Raleigh’s newly elected city councilors were officially sworn in last night at a ceremony held in the Meymandi Concert Hall at downtown’s Duke Energy Center.
The council will be welcoming three new members this year, including Dickie Thompson in District A, David Cox in District B and Corey Branch in District D.
Returning councilors include Kay Crowder in District D, Bonner Gaylord in District E and councilors Russ Stephenson and Mary Ann Baldwin, both of whom were elected at-large.
Mayor Nancy McFarlane is also returning for her third term, which many expect to be her last.
The council’s only registered Republican, John Odom, District B, was defeated in October’s election, it marked the first time in twenty years that no Republicans will be serving on City Council. While District E’s Bonner Gaylord, alongside Cox and McFarlane are unaffiliated, McFarlane has received the endorsement of the Democratic Party in each of her campaigns for mayor.
While two of the election’s biggest issues, a citywide remapping and the issue of private use on public space, specifically as it applies to downtown bar owners, have since been resolved, the new council will likely spend much of its time dealing with the underlying cause for both: Raleigh’s tremendous and apparently unwavering growth.
For more information on the councilors, you can read these interviews we ran before the October elections.
Nancy McFarlane was first elected Mayor in 2011, after serving two terms on the City Council. She is the founder MedPro Rx, Inc., a specialty infusion pharmacy. MedPro Rx consistently ranks as one of the best places to work in the Triangle and recently ranked as the number one small business in the Triangle, and number two in the South.
Mary Ann Baldwin is the president of Baldwin Communications and is the vice president of marketing and business development at Holt Brothers Construction. She is currently in her third term as an At-Large representative on City Council, where she also serves as the chair of the Law & Public Safety Committee.
Russ Stephenson is an architect and urban planner who served on the Raleigh’s Planning Commission before joining City Council in 2005. In addition to his work on the planning commission and in city council, Stephenson has also served as a member of the Hillsborough Street Visioning Process and has led walking tours of historic downtown Raleigh.
Dickie Thompson and his brothers John and Marty are the third-generation in the family-run JM Thompson construction company. He served on the Raleigh Planning Commission for seven years, and spent three of those years as its chair, and is currently chairman of the RDU Airport Authority Board.
David Cox is a computer scientist at ABB who volunteers with the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. He has long been an advocate for his neighborhood, and was at the forefront of a two-year struggle against a developer who wished to build a shopping center near his home.
Corey Branch currently works as a Senior Technical Director at North Carolina A&T State University, is a board member for Wake Up! Wake County and a member of the Raleigh Transit Authority.
Kay Crowder is a lifelong resident of District D in Raleigh who has worked in sales, marketing and finance, including time spent as the General Sales Manager WTPF-TV and a marketer for Edward Jones. She is also a founding member of the Avent West Neighborhood Association and volunteers each year with the Special Olympics.
Bonner Gaylord works for local developer Kane Realty, where he currently serves as the general manager of North Hills. He was first elected to City Council in District E in 2009. He serves on the Comprehensive Planning Committee, and was the Inaugural Chair for the Technology and Communication Committee.