Three candidates on ballot for Raleigh mayoral race

Raleigh mayoral race

September 27, 2011 4:30:05 AM PDT
Raleigh's three mayoral candidates agree this is a very important time for Raleigh. While there have been financial challenges in the recession, the city is still expected to see tremendous growth.

Each candidate told ABC11 they believe they have what it takes to do the job.

Dr. Randall Williams, a Raleigh gynecologist who has volunteered on medical humanitarian missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, said he sees similarities between his work in the operating room and the position of mayor.

"I think what's most important to me is that, as a surgeon, I'm a problem solver," Williams said. "I think it's really important to get people to work together to solve problems and that's something that I've had a lot of experience with."

The second candidate, Nancy McFarlane, is a pharmacist and business owner who has served nearly four years on the Raleigh City Council.

"I've started and run a business, and I've also served in city government, so I have been part of all of the decisions," she said. "I have sat at the table and made those decisions that have made us the best city in America."

And to make Raleigh even better, McFarlane said the focus needs to be on small business.

"I'm creating an office downtown, just a one-stop shop where people can go who either want to start a business or have a business and need some help along the way," McFarlane explained.

The third candidate, Billie Redmond, has overseen one of the largest businesses in Wake County. She's the former chair of WakeMed Health and Hospitals and the current CEO of Coldwell Banker Commercial TradeMark Properties.

"Someone has to have the fiscal discipline to lead through the difficult time, yet have the laser focus on the future," Redmond said.

Part of that future, McFarlane, Redmond, and Williams say they believe, will be turning the Dorothea Dix property into a city park.

"We preserve park land, create development around it, it grows tax base, we have more money in the coffers, it's a great combination of efforts for our citizens," Redmond said.

All three candidates say they have financial concerns over the original proposal for the 17-story Lightner Public Safety Center, but they agree new facilities are needed.

"I do think the need is there," Williams added. "I think you'll see a more functional facility coming forward than that one that was pretty ostentatious."

All of the candidates have business experience and a love for the City of Oaks. McFarlane is the only candidate with government experience. And while unaffiliated, the Wake County Democratic Party is endorsing her.

Williams and Redmond are Republicans.

Voters go to the polls in two weeks.

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