The independent news organization of Duke University

Durham elects Steve Schewel as next mayor

After 16 years under Bill Bell, the city of Durham has a new mayor.

With all precincts reporting, Steve Schewel, Trinity ‘73, received 59.5 percent of the vote to become Durham’s next mayor. He defeated Farad Ali, who garnered 40.1 percent.  

Schewel was a member on the Durham Board of Education from 2004 to 2008, and he has sat on the City Council since 2011. He also founded Indy Week in 1983 and Hopscotch Music Festival in 2010, in addition to being a visiting professor at the Sanford School of Public Policy.

"I will do my best to be a good mayor of Durham, and I'll need all y'all's support to do it." Schewel said at his campaign party.

In October, Schewel won more than 50 percent of the vote in the primary election. 

According to his platform, Schewel strives to make Durham as progressive as it can be, while making sure “all residents get an opportunity to share in our newfound prosperity.”  He has stressed the importance of greater access to affordable housing and public transportation, especially in the area around Duke's campus. He also noted he wants Durham to value sustainability and carbon reduction, even if the federal government pulls out of the Paris Climate Agreement.

First-year Jaylyn Barbee said he was impressed by Schewel when he got a chance to meet him.

“I met Steve Schewel a week before the election and he seemed so genuine,” he said. “One of Durham’s central problems is affordable housing and when asked about it, Steve gave a very thorough answer. He got my vote.”

City council

In Ward 1, DeDreana Freeman defeated incumbent Cora Cole-McFadden by a margin of 54.4 percent to 45.4 percent.

Mark-Anthony Middleton will be Durham’s councilman for Ward 2 after receiving 57.1 percent of the vote. His opponent John Rooks, Jr. received 42.7 percent.

Winning 62.4 percent of the vote, Vernetta Alston won the seat in Ward 3, with Shelia Ann Huggins receiving 37.3 percent.

Jake Satisky profile
Jake Satisky | Editor-in-Chief

Jake Satisky is a Trinity senior and the digital strategy director for Volume 116. He was the Editor-in-Chief for Volume 115 of The Chronicle. 


Share and discuss “Durham elects Steve Schewel as next mayor” on social media.