By Julianna Rennie and Jake Sheridan
There’s one week left for Durham voters to cast their ballots before the primary election on Oct. 5. The outcome will determine the two finalists in each of the four City Council races.
There are seven candidates vying for the mayor’s seat. Durham’s current mayor, Steve Schewel, is not seeking reelection.
The 9th Street Journal recently profiled some of the candidates. Check out our stories on City Council member Javiera Caballero, former judge Elaine O’Neal, housing advocate Charlitta Burruss, and youth minister Rebecca Harvard Barnes.
Here’s what you need to know about the remaining three candidates: Bree Davis, Daryl Quick and Jahnmaud Lane.
Born in sunny South Florida, Bree Davis comes from a family of changemakers. Her father worked as a Baptist minister and coordinated outreach for Haitian and Cuban refugees.
“This is kind of my legacy,” she told the 9th Street Journal.
After moving to Durham 12 years ago, Davis experienced houselessness, food insecurity, and underemployment. As a single mom and bisexual Black woman, Davis says she knows what it feels like to fall through the cracks.
If elected, Davis promises to make sure that all Durham residents benefit from the city’s recent economic boom.
“The goal has been achieved, but now we have to pick up the folks that have been left behind,” she said.
Her other policy priorities include affordable housing and community safety. In her INDY Week candidate questionnaire, Davis wrote that she would fully fund the Durham Police Department while exploring alternatives to policing through Durham’s new Community Safety Department.
Davis currently works as a research coordinator for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She started her own social media consulting company, Social Media Phobia Solutions, in 2011. She’s also a collage artist and filmmaker.
Daryl Quick is pledging to “make a better Durham by getting back to the basics.”
Throughout the campaign, Quick has talked openly about his experiences growing up in public housing with family members who struggled with drug addiction.
A native Durhamite, Quick hopes to inspire children experiencing poverty to dream of running for public office.
His platform addresses violent crime, social services, and infrastructure.
Quick promotes his campaign heavily on his Facebook page. In a Sept. 8 post, he wrote, “No more status quo! No more gentrification! No more low wage paying jobs! No more kids can’t play! No more walking past a homeless person downtown!”
Jahnmaud Lane isn’t just a rare Durham Republican: He’s a highly followed conservative commentator.
His Facebook page, “Mind of Jamal,” has over 300,000 followers. The clips regularly stretch over an hour.
In his videos, the adamant Trump supporter pours over a range of far-right topics. He recently criticized coronavirus vaccines and workers’ unions, decried calls for national political unity, and urged his followers to “break out the Old Dixie” because “this union stuff aint working.” Lane often speaks in front of a Confederate flag.
He streams videos on YouTube, too, but the apparently associated “MindofJamal” Twitter account has been suspended.
Lane did not reply to a call requesting an interview. He described himself as a former “no-good, piece-of-trash drug dealer” in an interview with The News & Observer.
The article noted that he was charged in 2001 with a misdemeanor for resisting arrest and assaulting an officer. Two years later, he spent over a year in a state corrections facility for assaulting and seriously injuring another person, the article added.
In the News & Observer piece, Lane also acknowledged that he attended the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol, though he said he didn’t enter the Capitol building.
On Lane’s campaign website, his platform focuses on addressing a rise in violent crime. He would like to pay police officers more. His other policy ideas include building more affordable housing and more intensely inspecting public housing facilities for tenant damage.
For more information on when and how to vote in the 2021 Durham city elections, check out our article on important dates and voting rules.
The 9th Street Journal will continue to cover the city elections. Check in with us for more candidates profiles, campaign coverage and other important updates. You can submit questions and news tips to our staff by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
At top: Bree Davis is one of seven candidates running to be Durham’s next mayor. Photo provided by Bree Davis.