With early voting now under way, endorsements are coming in for candidates in Orange and Durham Counties.
On Wednesday, the INDY Week announced its often-influential endorsements. In Chapel Hill, the INDY supported Pam Hemminger for Mayor and Ed Harrison, Hongbin Gu, Rachel Schaevitz and Karen Stegman for Chapel Hill Town Council.
In Durham, the INDY endorsed Steve Schewel for Mayor and DeDreana Freeman, Mark-Anthony Middleton and Vernetta Alston for City Council. (The Schewel endorsement is no surprise: he founded the paper back in 1983.)
The Anderson/Thorpe/Chapman Breakfast Club also issued endorsements for Orange County races this week. The big surprise there: no endorsement for mayor of Chapel Hill. Pam Hemminger is running unopposed on the ballot, but Eugene Farrar is mounting a write-in challenge – and the Breakfast Club did not endorse either one.
For Chapel Hill Town Council, the Breakfast Club endorsed incumbent Maria Palmer and challengers Allen Buansi, Rachel Schaevitz, and Karen Stegman.
In Carrboro, the INDY and the Breakfast Club endorsed the same slate of candidates: Lydia Lavelle for reelection as Mayor and Barbara Foushee, Jacqueline Gist, Randee Haven-O’Donnell and Sammy Slade for the Board of Aldermen. (The INDY also endorsed Tom Stevens for reelection as Hillsborough Mayor.)
For Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School Board, the INDY and the Breakfast Club endorsed the same four candidates: incumbents James Barrett and Joal Hall Broun, and newcomers Mary Ann Wolf and Amy Fowler.
The INDY is known for (generally) supporting candidates who best espouse progressive values; the Breakfast Club is primarily comprised of NAACP members. (The NAACP itself does not issue endorsements.) Breakfast Club chair Fred Battle says they were looking for candidates who promoted affordable housing (including tiny houses), living-wage policy, and fair and impartial policing – and for the schools, a viable policy to close the persistent racial achievement gap.
In case you’re keeping score at home, here’s a running list of some (not necessarily all!) of the key endorsements in Orange County:
CHAPEL HILL MAYOR
Pam Hemminger (inc.): CHALT, Sierra Club, Indy Week
CHAPEL HILL TOWN COUNCIL
Allen Buansi: Sierra Club, Breakfast Club, CHALT
Hongbin Gu: Indy Week, CHALT
Ed Harrison (inc.): Indy Week, Sierra Club
Maria Palmer (inc.): Breakfast Club
Rachel Schaevitz: Indy Week, Breakfast Club, CHALT
Karen Stegman: Indy Week, Sierra Club, Breakfast Club, CHALT
Lydia Lavelle (inc.): Indy Week, Sierra Club, Breakfast Club
CARRBORO BOARD OF ALDERMEN
Barbara Foushee: Indy Week, Sierra Club, Breakfast Club
Jacqueline Gist (inc.): Indy Week, Sierra Club, Breakfast Club
Randee Haven-O’Donnell (inc.): Indy Week, Sierra Club, Breakfast Club
Sammy Slade (inc.): Indy Week, Sierra Club, Breakfast Club
Tom Stevens (inc.): Indy Week, Breakfast Club
CHAPEL HILL-CARRBORO CITY SCHOOL BOARD
James Barrett (inc.): Indy Week, Breakfast Club
Joal Hall Broun (inc.): Indy Week, Breakfast Club
Amy Fowler: Indy Week, Breakfast Club
Mary Ann Wolf: Indy Week, Breakfast Club
Early voting starts Thursday, October 19, and Election Day itself is Tuesday, November 7.