The Friends of Durham, a pro-business political action committee, has endorsed Farad Ali in Durham’s upcoming mayoral election.
The endorsement gives Ali – the current president and CEO of The Institute and a former City Council member – the backing of two of Durham’s three major political action committees (PACs).
Last week, the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People also announced it would endorse Ali for mayor. The other major PAC, the progressive People’s Alliance, will issue its endorsements next week.
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The Friends of Durham also made three other endorsements for the Oct. 10 Durham municipal primary election – backing City Council candidates Cora Cole-McFadden in Ward 1, Mark-Anthony Middleton in Ward 2 and Don Moffitt in Ward 3.
Mayor pro tem Cole-McFadden is the incumbent in Ward 1. Incumbent Eddie Davis is not seeking re-election in Ward 2, opening the door for a new council member. Don Moffitt is seeking re-election in Ward 3.
Friends of Durham Chairwoman Alice Sharpe said the PAC’s endorsements were aimed at bringing balance to the council.
“It’s no secret that the council is going to a very, very progressive side,” Sharpe said. “The Friends of Durham feels that we need a balance and that all voices need to be heard. There is a heavy preponderance of council members evoking the People’s Alliance, (which) is extremely progressive, and all voices in Durham need to be heard.”
She added that the Friends of Durham believed Ali’s previous experience in economic development put him in the best position to carry on the momentum that Mayor Bill Bell achieved during his tenure.
“Farad has the experience and hopefully has the ability to attract businesses from all over to Durham and present a friendly atmosphere to them,” Sharpe said. “We don’t want to see Durham not open for business.”