CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the number of Republicans on the ballot, and mischaracterized the role of the city in assessing taxes. TCB regrets the errors.

As many in the Triad headed to the beaches or the mountains for the July 4th holiday, those running for office in the Greensboro municipal elections were hard at work leading up to the start of early voting on July 7. Polling locations for early voting will open on Thursday, July 7 and run through July 23.

Unlike traditional election years, this year’s election for the Greensboro municipal races including all city council seats and the mayoral seat, will take place on Tuesday, July 26. This is due to the fact that the election was meant to take place in 2021, but was postponed until this year because of redistricting hangups.

Voters will also get to choose whether or not to approve five bond referenda. Learn more about that here.

Only Greensboro residents are eligible to participate in the July 26 municipal election. All other races including countywide, state and federal races will take place on Nov. 8.

City council races, including the mayoral race, are nonpartisan but we have listed each candidates’ political affiliation.

MAYOR

Nancy Vaughan (D, i)

Nancy Vaughan has been mayor since 2013 and has served on Greensboro City Council off-and-on since 1997, when she was first elected to represent District 4. During her time as mayor, there has been a considerable amount of economic development in the city including the construction of the Tanger Center, LeBauer Park and partnerships with new businesses such as Honda Jet, Boom Supersonic and Toyota.

During the 2020 protests she instituted a citywide curfew, which opponents said violated the First Amendment. After the murder of Marcus Deon Smith, she worked with the police department to change certain policies such as discontinuing the use of hogtying, but voted against written consent for searchs by police and didn’t support an independent investigation into Smith’s death. In a past interview with Triad City Beat, Vaughan noted that she wants to make sure that the police and fire departments are well-funded and employees are happy. That’s why she pushed for take-home cars for officers because “that’s considered a big benefit.”

In more recent news, Vaughan stated that she was in support of releasing body-worn camera footage in the Joe Lopez case. Reporting by TCB also found that the Greensboro Police Association, which represents officers who have been involved in police shootings, has donated to Vaughan’s mayoral campaign. On May 1, the association made a $1,000 donation to her campaign.

During multiple campaign events and candidate forums, Vaughan has argued that her mayoral leadership has resulted in economic success in the last few years.

“I am running for mayor to build on the successes we’ve had,” she said during a candidate forum at Mt. Zion Baptist Church on June 28. “We’ve had some tough times, but we’ve had unparalleled successes including job announcements… big announcements we haven’t had in decades.”

During that same forum, Vaughan argued that the settlement between the city and the Agapion family, one notorious for owning slums in the city, was the best they were going to get.

“We went after the Agaions with all that we had,” she said. “For the very first time we held landlords accountable. We looked back and came up with $750,000, but for every repair that they could document that dollar was forgiven, so it wasn’t that we didn’t go after them. It was the very first time in Greensboro’s history that we were able to take them to court and we were able to come up with a $200,000 settlement…. We’ll continue to go after them.”

Vaughan also stated that she supports the affordable housing bond which is on the ballot for the July 26 election. She also mentioned the city’s first-time home buyers program as another initiative that helps increase homeownership in the city.

When it comes to the aftereffects of the 2018 Greensboro tornados which predominantly affected lower-income Black and brown families, Vaughan said that the city acted as quickly as they could by raising money through nonprofits but her opponent, Justin Outling said there’s room to do more.

Justin Outling (D, current District 3 city councilmember)

Justin Outling has been on city council since 2015 when he was elected to District 3. He currently works as an attorney and partner at Brooks Pierce law firm; he did not specify whether he would continue in the position if elected as mayor. Critics have pointed out that Outling has had to recuse himself from voting on several measures before council because Brooks Pierce was one of the parties involved. Still, Outling said it wouldn’t be a problem.

“It is worth noting I have served seven years on council without notable issues in this regard,” he said.

Outling did not support an independent investigation into the death of Marcus Deon Smith but did support the written-consent measure. He has used misleading data on violent crime in Greensboro and has said he would hold monthly work sessions focused on public safety. He also said the criteria for releasing people on bonds should be reconsidered given the rise in domestic-violence issues.

During the Mt. Zion candidate forum, Outling repeatedly brought up the Agapion settlement as a ding against his opponent. He admonished the city council under Vaughan’s leadership for settling for “pennies on the dollar” but as mentioned above, Vaughan said that as an attorney, Outling should know how the law works and that the settlement they got was the best the city was going to get.

