The most important endorsement

...Yours!  The most influential endorsements of all are the opinions of people you know and trust.  This is our annual special-rules post to share YOUR favorites on this year's ballots. Here's OP's candidate list complete with links to all of their websites.

The rules: only write who you are voting for (and why, if you like). You can also list the people you would vote for if you lived in their districts. Do not refer to any candidates for whom you are not voting. If you do not follow the rules, your comments will be removed.



I early voted on Friday after many hours of reading every campaign website, indy questionnaire & other info I could get my hands on, here are the picks that I felt most shared my values & that would serve our town best. Mayor: Mark Kleinschmidt. Town Council: Laurin Easthom, Ed Harrison, Jim Merritt, Penny Rich. School Board(there are more good choices than open spots): Susana Dancy, MaryAnne Gucciardi, Gregory McElveen.  For School Board I like candidates that talked about the importance of technology in schools, the importance of arts, and of language programs.  I based my votes heavily on indy questionnaire responses and campaign websites so those without such I didn't consider as strongly.  I wish I could have gone to more public forum type events, but evening classes for grad school rarely allow for that.  But from everything I've heard about all the candidates I will be happy no matter who wins school board. I liked that I've seen MaryAnne Gucciardi, Laurin Easthom, & Mark Kleinschmidt on campus & at the early voting polling site reaching out to students and early voters alike.  And I liked that MaryAnne Gucciardi has been posting here on OP & doing stuff on facebook.  For a busy student, but one with internet access that spends time on blogs & social networking sites, I appreciate candidates who reach out through those mediums in addition to your standard public forums.  -------I'm editing this post to add in this part:I talked about how I was glad to see the candidates at the early voting site on the first day of early voting, and since I also went by on the last day of early voting I wanted to give a shout out to the people I saw (this may not be a complete list, but this is who I recall off hand, sorry if I forgot anyone).  Michelle Brownstein, Will Raymond, Penny Rich, MaryAnne Gucciardi, and Mark Kleinschmidt!  I had already voted early so it was too late for that to affect my vote, but they still deserve props for their efforts to reach out to voters in person.

If I could vote in Chapel Hill, I would vote for:Mayor: Matt CzajkowskiCouncil: Ed Harrison, Penny Rich, Will Raymond, and a write-in for Mark KleinschmidtIf I could vote in Carrboro I would vote for:Mayor: Amanda AshleyAlderpeople: Sharon Cook, Randee Haven O'Donnell, and Jacquie Gist

I voted for Mark Kleinschmidt, Laurin Easthom, Ed Harrison, Jim Merritt, and Gene Pease. Mark, Laurin, and Ed were easy picks. I changed my mind several times about who to give the last spots to but ultimately picked Gene because I have been on a board with him and seen that he works hard and thoughtfully and Jim because I think it's important we have someone on Council who has deep ties to the black community.Interesting election- I think 7 of the Council candidates could plausibly win but don't think any of them will definitely win.  Quite a different story from past elections.

It is fitting that the Sierra Club’s announcement of its endorsements arrived on the same day as news that
the North Carolina League of Municipalities has recognized Carrboro as
a Green Challenge Advanced Level municipality “for choosing actions
that can save energy, money, and natural resources.”
This recognition results largely from a long history, going back to
the election of Mayor Kinnaird in 1987, of Carrboro electing strong 
environmentalists as mayor and aldermen. The Sierra Club has played an
important role in interviewing candidates, vetting their track records
and informing the voters of the top environmentalists in each election.
Most of those endorsed also received support from The Chapel Hill News and the Independent, as is the case with my five colleagues on the current board.
Let’s keep Carrboro in the environmental forefront.
Please join me in supporting the strong environmentalists endorsed by
the Sierra Club: Mark Chilton for mayor and Jacquie Gist, Randee
Haven-O’Donnell and Sammy Slade for aldermen.

This year is full of races in which my choice is either quite obvious or not at all clear. For those who want it, here is the official Ruby Sinreich Voting Guide (tm) for 2009.  I'll link to the OP profile for those who have accounts, but note that all the candiates' web sites are available on the OP election page. I'll start with the easiest ones: Mark Kleinschmidt for Mayor of Chapel Hill, and Mark Chilton for Mayor of Carrboro. Both are people I have known for nearly 20 years, so I can say with a lot of confidence that they are smart, ethical, brave, and skilled leaders. But don't take my word for it - they  have extensive records as both elected officials and as activists for social, economic, and environmental justice.  Mark Chilton's record as Mayor and his participation here on OP speak well for him. Mark Kleinschmidt has rightly been called "the conscience of the Council" but he is also a practical policymaker and consensus-builder who knows how to get things done.I have a hard choice to make for Chapel Hill Town Council because I have concerns about every candidate in the race, including incumbents. With some hesitation, I will be voting for Penny Rich, Ed Harrison, and Laurin Easthom. I believe they are all knowledgeable about town government and are reasonable people who will work together with their colleagues to find the best solutions to our collective problems. I will also vote for Jim Merritt in hopes that he gets more engaged in the Council's work in the future.If I lived in Carrboro, I would have an easy choice and vote for Jacquie Gist, Randee Haven-O'Donnell, and Sammy Slade. Carrboro is doing a pretty good job (although I don't get the hysteria over 5-story buildings) and these three are well-equipped to continue this work. Sammy is an example of one of those activists who is frequently rabble-rousing and you wish they would put their money where their mouth is and do the hard work. Well that's exactly what he's doing by running for Board of Aldermen and I'm glad to see him doing it. The hardest of all this year is the School Board. I like what I know of nearly all the candidates, and I have trouble distinguishing many of them!  Joe Green has the strong support of the local NAACP (via the Breakfast Club), which is a voice I trust on school issues especially.  I was impressed with him when he applied for Town Council last year, and I'm glad to see he's remained involved. My other two votes will go to Shell Brownstein and Greg MacElveen, who I think are committed to equity for all the students in our system.If I lived in Hillsborough, I would vote for the incumbents because the lone challenger hasn't offered any reason not to, and his solitude in that race seems like a statement of satisfaction from Hillsborough voters.[At 10:10pm on 10/27, I amended this post to remove the name of a candidate I have changed my mind about and to add those I finally decided upon. I couldn't figure out a fairer way to be accurate but follow the special rules about not mentioning people I'm not supporting.]

