Voting opens in Durham primary

jwise@newsobserver.comSeptember 19, 2013 

  • To go and vote

    Votes may be cast at the Board of Elections office, 706 W. Corporation St.:

    Monday-Friday, Sept. 23-27, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

    Saturday, Sept. 28, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

    Sept. 30-Oct. 4, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

    Oct. 5, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

    The traditional election day is Oct. 8.

    To view a sample ballot, see bit.ly/15qzfc0.

Early voting opened Thursday in the municipal primary, which will eliminate one candidate from the three-way race for mayor and two from the field of four seeking the City Council’s Ward 2 seat.

Mayor Bill Bell is running for a seventh consecutive two-year term, but faces challenges from Sylvester Williams, a minister and financial consultant who lost to Bell in 2011, and management coach Michael P. Valentine, making his first venture into Durham politics.

An era is ending for Ward 2, which covers southeastern Durham and has kept Howard Clement in its council seat since 1983. Clement, who has missed most council meetings since late 2010 due to health problems, announced in June that he would not run again.

Contending to succeed Clement are bail bondsman Omar Beasley, retired teacher Eddie Davis, minister and funeral director Franklin O. Hanes and financial consultant Del Mattioli. Beasley made an unsuccessful run for county commissioner in 2012; Davis for state superintendent of public instruction in 2008. Hanes and Mattioli are first-time candidates for elective office in Durham.

For Mayor

•  William V. (Bill) Bell (incumbent)

Occupation: Executive vice president and COO, UDI/CDC

Political experience: Mayor of Durham, 2001-present; Durham County commissioner, 1972-1994 and 1996-2000 (chairman 1982-94)

Website: bit.ly/XSez3I

Latest financial report (Aug.28): Began election cycle with $5,673.67; raised, $100; spent, $1,401.30. Major contributors: Craigie D. and Tracy J. Sanders, $100.

Quote: “Crime is trending down in the right direction ... we’re doing a great job in terms of the revitalization of our downtown, doing a great job trying to revitalize some of our inner city neighborhoods … we’re doing a good job in terms of trying to maintain our roads and buildings and … we still maintain our triple-A bond rating.”

•  Michael Valentine

Occupation: Self-employed business consultant

Political experience: First campaign

Website: bit.ly/163lbke

Latest financial report (Sept. 6): Began election cycle with $0; raised, $360; spent, $325. Major contributor: Olutade Kumolu-Johnson, $100.

Quote: “We live in a historical home and, yes, there are leaks. I will be the mayor … at 3 o’clock in the morning I want to be there to help you fix that leak. We live in this historical home and we’ve got to pass something great on that our kids and our offspring can be proud of. … Let’s make this the best branded city in North Carolina and in the world.”

•  Sylvester Williams

Occupation: financial consultant; pastor, The Assembly at Durham Christian Center

Political experience: Candidate for City Council, 2009; mayor, 2011

Website: bit.ly/15YEths

Latest financial report (Aug. 30): Began election cycle with $0; raised, $740; spent, $235. Major contributor: Barbara Williams, $500.

Quote: “One of the big things for Durham is crime; it’s one of the big negatives. We’ve got to address the crime issue. … Morality, the moral issue: There is something taking place in our city now that a lot of us are opposed to and there needs to be someone on the City Council who is willing to speak up for those who are opposed to the moral stands that the current City Council has taken.”

For City Council Ward 2

•  Omar Beasley

Occupation: Bail bondsman

Political experience: Candidate for county commissioner, 2012

Website: on.fb.me/18YiALz

Latest financial report (Sept. 6): Began election cycle with $1,320.96; raised $1,250; spent $1,132.87. Major contributors: Gregory Alan Harris, $200; Carl Webb, $150.

Quote: “I bring something different and unique to this board I believe Durham desperately needs right now, and that’s the the ability to truly comprehend what’s going on on the streets and the community where our crime is prevalent.”

•  Eddie Davis

Occupation: Retired president, N.C. Association of Educators

Political experience: Candidate for state superintendent of public instruction, 2008

Website: on.fb.me/18cVsqt

Latest financial report (Sept. 3): Began election cycle with $1,198.88; raised, $3,780; spent, $2,788.69. Major contributors: Harriette Vanhook Davis, $1,000; Laura Drey, $350.

Quote: “I’m very concerned about the homicide issues we have. … We should not allow the loss of human potential to continue here without an outcry. Also very concerned … to make sure we do everything we can to make sure our water is safe and secure for everyone.”

•  Frederick O. Hanes

Occupation: Pastor, Greater Canaan Missionary Baptist Church, Mebane; owner, Hanes Funeral Service

Political experience: First campaign

Website: bit.ly/17x60ng

Latest financial report (Aug. 28): Began election cycle with $0; raised, $1,852.91; spent, $1,793.66. Major contributor: Ronald L. Newton, $352.91.

Quote: “I deal with people on all bases – the lower class the middle class, the high class. … No, you won’t get a lawyer. No, you won’t get a financial genius. But you’ll get a real person that speaks for real people. … It’s my desire to work hard to be a member of the City Council so I can speak for everybody.”

•  Del Mattioli

Occupation: Owner, Del Mattioli and Associates, financial advisers

Political experience: First campaign

Website: bit.ly/18jWJlv

Latest financial report (Aug. 30): Began election cycle with $0; raised, $2,916; spent, $2,156.66. Major contributor: Faye Calhoun, $300.

Quote: “I am a leader. That’s all I know, is leading. … The message of my campaign means I intend not just to lead, though, but to offer citizens a representative form of government by listening and, more important, paying attention to their needs.”

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