Raleigh mayoral race stalls as challenger weighs decision for runoff

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Charles Francis said Wednesday he still hasn't decided to pursue a runoff.

Charles Francis, Democratic candidate for Raleigh's mayor, is not ready to make a decision on if he will continue in the race against incumbent Nancy McFarlane, who is unaffiliated.

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During a news conference Wednesday he said he needs more time.

"I'm going to be talking over the next few days with voters, my supporters and to my donors and then we'll have an announcement on the next steps as the tallies are finalized in advance of the canvass which I believe is going to take place," he said.

It's a decision that puts McFarlane in limbo during the next few days.

McFarlane couldn't pull it off a sure win Election Day, coming up shy of the 50 percent vote total needed to take the win.

Francis faces an uphill battle to make up her lead if he applies for a runoff election.

Although no decision was made, Francis stayed on campaign message: improving transportation, access to mental health and city services for all, including affordable housing.

He criticized McFarlane's work on affordable housing and her reach in Southeast Raleigh.

In an interview with ABC11 Wednesday, McFarlane said that she is connected to Southeast Raleigh and highlights a new program in that area to train people for jobs.

"If you look at where we are doing a lot of work and infrastructure, it is Southeast Raleigh," McFarlane said. "I worked with the Obama White House on IT beginnings. It's part of that administration's tech-hire program. I spent a year and a half working on that and that entire program is primarily for Southeast Raleigh."

If there is a runoff, McFarlane said her strategy is to make sure her work on affordable housing, improving the environment and jobs is being communicated accurately and effectively to the public.

Francis expects to make a decision by Monday.

Things you should know if there is a runoff:

The Runoff election is November 7, the same day as the other municipal elections.

Three elections qualify for a runoff:
  • City of Raleigh Mayor

  • Raleigh City Council At-large

  • Raleigh City Council District E

The deadline for candidates in those races to request a runoff is October 19.

Wake Board of Elections will canvass starting at 10 a.m. Monday to certify votes.

If you did not vote on Election Day, you can vote in a runoff. If you're not registered to vote you have until this Friday to register.

Early voting for the November 7 election starts October 19, the same day as the deadline to request a runoff per the State Board of Elections.
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