Bell picks up one challenger; Clement to gain his third
BCR's Daily Fishwrap Report for July 13, 2009

Donald Hughes to challenge Cole-McFadden for Ward 1 seat

Hughes_campaign_sign Last week, Howard Clement was getting most of the love (or is it love?) from other candidates, standing for most of the week as the only candidate for this fall's municipal election that had opposition from other candidates; he's expected to have three opponents at least by the week's end.

(Bill Bell did attract a past opponent, Steven Williams, for the mayor's race late last week, although the odds of anyone making a serious dent on Bell seem slim.)

That changes this week, with Donald Hughes set to enter the Ward 1 race against Mayor pro tem Cora Cole-McFadden.

Donald_hughes While Hughes is a newcomer to local electoral politics -- he'll turn 22 just a few weeks before the election -- his entry into the Ward 1 race has been one of the most handicapped, and watched, events of this political years.

BCR first heard the rumors of a possible Hughes run late in 2008; the UNC Greensboro graduate worked as an intern for Charlotte/Triad-area Congressman Mel Watt and was en route back to the Bull City, where he attended Eastway Elementary and Hillside High before heading off to Greensboro for college.

And Hughes confirmed in an email this evening that he'll be throwing his hat into the ring this week. A Facebook event invitation indicates that Hughes will hold a rally kicking off his campaign this Wednesday morning at 10:30am.

Some circles of Durham politics are doubtlessly going to evince some level of curiosity over Hughes' family political ties; his mother, Jackie Wagstaff, was a frequent and often-controversial member of City Council and the school board in years past. Wagstaff herself lost a re-election bid for Council in 2001 to Cole-McFadden -- the very candidate her son finds himself challenging eight years later.

Wagstaff then served several years on the school board during a period marked by significant conflict among the board, before coming in third place and losing her seat in a 2006 election.

But Hughes has struck his own path in Durham politics, working this year as an intern for the Durham Committee, frequently toting video cameras and the like to County Commission meetings and the like. And he's been speaking out more and more frequently at public meetings, often appearing before or after Committee chief Lavonia Allison.

In a May meeting to discuss the controversial school board cuts, Hughes spoke out against teacher and teacher assistant cuts -- "These are the people that deal directly with our children, with our students.  We cannot stand for this." -- while also calling for greater energy efficiency in buildings and eliminating fleet car privileges for DPS leadership.

Hughes was also outspoken in wanting a clearer sense of which schools were feeling the impact from the cuts. "We have to have this data disaggregated," Hughes said.

"When we're cutting 192 teachers, we need to know where those children are coming from. Are they coming from our most at-risk, low performing schools?" Hughes added.

Hughes also appeared at the April 13 Board of County Commissioners meeting, supporting fellow Committee partisans' stand on the controversial boundary change discussion involving Jordan Lake.

"It seems like we're ultimately telling the people of Durham that we want to turn away a possible opportunity to expand our tax base by not letting this project through," he said.

Noting that Durham does not currently get its drinking water from Jordan Lake, Hughes noted that the project would "bring jobs at a time when this economy is suffering."

"I would not stand up here and support any project that would cause my drinking water to be harmed," he added.

And Hughes has more generally been doing a Ward 1 circuit in recent months, from the PAC1 Coffee with Council meeting to the Cleveland-Holloway home tour and beyond, establishing a strong public presence.

The location of Hughes' kickoff -- an unloved former Winn-Dixie sitting abandoned across the street from Eastway -- is a great symbol of the unrealized promise, and economic pain, of East Durham. Eastway and the residential revitalization behind it show what renwal can look like in the Bull City, even as the lack of a grocery store in East Durham between The Villages and Los Primos has stood as a sign of the district's economic challenges.

Look for responsible economic development and neighborhood revitalization to be a plank of Hughes' campaign, along with support for vo-tech educational centers, public safety, and green/sustainability issues as critical planks in his platform.

