Fayetteville Mayor Mitch Colvin faces runoff challenge from Freddie de la Cruz

Monique John Image
Monday, November 6, 2023
Fayetteville Mayor Colvin faces runoff challenge from de la Cruz
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Mayoral challenger Freddie de la Cruz has ideas for making Fayetteville safer. Incumbent Mayor Mitch Colvin says his experience in office is an asset.

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- As candidates make their last efforts to sway voters ahead of Tuesday's general election. Fayetteville's two mayoral candidates spoke with ABC11 about why they should be chosen as the next man to lead the city.

Former military police officer Freddie de la Cruz said he wants to shake things up at city hall.

"I think that complacency has manifested on the city council, and I honestly believe that it's time for a new direction in Fayetteville," he said.

Incumbent Mayor Mitch Colvin pushed back on that assertion, citing his track record of tackling issues such as unemployment and attracting investment to the city.

"Over the last three terms and six years as mayor, I've learned a lot, and I've made some good relationships that will help us as a community be successful. And I think experience is a benefit," Colvin said.

De la Cruz has been engaging voters by campaigning on his nearly 30 years as an officer, saying he has what it takes to crack down on the crime and gun violence affecting the city. In the primary, he won about 21% of the vote in comparison to Colvin's 60 percent of the vote. But de la Cruz said he has fresh ideas to make the city safer:

"The police assets that we could leverage are some of the police vehicles that are that are parked out at the training center, that we can leverage those and place those strategically around the neighborhoods," Cruz said.

Meanwhile, Colvin said he wants to take a proactive approach to reduce crime by uplifting young people.

"I plan to introduce the council if I'm fortunate enough to be reelected a summit, at-risk youth summit to where we see where the gaps are in our community. That we create a more of a comprehensive plan -- working with the new chair of the Department of Gun Violence at State has appointed, as well as our federal officials..." Colvin said.

Polls open at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday and close at 7:30 p.m. Voters standing in line at 7:30 p.m. will be able to cast a ballot.

Voters in North Carolina are required to bring their photo ID to the polls. A list of acceptable forms of photo ID is available here.