Meeker endorses McFarlane


Monday, he announced he's endorsing Mayor Pro Tem Nancy McFarlane to succeed him.

First elected in 2001, Meeker said in April that he would not be running for a record sixth term.

Meeker's election to a fifth term in 2009 tied him with Avery Upchurch as Raleigh's longest-serving mayor.

The other contenders for his job are real estate executive Billie Redmond and Raleigh doctor Randall Williams.

On the issues, McFarlane, Redmond, and Williams say they all believe the Dorothea Dix property should become 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 have said they have financial concerns about the original plans for the 17-story Lightner public safety center, but have said it is time for new facilities.

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

And they all have business experience.

"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 said.

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