While it's too soon to have any definitive sense of what impact Hughes' entry into the race will have -- other than it being the most watched-for move in Durham politics this season -- on the surface, the most interesting question it raises is which candidate will receive the Durham Committee endorsement in Ward 1.

Cole-McFadden got the nod from the Committee in 2005 over Victoria Peterson, but it's by no means clear that that's a pattern that will repeat itself this year.

Meanwhile, Cole-McFadden is likely to find herself under even more scrutiny in this, her second re-election bid. Some progressives who have long supported the mayor pro tem have felt her moving in a conservative direction on land use and development; others have argued she lacks independence from the mayor in her political decision-making.

At the same time, she's attracted scrutiny over media reports of a supposed role in the termination of the former manager of the private company contracted to operate DATA, allegedly telling the firm that they needed an African-American and not a white manager in Durham. The matter arose in a lawsuit filed by the former manager, who was eventually dismissed.

All of which, in short, has the potential to create a localized perfect-storm in politics.

Could grassroots campaigning from a fresh face help lead to a possible Committee endorsement -- even the Ward 1 seat itself?

Will Hughes be able to create his own profile in Bull City politics and avoid backlash from voters making inferences to his mother's political past?

And perhaps most intriguing -- will a challenge to Cole-McFadden lead still another candidate to enter the race and have a chance at winning victory? (A harder outcome to imagine given the presence of a primary election, which would preclude a three-candidate general election that would provide the greatest odds of such an outcome... but in Durham politics, anything's possible.)

Stay tuned.


Cheryl Sewell

I think his mother's baggage will be too much for him. He should try his luck in another city.

Donald Hughes

Thank you Cheryl for your honest assessment of my chances to win this election. While I respect your personal assessment, I want to remind you that this election is not about my mother- in fact this election is not about me. This election is about inspiring the people of Durham to come together to create the progressive community that we all envision and know is possible.

I am going to make it a point to address this issue at the start of the campaign and that is it- I will not expend unnecessary energy defending my relationship with my mother or her past. There are far too many pressing issues in Durham, across our state and throughout this nation than to focus on personality conflicts.

The relationships that I have formed throughout Durham are poignant examples of my ability to see that we (as the human race) have more commonalities than differences.

I would challenge you and others (as well as myself) to, instead of focusing on my mother and rehashing issues of the past, identify the challenges of the day and what can we do to bring Durham together to address those challenges.



In your previous post, I think you've already shown yourself to be your mother's son.

Cheryl did not make a personal attack, but you rush to judgement, become defense, and attack Cheryl for something she never said. This seems to be exactly what your mother did in public forums.

In the beginning of your post, you tried not to make it personal. However, by the end of your post, you've changed your tune. You challenge Cheryl to focus on something other than your mother, and you ask her to not rehash the past. If you'd read her post more carefully, you'd see that she did neither. She simply stated that she thought you wouldn't succeed because many people would remember your mother's "baggage" and judge you by it. She said, you might have more luck in another city where people did not know this history. IMHO, it sounds like good advice.

You seem like a bright guy with a lot of potential. If you truly believe that at 22 you have the experience and wisdom to be a civic leader in this complex city... more power to you. However, if you're like many 22 year olds, full of yourself, over eager and a little green behind the ears... maybe you should reconsider.

Either way, I suggest you settle down, read people's posts more carefully and think a bit before you respond online.


John Smith

Justin Betts, Ward-1

i would have to agree with the two posters here young man. you have shown already to be a very defensive individual that jumps to conclusions. these are the same concerns we had with your renegade mother in this city for years. you are right in saying durham needs to move forward. that can't be done though by bringing back the offspring of one of our political nightmares. this is worse than the clintons. i think the citizens of durham have no problem with waggstaff's checks and her trying to help young people. none of us are perfect, we as a forgiving city. our concern donald is that she thrives off of division and we don't need that again. already you are showing the same behavior, jumping to conclusions and personally attacking people. mcfadden is very good at public relations around the community. it would serve you well to be less confrontational. you seem like an untamed pistol.