Much of Outling’s campaign has been a focus on what he calls a lack of strong mayoral leadership under Vaughan. At a campaign event on June 2, Outling noted how a majority of voters cast their votes for a candidate other than Vaughan.

“The reality is for everyone who ran in the primary, they all introduced themselves to voters,” Outling said. “Most people know Nancy Vaughan. But the majority of people voted for change.”

In the primary election, Outling came in second place behind Vaughan with 35.3 percent of the vote behind Vaughan’s 45 percent. The two other competitors, Mark Cummings and Eric Robert, came in third and fourth place with 10.2 and 9.5 percent, respectively.

When it comes to affordable housing Outling stated that he wants to follow the lead of cities like Cleveland and Atlanta in which landlords who own multiple properties would have to accept rental security deposit insurance in addition to regular security deposits so “renters to pay a fraction of what they would.”

According to a CBS article, “with security-deposit insurance, a tenant signs a policy with an insurer and pays a monthly premium and that policy guarantees an amount of money would be given to the landlord if there’s damage to an apartment — say a broken window or singed patches of carpet on the floor. The premiums — which typically range from $25 to $50 — cost less than what a renter would have paid upfront when signing their lease. The downside is that renters don’t receive the money back after they leave an apartment.”

Outling also wants to prioritize investment in East Greensboro and create an innovation corridor that stretches from NC A&T State University to the Nussbaum Center for Entrepreneurship.

GREENSBORO CITY COUNCIL

AT-LARGE

Of the six candidates running for at-large, only the Top 3 will become city council members. The candidates are listed in order of last name starting with the incumbents.

Marikay Abuzuaiter (D, i)

This is Marikay Abuzuaiter’s seventh time running for office and her fourth time running as an incumbent. Since her election in 2011, Abuzuaiter has come under fire for her alignment with local law enforcement, including her work as a confidential informant for the Greensboro Police Department.

When asked about police reform in light of the 2018 and 2020 killings of Marcus Deon Smith and George Floyd, Abuzuaiter expressed her support for former Greensboro Police Chief Brian James, who was first hired for the role in 2020.

“Our… Police Chief, Brian James, has done everything in his power to make sure that anything that will help bridge the gap between the community and the police department is implemented,” Abuzuaiter said. “On his first day as Chief, he changed many directives that needed to be revised and/or changed.”

According to her campaign website, she has been endorsed by the Greensboro Police Officers Association. In addition to public safety, Abuzuaiter said her main objectives as a council member include economic development, infrastructure and housing for the influx of employees the city will see from its new business partnerships such as Boom Supersonic and the Toyota megaplant.

As far as her greatest accomplishments, Abuzuaiter noted her work on the Family Justice Center project, chairing the Metropolitan Planning Organization and the Piedmont Authority for Regional Transportation, and working with Crimestoppers as well as Mothers Standing Against Gun Violence.

Abuzuaiter came in second place during the primary election with 16.4 percent of the vote behind incumbent Yvonne Johnson, who is also up for re-election.

Hugh Holston (U, i)

It hasn’t been that long since Hugh Holston has been a city councilmember. Holston was unanimously chosen for the seat in September 2021 after Michelle Kennedy resigned from the post in August to take a job with the city. Holston, who is registered as unaffiliated, formerly served as chair of the city’s planning and zoning commission and has served as chair of the board of adjustment. As part of his run for re-election Holston said he is focusing on “three pillars for progress: economic development, public safety and community engagement.”

He noted his track record in business, which includes 17 years as assistant vice president for AT&T as well as assistant vice president of Wells Fargo in Greensboro, as evidence of his skills in working with budgets and project management.

Holston argued that some of the main issues facing Greensboro include job creation, and making it easier to do business in Greensboro by designing effective public transit, housing and public safety. To recruit and retain college students and talent in the city Holston suggested supporting more incubators and opening workspaces to foster start-ups and small businesses. He also supported the idea of working with local universities to develop curriculums for a “talent pipeline” to the new businesses like Boom Supersonic and Toyota.

To address the issue of affordable housing and homelessness, Holston said he would leverage land-use ordinances, repurpose existing facilities that are no longer in use and advocate on eviction mitigation and on anti-price gouging options at the state level.

Like incumbent Mayor Nancy Vaughan, Holston has also received funding from the Greensboro Police Association. Records show that on March 2, the Greensboro Police Officers Association made a $500 donation to Holston’s campaign. When asked about the donation, Holston said he was “proud of all of the donations” he receives.

