carrboro Board of Aldermen election, NEXT endorsed incumbent candidates Damon Seils and Sammy Slade. There are three seats up for election to the board, but the group chose to only endorse two candidates.

NEXT’s endorsements come shortly after the endorsements of CHALT, the Chapel Hill Alliance for a Livable Town advocacy group, were released. The group endorsed the opposite candidates for four available seats on the town council, supporting incumbents Jessica Anderson and Nancy Oates along with candidates Amy Ryan and Renuka Soll.

Early voting for Orange County and Chatham County local elections will begin on October 16.