Moe Rivera

It's the 800 lb Elephant in the room.
Poor guy, Initially, people are going to associate him with his mother. Remember folks, he has the whole summer to prove he is his own man. I still like how he sounds like a politician: "Personality Conflicts"

I only want to know if he supported the chickens.....


Whoah guys. How's that being overly defensive? Sheryl told him he couldn't run in this town, and he politely stated what he wanted this race to be about. I've only had the chance to talk to Donald once, but I was immediately impressed with his poise and outlook for such a young candidate.

For the health of Durham we should be focusing on the issues and candidate's policy positions, not their familial lineage or how defensive or aggressive an internet comment is perceived to be.

I can assure you, Donald is anything but an "untamed pistol."


An interesting exchange on Mr. Hughes' Facebook page:

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Britnei' Parker wrote
at 6:05pm yesterday
I'm so proud of you Donald and you can always count on my support 100%!!!!!!!!!

Donald 'Duck' Hughes (UNC Greensboro) wrote
at 7:27pm yesterday
Thank you Britnei! It is amazing how far we've come. I remember back to our kindergarten days at Holloway Street School. Let me know if there is anything I (or my mother) can do for you.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

For someone who doesn't want to make this about his mother, why mention her in this context?

@ Moe: He opposed chickens, as did his mother.

Donald Hughes

I have to sincerely thank you all for your concerns and advice. I will not run from my association with my mother. She is definitely one of the reasons I am where I am today- a college graduate seeking to give back to my community in a positive way. I just ask that you all, for the sake of Durham, evaluate candidates based on their own ideas and what they have to offer our community.

I look forward to an engaged election process and know that you all will continue to say and do what you feel is best for Durham. I will allow my record and my plans for Durham to speak for themselves at this point as to avoid any perceived notions of confrontation.

In response to Thomas, the young lady that you quoted (Britnei) is a close personal friend that has been a part of my life since I was a kindergarten student. Even before my interest in politics, my family and I have been there for her and other members of the Durham community. So if I have to deny my compassion for my brothers and sisters of Durham to win this election, then I do not want to win.


I have known Donald for about 8 years now. He has proven himself to me and the Durham community through his service. I remember Donald helping to get actual textbooks for our Spanish class after using a barely readable photocopied version for months. Even recently, Donald invited me along with a number of other people to Eastway Elementary School to participate in various service projects around the school. His love for Eastway, Hillside, and Durham is admirable and truly unmatched. I am actually surprised that he came back to Durham after doing so well in Greensboro and Washington D.C. But I guess there’s no denying your life’s calling.


So in this town, a young person cannot get out from underneath the shadow of a parent? Is he not afforded the opportunity? I dont know this man as of yet, but those of you who immediately came down upon him have shown your petty side, and you obviously fear (or resent) change and new blood. And you cannot separate a child from their parents, apparently, which seems ignorant to me, ultimately.

Would it be so difficult to acknowledge that the man has the right to run for what he pleases where he pleases and to garner support for himself as he can? And there is hardly anything anyone can do about it except wish him luck, for well or ill.

Joseph F.

Dudek and TSQ75....thanks for speaking up in Donald's defense.
I don't know Donald at all. But if one has read his letters to the editor in the newspapers or his comments to the various organizations he has spoken in front of one would know that he is a thoughtful guy who doesn't seem to react from the gut.
That was always the problem with Jackie, she often didn't think before she spoke and let her emotions lead. Even though her heart may have been in the right place it was hard to see that with her anger or whatever clouding the air.
It seems that Donald has maybe learned something from her. I was very impressed with his response to Cheryl, above.
It seems that are many out there, as shown by the comments above, who have the problem. And they are with Jackie. Let it go. Let him prove himself. And at the same time let him acknowledge the fact that his a mother without bashing him!

