As he did in 2008, Durham Mayor Bill Bell will endorse Barack Obama for president.
Obama for America North Carolina announced that Bell will officially endorse Obama alongside Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane at Raleigh’s Boylan Bridge Brewpub.
Neither endorsement is a surprise—six-term Democratic mayor Bell has been an enthusiastic supporter of Obama for years, and independently affiliated McFarlane has praised Obama’s policies during his visits to North Carolina since she came to office in 2011. Obama endorsed Bell in his bid for re-election as mayor in 2007.
In 2008, Obama won Durham County by more than 52 percentage points over Sen. John McCain. Although Obama narrowly won the entire state in 2008, a Rasmussen poll published Thursday found Romney leading Obama in North Carolina, 52 percent to 46 percent. Romney staffers have been pulled away from North Carolina to other swing states, like Ohio.
“I want to get President Obama re-elected,” Bell said in a February interview with the Chronicle on the opening of an Obama campaign office in Durham. “None of the unprecedented enthusiasm in Durham for President Obama has gone away.”
The site of the announcement overlooks the planned site for Raleigh’s future transit hub, Union Station. Bell and McFarlane’s Obama endorsement is spurred, the announcement said, by plans in the proposed budget of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan that would cut local infrastructure spending by up to 20 percent.
In contrast, the release said, Obama “has remained committed to investing in infrastructure, education and innovation,” and supports a thriving middle class.