“I’m not bought and sold by anyone,” Holston said. “I am a person who looks at a situation and will make a determination based on its merits and based on its benefits for the city of Greensboro. There is not one of my endorsers who under any stretch of the imagination think that I’m in their pocket.”

Additionally, Holston said that he supports police officers and public safety but “that doesn’t mean that it is blind support.”

Holston came in fourth during the primary election with 10 percent of the vote.

Yvonne Johnson (D, i)

First elected to Greensboro city council from 1993-2007 to an at-large seat, Johnson has since served as Greensboro’s first Black mayor (2007-09) as well as mayor pro tem, a position she currently holds — the mayor pro tem is the at-large member who gets the most votes.

Johnson has served as the executive director for One Step Further, Inc., a nonprofit that helps people convicted of crimes through mediation for years. During her time as mayor, Johnson helped to start the International Advisory Council which helps understand the needs of the immigrant community in Greensboro. In terms of what she still wants to work on, Johnson noted that economic development, including small businesses that pay workers a living wage, was high on her list. She also said she wants to help the police department develop a better relationship with the community. Last year, prior to Michelle Kennedy’s resignation, Johnson was the only other councilmember besides Kennedy who supported an independent investigation into the death of Marcus Deon Smith.

Johnson also said that with so many colleges and universities in the city, she would like to see each of the institutions flex their creative muscles by installing street art or public art in their respective areas.

“I have extended experience and have experienced what works and what doesn’t,” she said. “I love Greensboro and want to see our city be one of the most viable cities in the US.

Tracy Furman (D)

Tracy Furman is the executive director of Triad Local First, a nonprofit that promotes local businesses, a position she previously told TCB she would keep if elected to council. Furman mentioned the lack of access to shops and retail in east Greensboro and a need to improve the public transportation system, including allowing college and university students to use the bus lines for free. She also mentioned the need for better-priced housing for students as well as a need for council to keep its overarching goals for the city in mind when it comes to working with developers. Furman also stated that she would work “with state legislators to make

changes to the 1987 law that prohibits any kind of rent stabilization” and “would advocate for fixed-income persons to not be subject to rent increases year over year of more than 5 percent.”

Furman studied public policy at Johns Hopkins University and has served on the Minimum Housing Standard Commission for three years.

With regards to police reform, Furman said she wants to make sure the culture of the police department is “one of community policing and not militant enemy/combatant.” She was also one of the only candidates to mention the killing of Joe Lopez during the primary election cycle.

“I’m sure the police chief believes what they have is community policing but my experience with the training during the city academy told me otherwise,” Furman said.

She pointed to the STAR program, which stands for “Support Team Assisted Response” and will act as an extension of the already existing co-response model of policing that the city has in place, as a good start. The city received $330,000 as part of the state budget to expand that program at the end of last year.

Furman came in third place during the primary election with 10.2 percent of the vote.

Katie Rossabi (R)

A conservative Republican, Katie Rossabi has said she didn’t feel that the current city council has supported the police department and its chief. On her website she supports increasing pay for officers and “will speak out against those who wrongly try to vilify them.” She also notes that she would support any police reform by experienced law enforcement. In a campaign video on her website, she stated that Marcus Deon Smith, who was killed in September 2018 after he was hogtied by police, was treated “humanely” by officers who “helped him get assistance.”

Part of Rossabi’s stance on policing may be influenced by her husband Amiel Rossabi, who represents Greensboro Police Officers Association through his work.

During a June 6 city council meeting, Rossabi admonished Guilford County District Attorney Avery Crump for indicting former Greensboro Police Officer Matt Hamilton on a charge of manslaughter for the killing of Joe Lopez.

“This is unprecedented and is a direct result of the District Attorney, Avery Crump, and a majority of the city council kowtowing to self-serving police hating fringe groups,” she said.

Rossabi has also spoken out against Cure Violence, an anti-violence initiative, and the Interactive Resource Center, a nonprofit that supports the homeless community.

In her video business growth and development, Rossabi appears to place blame for how “dirty” the city is on a downtown that is “overrun by the homeless due to the city council and mayor gutting the homeless ordinances.”

Rossabi came in fifth place with 9.8 percent of the vote.

Linda Wilson (D)

Linda Wilson currently serves as the executive director of the Sebastian Health Center on the NC A&T campus. Wilson has a Bachelor of Science, master’s degree in guidance and counseling and PhD in leadership studies and adult education.