Steve Bocckino

It's easy to see where Mr. Hughes would vote on development issues. He spoke in favor of the developers who want to move the boundary of Jordan Lake.

Good for him! It's not every 22 year old who can put "moved a lake" on his resume.


This is the same Donald that use to scream, curse and disrupt School Board meetings.

Three arrested during school board mayhem
Protesters upset over new public comment policy

The Herald-Sun
Friday April 29, 2005
Final Edition
Front Section
Page A1

Three people were arrested and scores of protesters exchanged shouts with police Thursday night as the Durham school board held its first meeting under new rules governing public comments.

Arrested were Steve Matherly, Curtis Gatewood and Carol Walthour.

School board member Jackie Wagstaff said late Thursday that Matherly was charged with second-degree trespassing and disorderly conduct.

Gatewood, a minister and former head of Durham's NAACP branch, was charged with obstructing justice.

Walthour was charged with inciting a riot and assault on a government official after she cursed and argued with a police officer who tried to get her to leave the grounds of the school office building downtown.

Wagstaff left the meeting after the outburst and headed to the Durham County Jail. Around 11 p.m. she said about 10 members of Concerned Black Citizens, a group that has attended recent board meetings to oppose the new comment policy, were headed to Duke Hospital.

Wagstaff said Walthour started feeling faint and having heart trouble while being booked at the jail, and that an ambulance was called to take her to the hospital.

Wagstaff blamed the chaotic scene and arrests on the school board's new policy, which only allows public comment on items scheduled on the agenda.

"It's asinine to think that Durham Public Schools would create this kind of mayhem just because they don't want to listen to people anymore," she said. "If those board members don't listen to those parents who come here over and over again, this will continue to happen. What's the next step, to put a gate up around the Fuller Building? They took it to the extreme tonight."

The meeting opened with stern warning from board chairwoman Gail Heath, who has struggled to maintain order at past meetings. Concerned Black Citizens members have yelled and held up signs to call for Superintendent Ann Denlinger's ouster and for an investigation into their complaints about problems at Shepard Middle School.

As Heath called the meeting to order, the front rows of the room were covered with citizens holding neon signs criticizing the superintendent and school system.

One sign read, "A parent has a better chance of being arrested at the school house than at the crack house." Another simply said, "Oust Ann."

The outbursts erupted during a discussion of the budget, when Donald Hughes, Wagstaff's son, approached the podium. He started the crowd in chanting, "Lift the Ban and Fire Ann," as Sheryl Smith, another frequent board critic, was removed from the room after verbally sparring with Heath.

Moments later, as Matherly's comments veered away from the budget, Heath ordered him to sit down. Instead, he sat in front of the room and refused to leave. At that point, three officers entered and handcuffed him as a group of about 15 supporters followed him out the door.

Hughes refused to leave the room until Heath ordered him to.

As bedlam raged in the hallway outside the meeting room, Hughes tried to get back inside and continued screaming at Heath. With officers threatening to arrest the Hillside senior for inciting a riot, Wagstaff and Minnie Brown pinned his arms and prevented him from heading toward the police.

The group then flooded into the parking lot and stood on steps directly beneath the meeting room's window chanting, "Hey, hey, ho, ho, Ann Denlinger's got to go."

They moved to the street corner and began singing hymns such as "We Shall Overcome" through a megaphone.

At that point, about 10 more Durham police officers arrived and asked the group to disperse. After several warnings to leave, the mob erupted, and police and protesters shouted at each other. Gatewood and Walthour were arrested.

"They were asked to leave because they were causing a disturbance," police Lt. C.N. Cates said.

Before going to the jail to wait for charges to be filed against Matherly, Gatewood and Walthour, Hughes said he was at a "loss for words" to describe his reactions.

