Bell files for seventh term as Durham mayor

From staff reportsJuly 9, 2013 

Incumbent Mayor Bill Bell filed to run for a seventh, consecutive two-year term soon after candidate filing opened Friday.

The mayor and the City Council seats for Wards 1, 2 and 3 are up for election in November. Incumbent Ward 1 Council member and Mayor Pro Tem Cora Cole-McFadden also filed for a fourth four-year term on Friday.

Bell – Durham’s mayor since 2001 – previously served for 26 years on the Durham County Board of Commissioners, 12 of them as its chairman. He retired as an electrical engineer with IBM in 1996, since then he has been executive vice president of the nonprofit UDI/Community Development Corp.

Ward 1 covers the northeastern section of Durham and, as of Monday afternoon, no one had filed to challenge Cole-McFadden there. However, veteran Councilman Howard Clement’s decision not to seek re-election created an open race in Ward 2, southeast Durham, where four candidates have filed to run.

Bail bondsman Omar Beasley, who ran unsuccessfully for Durham County commissioner in 2012, filed Monday, joining retired teacher Eddie Davis, funeral-home owner Franklin Hanes and financial adviser Del Mattioli who filed Friday in seeking to succeed Clement.

Clement, 79, was appointed to the council in 1983 and has won seven elections. His current term expires after this fall’s election, and health problems have forced him to miss all but a handful of council meetings since late 2011.

Don Moffitt, who was appointed to the western-Durham Ward 3 seat in January, is running for election to a full term. Former County Commissioner Pam Karriker has also filed for the seat, which was left vacant by former Councilman Mike Woodard’s departure for the state Senate.

Ward council members are required to live in the wards they represent, but they are elected by voters citywide.

Candidate filing continues until noon July 19.

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