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The Daily Tar Heel

PAC to support Adam Searing with $120,000 not forming, proposed leader confirms

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Chapel Hill Town Hall stands on Sunday, March 19, 2023. From now until April 1, Chapel Hill residents, UNC students, and those who live in surrounding areas can apply to be a member of the Town’s advisory boards.

A proposed political action committee to support Adam Searing's mayoral campaign will not form, Julia Grumbles – who initially proposed the PAC – confirmed in an email to The Daily Tar Heel on Tuesday. The PAC would have also supported the four town council candidates endorsed by Searing ahead of this year's municipal elections.

A previous email sent by Grumbles on Aug. 21, as reported by Triangle Blog Blog, asked Chapel Hill residents to pledge to donate. The PAC would have run a campaign targeted at single-family homeowners and hired UNC alumnus and campaign strategist Brent Comstock to coordinate the effort.

The email said the PAC's campaign would have focused on overturning the Housing Choices land use ordinance amendment that was passed by the council 6-3 this summer.

"This decision by the Council will inevitably degrade our neighborhoods because the economics of building duplexes for rental is so compelling," Grumbles wrote in the initial email.

Grumbles also wrote in that email that the proposed PAC would aim to raise $120,000 — about four times more than the amount spent by current Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger during her last reelection bid — which Grumbles wrote would be given by about a dozen local couples.

Searing, the mayoral candidate whom the PAC would benefit, confirmed that he met with Grumbles before he started his campaign, as Grumbles said in the email. 

Grumbles, Searing said, encouraged him to run during their meeting. Searing did not confirm whether or not Grumbles mentioned the PAC to him — he said many people have "mentioned PACs" during his campaign.

Grumbles did not confirm exactly why the PAC would not be forming.

This is a developing story. Check back here for more updates.


@DTHCityState |

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Ethan E. Horton

Ethan E. Horton is the 2023-24 city & state editor at The Daily Tar Heel. He has previously served as a city & state assistant editor and as the 2023 summer managing editor. Ethan is a senior pursuing a double major in journalism and media and political science, with a minor in history.