"It's a shame," he said as Wagstaff stood close by. "We just want the chance to express our opinions. The last I knew, we had the opportunity to protest in America. Somebody is going to pay for this. You are not going to do away with our rights and get away with it."

Hughes said school board members have themselves to blame.

"This all started because of the public comment policy," he said. "They disregarded the public, and therefore, they have this problem on their hands."

Regina King

Donald good luck,I am always interested and elated when young people take an active role in the election process. You will have some hurdles and hills to climb but that should not stop you from your quest. Hopefully, you have thought long and hard about becoming a candidate.Shame on all of you who wish to brow beat this young man even before the forums and campaigning starts. If you oppose him on issues of interests and concerns vital to the community, by all means vote your interest and don't vote for him. Mr.Hughes, there is a large bloc of folks that don't vote because they have no interest in the same old politics as usual,reach out,connect and show us that you're different. By the way are you running?


Wow! It seems like a lot of folks in Durham are stuck in the past. Wasn't 2008 about moving forward and letting go of "silly" things.

Leave this young man's past along. Yall are bringing stuff up from up to 10 years ago. He was a child then. It seems like he has matured since then.

I am disappointed in what I see happening- attempts to destroy a young man that cares about his community.

What a shame.


The past is a relevant factor when a person seeks elective office especially when he is using his appearance before the City Council while in elementary school as a means for introducing himself . . . lets know be selective in what we learn about candidates. It was just 4 short years ago.


Well I think you have a chance if Obama can do you can do. The youth coalition as well as my political group will back you up. I will let central, as well as the other youth on Facebook, as well as myspace to get out and vote because the city council as well and the county commissioners are getting old and do not care about hard working mothers and young adults that have graduated. we are 1000 strong as of now!!!! KEEP Fighting the Fight.. I'm sick of these people stealing our money, not paving the roads, and not making it possible to have Jobs. The citizens of durham is suffering and it's time to STAND up..


So Donald, four years ago at 18, you were thrown out of a school board meeting. Do you plan to get thrown out of Council Meetings if elected? This seems very relevant to your campaign. Four years removed from that situation, would you do anything differently? Did you make any mistakes? How about your mother? You can say, "the past is the past," but this isn't "Old News". Many, many people see this as one of the lowest points in recent Durham politics. I hear you saying I have changed, but I'm wondering how? I don't believe in burying the past, but in learning from it.


my first and only (so far) experience with Hughes was the various 751 meetings he attended. I remember him at the BoCC meeting in march as well as the April 13 meeting. I was there for a school project and he refused to speak to us, even though he was one of the most outspoken proponents of the development.

it wasn't that he just plain old declined to speak with us, it was that he refused and then followed us around and interrupted us when we tried to speak to others.

that's not compassion for brothers and sisters i can believe in.

Donald Hughes


I understand your concern. I am one that believes and always will believe that a person needs not tell you who they are rather, through their actions you will know.

Out of every life situation there is a lesson and a blessing. What I experienced as a mere teenager here in Durham prepared me to for greater challenges to come and prepared me to interact with many people on many levels.

I do not laud my actions; however, they did occur and at the time what happened was a result of years of disenfranchisement and frustration at a process that did not work for the people.

As I stated, my record speaks for itself. Here are a few highlights of my life in the past 4 years:

-UNCG Black Business Students Association Community Service Committee Chairman (selected as Chairman of the year as a freshman)

-UNCG Student Government Association (SGA) Freshman Senator

-UNCG SGA Chairman Pro-Tempore of the Student Senate (as a freshman)

-UNCG SGA Interim Vice-President (as a freshman)

-Elected to full-term as UNCG SGA VP

-Elected as UNCG SGA President

-One of first group of students from UNCG to go down to Biloxi, MS and the Gulf Coast to help rebuild a community

-LeaderShape week-long leadership development participant

-Project Effort Mentoring Program where I mentored a 5th grade student in Greensboro, NC