I'm voting for Matt Cz for CH Mayor. As for town council members, I'm waiting to see whether incumbents will support letting the newly elected council fill the Strom vacancy. My decision to support someone is not based solely on that, but that matters a lot.

I'm a Carrboro voter. I will vote enthusiastically and in alphabetical order for Mark Chilton for mayor and for Jacquie Gist, Randee Haven-O'Donnell, and Sammy Slade for aldermen.Chilton knows the issues and how the town government works, a surprisingly unique perspective in this year's mayoral race. He is a strong proponent of public transportation, walkability/bike-ability, and responsible town planning, and an inspiring advocate for people in the community who need a greater voice.Gist has supported during the past 20 years so much of what makes Carrboro the town it has become. She approaches decisions with great care for how people will adapt to sometimes unwelcome changes in their neighborhoods and in the larger community.Haven-O'Donnell, whom I am lucky to be able to call a friend, is a great champion for Carrboro who relishes working out the practical details, meeting with community members, and working hard to build consensus around a progressive vision of Carrboro as a model community for environmental stewardship and creative, locally grown entrepreneurship. Seriously, people, this woman is in love with Carrboro.Slade will make a fantastic addition to the Board of Aldermen. He is a community organizer who believes deeply in participatory democracy and the importance of local-first economic development. He has a record of practicing what he preaches. His grounding in inclusive decision-making and long-term environmental and economic sustainability is exactly what we need more of in Carrboro.For School Board, I like Gregory McElveen, especially because of his emphasis on underprivileged and at-risk students. I'm still working on figuring out the other candidates.If I could vote in Chapel Hill, I would make the obvious choice and vote for Mark Kleinschmidt, the only progressive candidate in the mayoral race. I would also want Penny Rich to be my awesome new councilwoman. There are other good candidates, but Mark and Penny are way out front for me.

I voted today at the Plantarium (I was number 404).For mayor I voted for Mark Kleinschmidt.  Mark is a consensus builder, he has the knowledge and experience to lead our community into the 21st century, and is committed keeping Chapel Hill on the path which has allowed us to become and nationally and internationally recognized place to live, work, and raise a family.For Town Council I voted for Ed Harrison and Laurin Easthom.  Ed and Lauren have supported key improvements in our transit systems and safeguarded our natural resources.  Both are responsive to constituent concerns.For school board I single-shotted MaryAnne Gucciardi.  I think there are several other worthy candidates, but I think MaryAnne will be an important new voice on the board with her entreprenurial and international perspective.

School Board (the most personal election for me right now):  Shell Brownstein, MaryAnne Gucciardi, and Joe Green.  These are 3 people who understand the challenges facing our district, have shown a willingness to question powers-that-be, and are pledging to hold the administration actually accountable to real results for all of our children.  All candidates say that's what they want, but these 3 have what it takes to actually do something.  And MaryAnne and Shell showed last night they know we will hold them publicly accountable as well. Chapel Hill Town Council:  Laurin Easthom, Jon DeHart, Will Raymond, Ed Harrison.   Laurin is a great advocate for thinking on Town Council instead of groupthink.  Her vote against the living wage policy (because it wasn't strong enough) is my #1 evidence of that.   Jon I believe is willing to work hard to solve problems in this town and will be a great voice for doing the right thing for all of our citizens (yes, that includes holding the line on taxes).  I love that he comes at issues with a strong moral conviction.  Will has really grown into being a good candidate instead of just complaining (I voted for him before because he was right to complain), and I'll be glad to have his voice on Council pushing for creative solutions.  I've had a couple of brief conversations with Ed in just the last week by happenstance.  He sounds fired up to make a difference on the Council in ways beyond his "transportation expert" label.  I hope he takes this next term as a chance to do that. Chapel Hill Mayor:  Matt Czajkowski.  I'm honestly not sure there's a ton of difference between the 2 candidates here.  Matt trumpets how he voted against East 54, so how does that make him "pro-development"?  And from where I sit, I think the "doesn't play well with Council members" label could be stuck on either sitting candidate.   But I think Matt has shown willingness to put pragmatism above ideology and I'm feeling that Chapel Hill needs pragmatism right now.  He has shown a willingness to address spending issues, which is sorely needed in this town.