While she doesn’t have any political experience, Wilson said that she has extensive management experience, namely in the healthcare field, and was recognized for her efforts with a NC Governor’s Award for Excellence. In addition to working as the executive director of the student health center, Wilson has served as the interim director of alumni affairs at NC A&T, as well as the assistant athletic director for the athletics department.

If elected, Wilson said she would focus on economic development, expanding public transportation and improving safety. With regards to policing, Wilson said she supports providing police offices with mental health training, cultural sensitivity and equity and inclusion training.

Wilson noted that when working with developers, city leaders should “err on the side of caution” and identify areas where “there may be a difference in what the city needs and what the real estate developers offer.” Part of recognizing the needs of the community includes being attuned to the immigrant and refugee populations, which Wilson said she would do by working with nonprofit agencies like the Center for New North Carolinians.

Wilson came in sixth place with 9.6 percent of the vote.

DISTRICT 1

District 1 starts just south of Gate City Boulevard and stretches east down I-40W towards Sedalia and south towards Old Randleman Road

Sharon Hightower (D, i)

Two-time incumbent Sharon Hightower first won her seat back in 2013 with overwhelming support, garnering more than 84 percent of the vote. Since then she has pointed to her work as the city council liaison on the Ad-hoc Committee on African-American Disparity as well as passing the city’s $15 per-hour minimum wage as efforts she’s made to close racial disparities in Greensboro. She also mentioned wanting to continue being involved with the city’s Minority Women Business Enterprise program which provides opportunities for minority contractors.

Hightower was also pivotal in the passage of Juneteenth as a citywide holiday, an act that was finalized in 2020.

When it comes to issues of policing, Hightower has had a measured response. In the previous TCB piece, she rejected the notion of defunding the police, stating, “When we talk about defunding the police, it’s really not ‘get rid of the police’ because we need policing.

She expressed support for Cure Violence as well as racial-equity training for police as well as investments in affordable housing, job training and mental-health services as alternatives to defunding law enforcement.

During the Mt. Zion candidate forum, Hightower mentioned that she’s running for re-election because she’s excited to see the progress and growth that can be achieved in East Greensboro.

“District 1 has the most developable land in Greensboro,” she said. “We can only grow east.”

But in order to do so, she said the city has to “be selective and choose the right developers who are going to build housing that is affordable for all citizens in East Greensboro.”

Hightower raked in close to 78 percent of the vote in the primary.

Felton Foushee (D)

First time political candidate Felton Foushee was born and raised in Greensboro. He grew up in the Greenfield Homes community and graduated from Dudley High School before attending UNCG. Eventually, Foushee found work at the Hayes-Taylor YMCA and became the Director for the Black and Latino Achievers program there. Currently Foushee works as a history professor at UNCG and as a racial equity and engagement officer for the Racial Equity Learning Community. If elected, Foushee said he will focus on alleviating issues of economic disparity in the city, particularly those that face the Black community in southeast Greensboro. To do that, Foushee said he would create pathways to homeownership and encourage investment in Black communities through development.

When it comes to combating crime, Foushee said that it’s important to understand that it is directly connected with economic disparity. Better public transportation, creating environments that encourage healthy food choices, developing shared public spaces and providing wages that enhance the lives of employees are also high on his list of priorities.

Like Vaughan and Holston, Foushee has received a donation from the Greensboro Police Association this year in the sum of $500. Still, he said that his stance on police accountability has not changed.

“I’m in the same place I was before I received any donations,” Foushee said. “I said this to [the police association]: The police aren’t going anywhere, the community isn’t going anywhere. We can’t keep having moments where there’s no rational conversation or thought to what actually occurred…. We have to have open lines of communication. That means transparency, that means releasing the body-camera footage…that means true accountability and proper punishment for those that act outside of the law, no matter which side you are on.”

Foushee got 12.9 percent of the vote in the primary.

DISTRICT 2

District 2 covers most of the eastern portion of the city, starting around Church Street and stretching east and northeast towards Keeley Park, all the way up to the Lake Townsend area.

Goldie Wells (D, i)

Goldie Wells has served in District 2 since she was appointed to city council in 2017. Wells also previously represented the district from 2005-09. Wells played an instrumental role in founding the Renaissance Community Co-op and helped get the White Street Landfill closed prior to her time on council. In 2018, Wells supported the installation of a metal detector in a credit union which sat between the co-op and a Family Dollar. Those who opposed the measure at the time said it reinforced negative stereotypes about commercial real estate that serves Black residents. However, Wells pointed to homicide statistics in District 2 as reason for the safety measure.