-Lobbied US Congressman with the United States Students Association for increased access and affordability to higher education

-UNCG Neo-Black Society Political Awareness Committee Chair

-Selected as one of only 700 students from across the world to participate in the inaugural 2008 Clinton Global Initiative University and presented outstanding commitment award for my dedication to ensuring that homeless students had a pathway to higher education

-Honored as UNCG Charles Hamilton Houston Award Winner for Student Activism

-Honored with UNCG Senior Impact Award (for commitment to the UNCG community for 4 years)

-UNCG Students for Barack Obama Chapter President

-Hired by the Obama for America Campaign as a Youth Vote Field Organizer

-Elected by Democrats in the 12th District as one of NC's youngest Pledged Obama Delegates to the 2008 Democratic National Convention

-Selected as 2008 Congressional Black Caucus Foundation/Wal-Mart Emerging Leaders Intern in the Office of United States Congressman Mel Watt

-Tutor and Mentor with Horton's Kids Program for S.E. Washington D.C. students

-Elected Precinct 17 Democratic Party Chair (Durham)

-Elected to the NC Democratic Party State Executive Committee

-Honored at UNCG Commencement with Bryan School of Business and Economics Dean’s Service Award for my commitment to the Bryan School, the UNCG Campus and the greater Greensboro community

-Instrumental in advocating for the saving of Teachers and Teacher Assistant jobs here in Durham during the recently passed budget discussions

As you can see Quintin, my record of achievement and ability to work for meaningful change with a cross section of individuals is evident. We all have a past. And it is from our past that we are the people that we are today. You live, learn and grow- which is what I have done. I do not feel the need to have to run around with my resume on my shirt. I treat people like I want to be treated- and that is by giving them an opportunity (without preconceived notions/judgments) to SHOW me their commitment to community. When we finally move beyond personal squabbles and look at what people are doing to make our community better, then we will succeed.

Instead of wasting all this time and effort questioning and defending my choices in life, we could have gotten out (like I did this past weekend) and helped uplift one of Durham's most challenged elementary schools and neighborhoods through painting the hallways and just comforting community members that showed up to receive various health screenings.

LEADERSHIP IS ACTION, NOT POSITION. If you have noticed, all of the people posting on this blog have yet to focus their energies on real solutions to the challenges that we face in Durham. I have not heard anyone use this forum to solicit community support/action around an issue. We cannot allow ourselves to be distracted from our mission of improving our community.

I hope that you do not become a victim of these circumstances and waist your talents looking for ways to bring another person down instead of identifying how you can uplift a person and a community.

Best wishes,

Donald A. Hughes

Donald Hughes

In response to ERG, Kevin Davis (the creator of this blog) was at at least one of those meetings and can assure readers that I did not follow anyone around at that meeting or interrupt their conversations. If you disagree with my stance on issues- fine. However, we cannot through around completely untrue accusations! The only individuals that I spoke to at those meetings were our elected officials and those people that approached me...never did I approach anyone other than members of the Durham County Board of Commissioners or School Board.

Kevin Davis

I can't speak too much to ERG's comments, as the only interactions I witnessed after the 4/13 meeting were between Donald and Chatham Co. Commission vice-chair Sally Kost. Certainly it was a contentious meeting, there's no question about that.

I would disagree somewhat with the idea that participating in an online community such as this one occurs in lieu of being active in the real-world community. The stories at BCR (or other news-oriented blogs like Endangered Durham) attract an audience of readers who are generally passionate about their community and want to know what's happening within it. Like the ever-shrinking audience of newspaper readers, they're reading because they're civically engaged, not engaging only virtually with the community.

I don't know many of the commenters here, but those I do (or whose email addresses I recognize) are generally folks who are engaging with the community through volunteer and civic activity much as you are, Donald.

