Durham Mayor Schewel will not seek re-election in ‘rough and tumble political town’

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  • Steve Schewel
    American politician, businessman, and academic

After serving four years as mayor, Steve Schewel will not be seeking re-election in Durham this year, he said Thursday.

Schewel ran for mayor in 2017 after serving six years as member of the City Council. He won a second term in 2019.

While campaigning, he talked about Durham becoming a “progressive beacon in the South,” a home for immigrants, refugees, and transgender and gender nonconforming people.

He had previously sat on the Durham school board for four years, with two years as vice-chair.

Residents may also know him as the former president of IndyWeek, which he founded in 1983 and published for 30 years, before selling it in 2012. He also co-founded Hopscotch Music Festival in 2010.

As mayor, Schewel advocated for a $95 million affordable housing bond, the largest in North Carolina’s history, which 76% of Durham voters approved in 2019.

He also pushed to develop a light rail transit plan to span Durham and Orange County, a $2.7 billion project that failed in 2019 after Duke University raised objections.

The mayoral seat and three City Council seats are up for election in November.

The three City Council seats are currently held by DeDreana Freeman, Mark-Anthony Middleton and Pierce Freelon.

Council members had appointed Freelon in 2020 after Vernetta Alson left the position to serve in the N.C. House of Representatives, The News & Observer reported.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated shortly.

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