Early voting begins in Durham municipal primary

As you may know, Durham’s council and mayoral elections have two phases: one, the primaries, where the slate for each seat is whittled down to two candidates. And two, the general election, where the top two primary winners for each seat face off.

Take note: early voting for the primaries starts today. I have a horrible pattern of forgetting and/or ignoring these elections, but they can be significant in races where the endorsements are mixed. Note that only the seats with more than two candidates must face primaries; in this case, that means mayor (where Bell faces two challengers) and Ward 2 (which is a four way free-for-all to replace Clement, who is retiring after thirty years on the Council). Cole-McFadden is unopposed in Ward 1, and Moffitt has only one opponent, so they won’t be on this ballot.

This is a sample ballot, with information on early voting times and locations (PDF, sorry…). Below is the rundown of endorsements thus far (the seats involved in this primary are italicized):

Group Mayor Ward 1 Ward 2 Ward 3
Durham People’s Alliance Bell Cole-McFadden Davis Moffitt
Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People Bell Cole-McFadden Beasley Karriker
Friends of Durham Bell Cole-McFadden Beasley Karriker
Indy Week Bell Davis

I can’t actually find an official announcement from the Committee, so that’s a link to an H-S article which mentions their picks. Indy Week hasn’t (as far as I can tell) endorsed anybody in Ward 1 or Ward 3 yet (but Cole-McFadden is kind of a shoe-in, seeing as how she’s running unopposed).

It’s also worth mentioning that despite there being geographically distinct “Wards” in Durham, and despite the fact that three council members are nominally representatives of their respective wards, the distinction doesn’t actually determine who you can vote for. All residents can vote in all of the council races.

If you know of any other groups who have endorsed people in this race, let me know and I’ll add them to the list.

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