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An early look at who is running for town council and mayor seats in Carrboro

Carrboro Town Hall stands tall on Monday, March 27, 2023.

Candidates are already preparing for the Carrboro Town Council elections on Nov. 7, 2023.

Mayor Damon Seils and Mayor Pro Tempore Susan Romaine have announced that they are not running for reelection, leaving their seats open. The Carrboro Town Council consists of 7 seats — including the mayor and mayor pro tempore. Four of these seats are up for election in November, including the two currently open seats.

Sammy Slade, who has served on the Carrboro Town Council since 2009 and whose seat is up for election, has not announced whether or not he will be running for reelection.

Candidate filing officially opens on July 7 for this year's municipal election. Elections for Carrboro Town Council and mayor will be held on November 7. Below are the candidates who have announced their run for open seats. 

Barbara Foushee 

Barbara Foushee, a current town council member, is running for the open mayor spot in this upcoming election. She is currently the only person who has announced their candidacy for the seat.

“I'm going to answer the call to serve, and the next level is the mayor seat,” she said. 

She said her platform is based on community building — including issues like affordable housing, stormwater management, local and regional transit, race equity, climate action and environmental justice. 

She said that service has been a part of her life for many years from serving with her sorority, Zeta Phi Beta, to being on the town council and now running for mayor. 

“Any seat that I'm sitting in, as an elected official, or anywhere else, I'm always sitting for the people," she said. "I'm sitting for the voice that's not at the table.” 

Eliazar Posada . "I'm sitting for the voice that's not at the table” 

Eliazar Posada, another current town council member and the first LGBTQ+ Latino to be elected in North Carolina, is running for reelection.

He was elected to fill Damon Seils's seat once Seils was elected as mayor in 2021.

Outside of his time on the council, Posada has also worked with El Centro Hispano for seven years and works as the organizing director for Equality North Carolina.

Some of his priorities include a language equity plan, public transit and affordable housing. Out of all of these, he said that his top priority right now is affordable housing. 

"I definitely want to continue to work with the council to ensure that we as a Town are providing affordable housing for community members," he said.

Catherine Fray 

Catherine Fray, the current vice chair of the Carrboro Town Planning Board, is also running for Carrboro Town Council.

Fray said that they were inspired to run for town council so that they could be a part of the decision-making process on issues such as climate action, equitable transit, walkability and affordable housing.

They said that as the town keeps growing, they don’t want anyone to get left behind.

“If you live in Carrboro, then you know what a good life it can be," Fray said. "I just don't want us to pull the ladder up behind us — I want to make sure that we keep welcoming more people to Carrboro."

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Jason Merrill 

Jason Merrill has also announced his candidacy for Carrboro Town Council. Merrill, the former owner of Back Alley Bikes, recently sold his shop to new owners and decided to dedicate his life to public service. 

“I want to be of service and I'm available,” he said.

He said that his six years of experience on Carrboro's Transportation Advisory Board and customer service experience with his bike shop prepared him for enacting change in Carrboro.

“It's easy to criticize change when it's proposed, but people don't look at the status quo with the same critical eye,” he said.

If elected, he said, he would be particularly supportive of the Carrboro Connects comprehensive plan.

“It sets forth what I think are some of the greatest values of our community: the desire for greater racial and economic equity, the desire for greater environmental and cultural sustainability, the desire for greater affordability, the desire for greater transit conductivity,” he said. "These are all the things that made me want to live in Carrboro in the first place."

@DTHCityState | 

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