In 2018, Wells opposed the solicitation ordinance that replaced the city’s panhandling ordinance, saying that the ordinance discriminated against panhandlers directly. During the Mt. Zion candidate forum, Wells pointed to initiatives to help the homeless community including buying an old hotel and converting it into permanent housing.

In 2020, opposed a written consent policy, arguing that it wouldn’t stop racial discrimination.

On her campaign website, Wells lists improving safety, eradicating food deserts and increasing health care awareness as some of her top priorities. She also mentions working with developers to build more affordable housing. During the event, she said that the gap in opportunity and life expectancy between her district and predominantly white districts is what bothers her the most about Greensboro.

Wells got 42.6 percent of the vote in the primary.

Cecile Crawford (D)

Cecile Crawford has touted herself as the people’s candidate, expressing more progressive views than incumbent Goldie Wells. As part of her priorities if elected, Crawford noted making sure families have affordable housing, addressing root causes of violence and increasing the minimum wage past $15 per hour. She pointed towards building up the local economy by supporting local businesses, ensuring rental housing is financially viable, as well as setting up an eviction legal defense fund and a right to counsel for renters.

Keeping recent graduates in the city, ensuring the immigrant population is well taken care of and looking out for lower-income populations are part of Crawford’s priorities as well. During the Mt. Zion forum, Crawford also noted how the housing-first model should be implemented in Greensboro to help those who are unhoused.

“Housing first means making sure that you pull all of your homeless population off of the street and house them first, that’s the very first step,” she said. “Then give them wrap-around resources so that they don’t end back out on the streets.”

She also said that the city should write an ordinance so that landlords have to take a certain number of Section 8 housing vouchers.

When it comes to police reform, Crawford supports giving the city’s criminal justice advisory commission more power to investigate police conduct and said she supports the CAHOOTS model of policing, which is an alternative response where mental-health providers respond to certain calls without armed police. Currently the city employs a co-response model.

Crawford said she supports expungement clinics that would allow for formerly incarcerated individuals to rejoin society.

DISTRICT 3

District 3 starts in central Greensboro just north of Friendly Avenue and stretches north along Battleground through Greensboro Country Club and Country Park to the edges of the city to include all four lakes — Lake Jeanette, Lake Townsend, Lake Brandt and Lake Higgins.

Editor’s note: Republican Zack Matheny is the only candidate on the ballot after Democrat Chip Roth pulled out of the race after being diagnosed with prostate cancer. He officially endorsed Matheny in a press release. Voters may choose to write-in a candidate if they so choose.

Zack Matheny (R)

Republican Zack Matheny was first elected to the District 3 Greensboro city council seat in 2007, a position he held until he left office in 2015 to become president of Downtown Greensboro Inc., a position he still holds. When asked about whether he would continue to work for Downtown Greensboro Inc. if elected, Matheny responded that neither he nor the city attorney, Chuck Watts, have found a direct conflict of interest.

When it comes to his greatest accomplishments during his time on council almost 15 years ago, Matheny cited the development of businesses such as the Tanger Center and the Greensboro Aquatic Center, Honda Jet, Haeco, the Toyota megasite and downtown revitalization. He also told TCB that he worked “across all districts to progress Greensboro forward, including the Renaissance Center and Revolution Mill.

His understanding of economic development is what gives him a leg up on the other candidates, Matheny argues. That’s why he sees working with developers as integral to the growth of the city. If re-elected, he said he would focus on strategic vision, housing, jobs, public safety, future growth and smart leadership. Matheny supported some form of police reform in theory, stating that the city should “have a strategic focus on mental health, which is beyond the police department and is an area in need of reform.”

Matheny got 61.2 percent of the vote in the primary election.

DISTRICT 4

District 4 begins in central Greensboro in downtown and balloons to the west up towards the northern parts of the city near New Garden Road and back down along College Road near Guilford College towards Patterson St. 

Nancy Hoffmann (D, i)

Incumbent Nancy Hoffmann has held the District 4 seat since 2011 when she was first elected. A moderate Democrat, Hoffmann is known for her support of local businesses, particularly ones downtown.

During the Mt. Zion candidate forum, Hoffmann expressed her willingness to continue helping to lead Greensboro through its next season.

“We are on a trajectory of growth in this city,” she said. “I want to continue the work.”

When it comes to the issue of affordable housing, Hoffmann stated that it’s an issue of supply and demand.

