Write-in candidate Eugene Farrar announced he would run for mayor alongside incumbent Mayor Pam Hemminger for Chapel Hill Town elections in November.
Farrar was born and raised in Chapel Hill and has been actively involved with various parts of the community. He was the former program chairperson for the Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP and a Chapel Hill High School custodian. He said he wants to focus on helping local businesses and have the community become more engaged.
“The first initiative I would take is to involve the citizens that live in Chapel Hill, (and have them) involved in the process and openly have a dialogue with the communities so that they can feel and have an impact on the community where they live,” he said.
Farrar said he also believes affordable housing is a persisting problem in the community that local politicians talk about during their campaign, but never doing anything about it.
“We talk about affordable housing but you never see it come to fruition,” he said.
The write-in candidate said he believes the new developments with Carolina Square and Target are great for new students, but engagement with the larger local community needs to be improved.
“It's good to have Target on Franklin Street right now because we 20 to 30,000 students who will come and shop there,” he said. “But what happens when the students go home for 3 months?”
Joseph Bynum, a Chapel Hill native that grew up with Farrar, said he’s voting for Farrar because he has a lot of respect for the work Farrar has done for the community. He also said he doesn't think the black community hasn’t been properly represented in Chapel Hill.
Executive Director of the Hayti Heritage Center Angela Lee said Farrar had strong character and was a committed individual to anything he takes on, including running for mayor.
“He's rooted in Chapel Hill, he loves the community, he's very passionate about issues that involved the entire community — especially our children, and especially those for whom Chapel Hill has increasingly become an unaffordable place to live,” Lee said.
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