In one of the less-surprising political endorsements of the silly season, the Friends of Durham have announced their endorsement of Thomas Stith's campaign for mayor. The Friends are a center-right PAC that's had some surprises this endorsement season -- in endorsing Diane Catotti and Eugene Brown's tries for re-election, notably -- but the selection of Stith comes as no surprise here. (See the N&O blog for details; I imagine the H-S will have a story on this on Thursday, too.)
Keeping with their moderate conservative bent (these are the old-line Chamber of Commerce Republicans, not the John Locke Foundation/Fox News types), they're also backing all the bond issues, including the school, Durham Tech, Museum of Life and Science, and road/sidewalk issues.
In the N&O interview, the Friends' president is quoted as stating that Bill Bell has "done a fine job," but that it's time for a change.
If there is an interesting factor to the endorsement, it's in the timing, which leaves the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People as the last of the Big Three endorsement groups to act. (
Well, OK, the People's Alliance might not have announced a choice yet, but c'mon, it's Bill Bell. Scratch that, a commentor and the H-S have reminded us that Bell already has the PA nod.) The Committee's power seems weaker than in past based on the low inner-city turn-out in the primary and Victoria Peterson's poor showing, but still, it gives the Committee's leadership that opportunity for potential swing vote power.