Raleigh mayoral race still up in the air

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – It remains unclear whether there will be a runoff election in November in the Raleigh mayor’s race.

Incumbent Mayor Nancy McFarlane got more than 48 percent of the vote, but she needed more than 50 percent of the vote to avoid the runoff.

Now, the second place candidate, Charles Francis, has until October 19 to decide if he wants there to be a runoff.

“I’m going to be talking over the next few days with the voters, with my supporters and with my donors and we’ll have an announcement on the next steps as the tallies are finalized,” said Francis, a democrat.

“I think that if we could go ahead and move forward with it and do more constructive, positive things and bring the community together, that’s better for the city,” said McFarlane, who is unaffiliated.

Francis partially ran on a platform of improving affordable housing in Southeast Raleigh.

The day after the election, voters are talking about that issue. CBS North Carolina stopped by the Ultimate Design Barber and Beauty Salon in Southeast Raleigh to talk with people inside about affordable housing and investment in Southeast Raleigh.

“We need some investing back into the community,” said Stan Dorsey, who owns the barber shop.

“A serious need for jobs, a serious need for housing,” said Geraldine Alshamy, a resident of Southeast Raleigh.

“We dedicated a penny of our property tax base to go to affordable housing,” said McFarlane. “That gives us a little over six million dollars the first year.”

Francis said the city has been too slow in its affordable housing efforts.

When you ask the folks from the barber shop, they hope things continue to improve in the years to come.

“You can talk all you want on the news, in the paper,” said Dorsey. “But if it’s not ground level, we ain’t going to get it.”

Elections officials are asking potential runoff candidates to announce their decisions soon.

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