Published: Aug 31, 2011 02:00 AM
Modified: Aug 29, 2011 08:49 PM
The Durham People's Alliance has endorsed Mayor Bill Bell for re-election, along with incumbent City Council members Eugene Brown and Diane Catotti and Council candidate Steve Schewel.
Bell "has provided steady political leadership for the city of Durham, and has presided over a period of growth and economic revitalization," the PA said in a statement announcing its choices.
The PA, one of Durham's three major political-action organizations, described the council favorites as "part of a strong team that will help formulate progressive policies for Durham in these fiscally challenging times."
Half of the 12 candidates for mayor and council did not respond to the People's Alliance invitation to go through the group's endorsement process, which involved an 18-item questionnaire and an interview.
Besides Bell, mayoral candidate Ralph McKinney returned a completed questionnaire; as did council candidate Solomon Burnette along with Brown, Catotti and Schewel.
Mayoral candidates Joe Bowser and Sylvester Williams, and council candidates Alice Bailey, Donald Hughes and Victoria Peterson did not return questionnaires.
Council candidate John Tarantino said he was not informed about the endorsement process, but PA member Tom Miller said Tarantino was invited twice, by email, to participate.
A half-cent sales tax for public transit and a quarter-cent sales tax for Durham Public Schools and Durham Tech also got PA endorsement.
Of Durham's other two major PACs, the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People begins its endorsement interviews the week of Sept. 12, said spokeswoman Denise Hester.
The Friends of Durham has indicated it will wait to endorse until after the Oct. 11 primary.