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Schewel, Ali advance in Durham's mayoral primary

The results from Durham’s municipal primary election are in. 

The top two finishers in each race will move on to the general election held Nov. 8, even in situations where one candidate wins more than 50 percent of the vote.  

With all precincts reporting, Steve Schewel, Trinity ’73, captured more than 51 percent of the vote for mayor and Farad Ali received 29 percent. 

Schewel has served on Durham City Council since 2011. He is also a visiting assistant professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy and founded The Independent Weekly newspaper. Schewel received endorsements from the Durham People’s Alliance, AFL-CIO and others.

Farad Ali is a former city council member who campaigned on pro-growth and economic development themes. He was endorsed by the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People, the Friends of Durham and the North Carolina Sheriff Police Association.

City council

DeDreanna Freeman received 48 percent of the votes in Ward 1. She and incumbent council member Cora Cole-McFadden, who received 43 percent of the vote, will square off in the Nov. 8 election. 

Mark-Anthony Middleton and John Rooks, Jr. will also advance to the general election as the Ward 2 candidates. Middleton received 42 percent to Rooks’ 31 percent.

In Ward 3, Vernetta Alston received more than half of the votes, followed by Sheila Huggins, who received approximately 27 percent. Incumbent council member Don Moffitt will not advance to the next round, having come in third with 21 percent of the vote. 

Fewer than 14,000 people voted in the municipal primary in 2015 compared to 25,264 in this year’s election.

Check back for updates to this developing story. Read The Chronicle’s profiles of Schewel, Ali and Durham City Council Candidates. 


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