2022 Raleigh City Council and Mayor Candidates Elevator Pitches

Answers have been lightly edited for style & space.

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For an in-depth look on hot button topics concerning City Council candidates, click here. To learn more about the candidates running for general assembly, click here.


Mary-Ann Baldwin (I) 
It’s no secret that Raleigh is growing rapidly. We need experienced leaders who will enhance our quality of life by focusing on housing affordability and regional transit. I’m running again because I want to build on the momentum this council has created over the past two years on both issues.

DaQuanta Copeland
I’m running for mayor because the people of Raleigh deserve to have a mayor who will create a city everyone can thrive in. A city that doesn’t encourage systemic racism, but creates an environment where our quality of life isn’t based on the type of career we chose or our income level. I know I can lead Raleigh into a healthy striving city that promotes equally great quality education and affordable sustainable housing while creating equitable inclusive communication for all of Raleigh’s residents.  

Dr. Terrance Ruth 
As a strategist working within Boston, Kansas City and others supported by Forward Cities, I worked with residents uniting around challenges—from housing shortages and displacement to small business insecurity and distrust. We’re now facing those same challenges, and I’m getting to work. I have the experience and the passion to join my neighbors in leveraging Raleigh’s growth toward a balanced approach that considers all residents.


James Bledsoe
A 17-year Army combat veteran of Afghanistan and Op. Inherent Resolve wanting less taxes and spending, better pay for first responders, and deregulation of residential zoning and businesses. I also plan to donate half my council pay to set up scholarships for Raleigh seniors going into STEM or the trades.

Joshua Bradley 
I am running for a seat for the working class on Raleigh City Council. For too long, the council has catered to wealthy developers and donors who do not represent the people; I want to ensure workers and tenants have a voice in matters that impact them locally.

Stormie Forte (I)
My overall goal is to make Raleigh a welcoming city for people coming into the area, as well as balancing the needs and concerns of our current residents. Improving access to affordable housing, making transit more efficient and monitoring our infrastructure are ways to achieve that goal.

Anne Franklin 
Let’s get Raleigh back on track. You and I worked together to make Raleigh a great place to live, work and learn. Recently, city council leadership has slumped, bought and sold. City council must regain trust by realizing our deepest resource is our people and our responsibility is to residents.

Jonathan Melton (I)
I am working to build a city that comes from a place of ‘yes’ and prioritizes responsible, equitable growth. Instead of trying the same old solutions to our city’s challenges, I have worked to find innovative new solutions by listening to voices across our city—not just a select few. 

John Odom 
Working together, we can move Raleigh in the right direction and focus on finding solutions to our most demanding challenges: keeping police pay and training competitive, developing a comprehensive transit system, and providing affordable housing while keeping taxes low. Cooperative leadership will give everyone a voice in our growth and development.

Dr. Portia Rochelle 
I’m concerned about the well-being of each citizen.  Qualifications: over 30 years overseeing policy development, conducting public hearings and grants management. I’ve volunteered in the community to promote better health, economic development, wealth building; educated citizens on laws and policies; managed budgets; and advocated for citizens on civil rights issues.

District A

Mary Black-Branch
As an environmental advocate, I worked to create alternative futures for the climate crisis through transformative solutions. In 18 years, I’ve seen this city change in ways that are exciting—yet also unsustainable and unaffordable. Through trust, healing, resiliency, intersectionality, collective vision and engagement, we can ensure every resident can thrive.

Whitney Hill 
I am running to bring Raleigh City Council back to the side of the table of the citizens. I believe taxes should not need to go up as we grow, and that the first responsibility of the city is the safety of its citizens.

Catherine Lawson
I want Raleigh to be a place anyone can call home. As an attorney and educator, I know progress requires listening, learning and exercising judgment. I’ll prioritize ethics reform, sustainable development, affordable housing and supporting Raleigh’s emergency response departments. I’m an independent and thoughtful leader for District A.

District B

Zainab Baloch
Did not respond.

Minu Lee
I am a first-generation Korean-American college student, and I’m running because we need representation that matters. We need a voice that will represent our minority communities while also representing the future homeowners and renters of tomorrow. I’m running because we need someone who will lead Raleigh toward positive, responsible growth.

Jakob Lorberblatt
I am one of Raleigh’s many tech workers. I am seeking Raleigh City Council District B to help ease growth pains with a common-sense perspective. My goals are to improve transportation, fully staff civil servant positions and preserve green space. 

Megan Patton
Like you, Raleigh is my home. I will fight tirelessly for development that secures housing access at all income levels and work to mitigate the impacts of climate change. I will also advance efforts to restore public trust in the council. Raleighites deserve that commitment now more than ever.

Frank Pierce
I am a Raleigh native who grew up in Southeast Raleigh and graduated from Broughton High School. I am a small-business owner and teacher. It is time we had leadership that represents all of Raleigh and not just a select few—a leader who shows up and listens at all times and not just when cameras are around. Additionally, constituent services will be a leading priority as your councilman.

District C

Corey Branch (I)
I am seeking reelection to continue to work for economic opportunities for our community. I want to continue to develop, support and promote opportunities for our young people while continuing to address housing affordability in another term.

Frank Fields
I use the simplistic yet impactful acronym  R.E.A.L. to describe how I plan to foster growth in District C: Research, Equity, Accountability, Leadership.

Wanda Hunter
Now is a pivotal time for change in our city and district. The change we need requires a shift in power and a call for justice—a shift in power to leadership that exemplifies active listening and objective decision-making skills for the betterment of the district, the city and every one of our constituents… and a call for justice through equitable policies and governance. I am that power shift.

Jennifer Truman
​​I believe that together we can build a different and better future for Raleigh. As a designer and optimistic leader, I know we can welcome the opportunities ahead for our city by focusing on equitable and sustainable growth, a budget that reflects our people and values, and transit choices and walkability.

District D

Rob Baumgart
I’ve built a successful small business, renovated and managed multiple properties, and raised two children—all in Raleigh’s District D. As a council member, I would partner with those who can help, listen to those who have plans, and promote ideas and organizations that keep our city healthy and vibrant.

Dr. Jane Harrison
Community-led development, affordable housing and environmental stewardship are my priorities. As an environmental economist, I help communities safeguard natural resources and invest in critical infrastructure. Let’s plan for a sustainable and inclusive future. I have a progressive vision and will be a tireless advocate for my neighbors. 

Todd Kennedy
I have been fortunate enough to call Raleigh home for over 25 years. I’ve built a career here in public infrastructure, a family, and a record of service and leadership. I am committed to Raleigh’s bright future and to enacting practical solutions that keep Raleigh prosperous, inclusive and resilient.

District E

Christina Jones 
I am a substitute teacher, board member and activist running for Raleigh City Council District E! Over the past several years, your say in how Raleigh functions has been slowly silenced. Leadership is built on community conversation. Help me amplify your voice as we create a more inclusive future for Raleigh.

David Knight (I)
My guiding principle is to put people first. As a city council member, I put this principle into action through planning for sustainable growth; working toward housing affordability; supporting our small businesses; and providing a robust and reliable transportation system that connects people to where they live, work and play.

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About the Author

Angela Brown
Angela Brown is the author of our Business & Economy section.