The Daily Tar Heel
Printing news. Raising hell. Since 1893.
Thursday, May 30, 2024 Newsletters Latest print issue

We keep you informed.

Help us keep going. Donate Today.
The Daily Tar Heel

Barbara Foushee will be the next mayor of Carrboro, according to unofficial results.

She is the first Black woman to serve as mayor of Carrboro and the second Black person to hold the office. 

Foushee has served on Carrboro’s town council for six years. She won her seat in 2017 and was reelected again in 2021. Before her time on the council, Foushee served on Carrboro’s Human Services Advisory Board and the Orange Water and Sewer Authority Board of Directors.

Foushee announced her campaign in May after current mayor Damon Seils said he would not be seeking reelection. She ran her entire race unopposed.

Foushee grew up in eastern North Carolina and graduated from Saint Augustine’s University, a historically Black college in Raleigh.

“It's also kind of surreal,” Foushee said. “I could have never imagined, growing up in Duplin County all those years ago, that I would end up here running for mayor of a town.”

Though she ran as the sole candidate, Foushee said she still ran her campaign the same as she did for town council. Her campaign has participated in every forum, canvassed and talked to voters in the community, she said. 

“It's been an unopposed race, but we have run the race nonetheless,” she said.

Foushee said she still felt the same anxiety and excitement she felt when she ran for town council in 2017 and 2021. On Election Day, Foushee said, she went to every Carrboro precinct at least twice, just as she normally does, to be visible to voters.

“Being visible at the different precincts in the municipality has always been something that the campaign has done,” she said.  

Foushee said she has been thinking about what being mayor means throughout her campaign. She said she feels confident in her ability to lead the community. 

As a Black woman, Foushee said, she will bring new lived experiences to the seat, including new ideas and a different set of values.

“I have a lot to bring to the seat,” she said. “Mine will be a different kind of leadership, and I think it will be palatable to our community.”

After serving as a council member under two mayors, Lydia Lavelle and Damon Seils, Foushee said she feels as close to ready as anybody would be.

“Being in the mayor's seat will allow me to have a stronger voice and a stronger say there because I do have a few things that I'm thinking about doing,” she said. 

As mayor, Foushee said she wants to focus on implementing the Town’s comprehensive plan. She also said she is looking forward to working on affordable housing, housing access, the climate action plan and expanding local and regional transportation.

The Bolin Creek Greenway is another issue Foushee said will continue to persist in Carrboro. The council recently approved the Creekside Alignment, so she said the council will see a request for a proposal for design and engineering soon.

Foushee said her first objective as mayor will be hiring a new town manager and town clerk, following the departures of manager Richard White III and clerk Wesley Barker.

The new council will also be involved in the hiring process, and Foushee said it will be a big time commitment. She said she wants to help unify the council and make sure the new members adjust to life as a council member.

“I'm familiar with the process,” she said. “It’s time-consuming, and it's going to be an added layer for the new council members on top of everything else that they're gonna be learning.”

Foushee said she wants to thank the Carrboro community for all their support and for entrusting her with this next level of leadership. 

To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.

@akashatus7

@DTHCityState | city@dailytarheel.com

Special Print Edition
The Daily Tar Heel 2024 Orientation Guide

More in City & County

More in The OC Report

More in City & State

More in Carrboro