Local politics and policy are what we do here at Raleigh Public Record, and local elections are always one of our favorite times every two years. Every other October, the voters of Raleigh get to choose a new mayor and City Council. This year we also have a transportation bond on the ballot, and the people of WakeCounty get to decide on four school board seats and a schools bond.
Turnout tends to be pretty low for these off-year October elections. County wide, turnout two years ago was a little more than 21 percent, and those numbers were very high because of the contentious school board elections. In 2009 and 2007, turnout for WakeCounty was roughly 11 percent.
Raleigh and WakeCounty have been growing at a pretty fast clip during the past decade, despite the Great Recession and the housing market crash, so I can understand why people may not think they have all the information they need to make an informed decision in local elections. That’s why we do this guide.
I guarantee that if you spend half an hour with this guide you will be able to make the best possible decision for yourself on a representative to the Council, school board and on the two bonds. We are a nonpartisan organization; we make no endorsements and have no favorites. I know we all hear too much about bias in the media and I can tell you that the Record has two biases: first, we love Raleigh, this city is our home and a place we care for deeply; and second, we will always advocate for the importance of local journalism—it’s the foundation of a healthy local government.
For this guide, we asked each candidate the same set of questions either in person or by the phone. No candidates received the questions in advance. We transcribed their answers and cut them down to fit in the space allotted.
This guide has been in the works since June, and represents countless hours of work by our staff and freelance reporters. Our intrepid managing editor Jennifer Wig took the lead on getting this all together and keeping us all on task. She deserves the lion’s share of the credit for getting this guide, our one print issue each year, out to the press.
Thank you for reading and supporting the Record. Get out and vote.