I tend to agree with Dudek and TSQ75 that I'd like to see every candidate make their case for why they're the best candidate and that it's unfortunate to dwell on parental connections. There will be those who argue that some of the school board drama took place when you were reaching adulthood and that that wasn't that long ago; there will be others who'll point out that college is an excellent time for maturation and growth.

That said, all the interactions of a campaign -- including how candidates handle the criticism that goes with the territory if one chooses to be in the public eye -- become fair ground for how people judge you, offline and on.

Thanks to all for the comments and discussion.


Even when a parent is seen in a positive light, a child wants and needs to form his own path. It works both ways...does Michael Jordan's son consider himself a failure for not being the world's greatest basketball player? At the same time, I am sure he has watched his father and learned from his successes and failures.

I am also alarmed at the references to age. I am not endorsing Mr. Hughes until I find out more about him but I am not writing him off due to his age. He has already done more in 22 years than many have done with 40 years. I commend him on that hope that he continues to be engaged even if he doesn't get elected. At times experience can be crutch as well, it prevents you at times from stepping outside of your comfort zone ("This is the way its always been done"). At younger age, you don't know what can't be look at the opportunities that are available.

In essence, youthful zeal and ambition combined with wisdom is a dangerous thing. When the different generations begin to work together "amazing things" can happen.

It is time for new leaders to be groomed in our community. I wish all of the young, qualified candidates luck in the elections and hope the elders of the community are there to help them be successful and provide the necessary wisdom.

Sorry for the long post...and this is the short version. :)


His age and mother's past doesn't matter to me. However, his short sighted views on Jordan Lake alarm me. Just because today we do not get drinking water from Jordan Lake does not mean we won't as Durham grows. And also it seems he has discounted the affect of potential development in South Durham on our neighboring counties to the South who do currently use Jordan Lake for drinking water.

I want a City Council with long range vision and the ability to work with all our neighbors (including those in other counties) and unite us on regional issues such as water needs/ water quality and mass transportation. His myopic view of Jordan Lake does not bode well for his political future.


The incident I am thinking of was in March but the past is the past and leaders are made based on their actions, not their positions (online or off). i just wanted to state how my first impression was, which was off-putting and disappointing. everyone deserves a second chance so i'm looking forward to watching this race unfold. donald, i hope you'll think more wisely in the future about calling constituents liars.

and i am interested to see how all the social networking affects young voter turnout.

justin watts

if we're going to start talking about donald's attitude and behavioral control shortcomings, let's talk about cora mcfadden's connection to prostitution, tracey cline's old drug habit, bill bell's old crack habits, howard clement's mistresses and crackhead daughter, rev. sylvester williams' old fraud and prostitution habits, sandra howell's old shady business practices and reported closet homosexual tendencies and this other fellow, darius little, his old checkwriting sprees. and we haven't even gotten to the crazy libertarian guy running in ward-2.

nobody is perfect. it's easy to sit back talking trash about everyone when you can hide behind a computer screen and not have to look at yourself. or your kids. i could care less who wins, but i think all people are good until some life event forces them to get tangled-up in mischief. the good people eventually return to being good and do good things. but we must give them a chance, as we need 2nd, and 3rd chances ourselves.

justin watts

or current councilman Brown, who was in jail for failed child support. he's in office getting in trouble, not supporting kids and youth, his own, but I don't see people crying.

let's move on and see where all of these individuals stand on the issues!

Steve Bocckino

Justin, I hope you have deep pockets. Libel can cost you.



Ben Greene

Always a lively conversation on BCR - thanks Kevin for hosting one of our community's most diverse and vibrant forums.

Donald, I am always happy to hear of fellow Durhamites committed to making Durham a better place. If you would be interested, I would enjoy having a chance to sit down over lunch or iced tea to exchange our ideas and visions for Durham. If you would be available to do so, please email Kevin and ask him for my email address (Kevin, you have my permission).