“We don’t have enough supply right now, so we’re talking to developers with how to make affordable housing,” she said. 

Hoffmann also alluded to the “crime situation” and stated that “crime certainly is related to housing, it’s concentrated in certain areas of the city, we know where we need to be spending our dollars, where the invest of the city needs to be, in terms of deploying our police assets and the housing needs.”

In the past, Hoffmann has not supporteddefunding the police,” saying it’s a bumper sticker phrase. Rather, she said she supports initiatives like Cure Violence. She also supported the written-consent measure which ultimately failed but would have mandated that police officers request written consent from people to search them.

Thurston Reeder (R)

Thurston Reeder spoke about fiscal responsibility and a strong support for first responders during the candidate forum. Repeatedly during his allotted time, Reeder mentioned wanting to see the city’s budget clearly and in detail for all to see despite the fact that it is posted every year.

“I think we have a big transparency problem,” he said, pointing to the amount of funding the city entities such as the Greensboro Coliseum receive.

Reeder also said that funds could be used more effectively by cutting down the number of buses or using smaller vehicles for public transport in certain parts of the city and increasing them elsewhere.

“I see some buses that only have one or two people,” he said. “Other parts of town need more.”

In addition to his budget concerns, Reeder talked about the importance of supporting the police department.

“I’m praying for our officers,” he said. “We have to start by standing behind our officers; we know where the crime is.”

He suggested giving the police a raise and stated that if people “don’t back [officers] 100 percent they’re going somewhere else.”

Alluding to the Joe Lopez case in which former GPD officer Matthew Hamilton was indicted, Reeder said that officers are being vilified.

“It’s the worst job in the world right now,” he said. “I wouldn’t want to do it, I don’t want to risk making a mistake. If I was doing things by the book, but I’ve got to do time. The picture’s not right when the criminals have all the say-so.”

DISTRICT 5

District 5 covers the entire western portion of the city, starting in the north near Cardinal Country Club, making its way down towards the airport and then south towards High Point and Jamestown to include the Grandover Resort.

Tammi Thurm (D, i)

As an incumbent, Tammi Thurm mentioned her work on the city’s first permanent supportive housing project as well as the passage of the non-discrimination ordinance in 2021.

The biggest issues facing the city, Thurm said, are affordable housing, public transportation and public safety.

During the candidate forum, Thurm stated that if people had good jobs and secure housing, that it would begin to address the crime problem.

“Crime is rooted in economic issues and we have to address those economic issues,” she said. “We can’t police our way out of this current crime situation, it’s a multifaceted problem.”

In 2020, Thurm and former council member Michelle Kennedy were the most vocal supporters of a written-consent policy for police searches that was suggested by the city’s criminal justice advisory committee. In the end, the proposal failed. Thurm said that the move is not about reallocating funds from the police department but rather making sure they have the tools and training they need to be effective. Thurm also expressed support for moving sworn officers away from areas such as traffic enforcement and traffic accident investigation. She also supports community policing and officers mentoring with youth.

When it comes to economic development and how it will impact the city, said she wants to prioritize ensuring minority and women-owned business entities land contracts and expanding the city’s transportation system so workers can get to their jobs easily.

Thurm got 45.4 percent of the vote in the primary.

Tony Wilkins

Tony Wilkins (R)

Tony Wilkins is the former executive director of the Guilford County Republican Party and a former city council member who served from 2012-17, when he lost to Tammi Thurm by 10 percentage points. As a candidate who has aligned himself closely with law enforcement, he called Thurm “the anti-police faction” on the council.

Wilkins failed to answer the question about whether or not he supports police reform. Instead, he stated that his biggest concern as a candidate is getting crime under control and maintaining a strong police department by supporting the police chief with money and tools. Wilkins is endorsed by the Greensboro Police Association.

When it comes to his past accomplishments as a council member, Wilkins pointed to the renaming of High Point Road to Gate City Boulevard and helping to fund the Out of the Garden Project. As a Republican, Wilkins is also focused on fiscal responsibility and has voiced disagreements against raising taxes for residents, something that is largely up to the county commissioners. Recently, he spoke out against the city’s trash-can curb policy, which would fine residents for leaving their cans out on the curb past a certain time.

If re-elected, Wilkins expressed his goal of making Greensboro the “most business-friendly city in the state.”

Wilkins garnered 42.2 percent of the vote in the primary.

To read about the five bonds on the ballot, go here.

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