I'll be voting for the person who demonstrated leadership, fiscal responsibility, and character by voting NO on lifetime health insurance for two term council members -- Matt Czajkowski.

I've voted for most of the incumbents before and generally agree with their positions (everyone wants to do better in the future -- yay!), but I will likely vote for new faces. The lifetime health insurance and the Lot 5 give-away suggest going along with something that sounds good without thinking things through. I am sure there may have been hundreds of other votes and discussions that demonstrate critical thinking, but I those haven't catured my attention, yet. I know Will Raymond is a critical thinker because I used to work with him downtown and I've followed his years of community involvement since his successful effort to remove the red-light cameras.  Progressive position statements are one thing, but can others here suggest candidates, incumbent or new, that have demonstrated critical analysis instead of going with the flow? 

Hi folks,I'm voting new faces on the council (Pohlman, Pease, De Hart) and Matt Czajkowski for Mayor.  I was greatly disturbed by the health care vote and the lot giveaway.  I'm also disturbed by the report I heard that while most municipalities our size have a tax revenue base of 60% residential/property and 40% business, CH has only 13% tax revenue from business.  I don't know a CH business owner who finds CH friendly to its businesses.  It's a shame that BCBS NC felt they had no choice other than to build their new HQ in Durham.  Ask yourselves why you do so much shopping, eating and most likely, working in Durham, Raleigh and RTP.  We must get friendlier to business to improve our tax base mix and ease the burden on our high property taxes, plus keep our town vibrant and fun.  Last year, the nation overthrew failed leadership in a rousing call for change.  Time for the same to happen in Chapel Hill. -Trudy Lonegan

I always appreciate outside restraint for when I lack it .....Cam

As someone said who just emailed me, if I had violated Ruby's rule, she would have taken down my comment immediately.  And so it goes.

I had to start a new thread... 

"She took down one of mine" "She's"  name is Ruby and "she" owns this web site. When "she" sets the rules "she" expects the rest of us to act like adults and play by the rules.  

As long as the rules are applied equally, it works. Coaches, don't like it when they think one team is getting an advantage. I don't see a problem.

How long was it up Brooks? Note that I reminded Cam about the rule and he immediately responded, thanking me for pointing out the errors of his ways.  Ruby took it down the next day.  And yes Ruby, I think many of us understand what it means to have a job and be a parent; that was not the point.  You were emphatic in your warning but very slow to take Cam's violation down. Not really a problem since it is no secret where most of the posters stand, but if you are going to have the rule it needs to be enforced.

Fred, Ruby already addressed this.  She doesn't live by the computer waiting to see who posts next - unlike the two of us ;)  She's got a job and an infant - plenty of work without OP.

Please read what I wrote in RESPONSE TO BROOKS' "she took it down" comment. 

I did.  And now I have again and I think you are expecting too much from an all-volunteer non-profit website.

I forgot to say this. In the 25 years of being an official, I can honestly say that Coaches also always want you to enforce the rules on the "other team." When you enforce the rules properly, as I think they are being done here, you probably are going to make everyone mad some time. It's just part of the job.

...give me a break! I have a full time job and I am a mom and I do not sit down at a computer every hour to see whether you all are acting like grown-ups.

This is a great place to share. We promise to act our age until we next forget....


I attended two of the the school board forums. Both Joe Green and I tried for the Council seat last fall. Since then I have been impressed with his answers at forums and think he will be especially good in getting the system to help minority students. Greg McElveen is an appointed incumbant who has been involved in the school system for a long time. I think he listens to teachers and is also a good advocate for students. The rest of the candidates are good too. I can not decide between Brownstein and Gucciardi for the 3rd spot on the ballot.  Brownstein has more experience and would be good but I also liked many of Gucciardi's responses at the forum.for Chape Hill I was involved with the Sierra Club endorsement and had an opportunity to talk with all of the candidates.  I support Kleinschmidt for Mayor. He understands all the intergovernmental agencies that the town has to work with and he has been a great advocate for social justice and environmental rules.  For Council I support the incumbents. Merritt has inportant ties to the community and will be a strong advocate for making sure that environmental rules and projects do not unfairly impact any one group. Harrison and Easthom have a good record on council and should be supported for reelection. Penny Rich has business experience, supports voter owned elections, has worked on local boards and since her run two years has become even more involved in the community. She is a strong advocate of environmental issues.In other districts where I don't vote, I support the candidates supported by the Sierra Club. I think it is interesting and important that both the Independent and the Sierra Club supported the same candidates.


Community Guidelines

By using this site, you agree to our community guidelines. Inappropriate or disruptive behavior will result in moderation or eviction.


Content license

By contributing to OrangePolitics, you agree to license your contributions under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.

Creative Commons License

Zircon - This is a contributing Drupal Theme
Design by WeebPal.