Ben Greene
Durham Planning Commission

Laura Anne Duke

Donald is a lunatic.I am active in Durham and we have crossed paths a lot.He is just like his mother, quick to judgment and very abrasive.Don't disagree with them or you become a target of their wrath.Ask our own Pro Tem McFadden about these two.Nothing has changed about this guy.Go to a council meeting and listen to him.



I've got to say that posting that Donald is a "lunatic" doesn't cast a very favorable light on you either.

I don't know Donald well enough to feel comfortable going to the mat for him, but it doesn't serve anyone to use such hyperbole.

As a voter, if a candidate has done something wrong then the public needs to know what it is. If you just tell us you don't like the person or their beliefs, it doesn't help each of us decide if we agree or disagree with you.

Off topic, I am incredibly excited to see so many contested races this year. It is obvious that many people care about this city and want have a hand in shaping its future.

R. C. Robertson


Laura was right in her assessment. He use to curse out school board members and tell them they were going to hell.

We do need healthy debate for the future of Durham but none of the current challengers to the incumbants bring any substance into the race. Mr. Hughes is a recent graduate claiming to be ready for Council yet he is unemployed, lack any experience to solving the pressing issues of the City of Durham and one of his closest advisors is the most divisive figure in the Durham community. Durham has not been the laughing stock of the triangle for a while, lets not return to that status. If anything, we need more substantive candidates, not just fresh faces.

Durham is better than Chapel Hill and Raleigh but if we elect some of these clowns, we will again have a circus.

Moe Rivera

Using a couple of expletives in a public forum is not lunacy, it is tactless passion! We need more of this in Durham. We need to stop being polite and actually start saying what we expect from our elected officials.
We need less politicians, and more people.

Moe "Lunatic" Rivera

citizen kane

Durham city council meetings becoming a circus? It already is a circus.We have Cora who doesn't think for herself,HOWARD WHO SLEEPS,Bill who appears glazed,and Farad who reads the information just before the meetings. We don't get the brightest and the best we get citizens who need to supplement their pay or help their non profits get paid. This whole process is a joke and that is why only 30 percent or less of registered voters participate.

J. Michaux

I have not made up my mind as for whom to vote. I'd add that I don't think young age is a negative factor, as long as the candidate has demonstrated that he/she has been through some events which have forced them to handle the pressures of life. A council member needs to understand the citizens and this is why I like the young people who have tossed in their hats.

You can tell a lot about a candidate by their campaign organization. Since the filing deadline I have seen LITTLE WARD II signs everywhere. Mailers have been sent to my house from the Little campaign. This shows me that these young people understand structure, organization and how to run a campaign.

The young people are out working for our votes. I don't see any of the incumbents showing any passion. They don't seem to care and are taking us for granted. I think it is time for change.

R. C. Robertson

J. Michaux

Are you related to Mikey Michaux? If you plan to base your vote on number of campaign signs around Durham versus the substance, experience, and commitment individuals have demonstrated in Durham, then the outcome of this election has already been decided. As for the young people you mentioned, Little and Hughes are both unemploed. Little has a long history of writing bad checks whereas Hughes has only recently attempted to behave for the purposes of being elected but keep in mind this young man use to attend school board meetings calling board members racist and telling them they were going to hell. Governing does require experience despite what Barack Obama said and these newcomers have to demonstrate more than just pure ambition but how they have previously make a substantive difference in Durham. Appearing at meetings to speak does not amount to it either. Durham is its own worst enemy. Im praying voters are smarter than what these newcomers hope.

David Rivers

You might want to be careful with the employment accusations, since it is common knowledge that Little is a paralegal and often at the courthouse helping with cases. And while I can't verify, I heard on good word that Hughes is a consultant of some sort.

I have not decided who I am voting for but wanted to defend false accusations. I will do that for anyone, including the Brown child support accusation. Wrong person.

Kevin has your information by the way when you post, so you guys might want to really watch these false assertions. Somebody is going to get sued.

The comments to this entry are closed.