by YES! Staff


Robbie Perkins (i)

• Focused on development downtown, at the airport and nano-science. • Pushed strongly for the downtown performing arts center, initially brought up idea for a stricter noise ordinance. • Emphasizes his visionary leadership, energy and ability to bring people together.

Nancy Vaughan

• Emphasizes that she has followthrough and does research, citing the performing arts center. • Says next “bold” idea for downtown is the proposed university district, wants to see it at South Elm and Lee intersection. • Chaired council committee to strengthen tree-trimming ordinance after neighborhoodlevel outrage.

Yvonne Johnson (i)

• Wants to create a think-tank of college students and faculty, tackle issues like methane at landfill. • Supports exploring idea for a police review board with subpoena power that included former officers. • Served on post-RUCO committee, chairs new participatory budgeting committee.

Marikay Abuzuaiter (i)

• Connected to grassroots organizations, from the Renaissance Community Co-op to Occupy Greensboro • Voted against the performing arts center, says she votes “with what the community wants.” • Offers shifting justifications about her communication with Greensboro police intelligence officers.

Mike Barber

• Previously served on council, from

2005-2009. Championed the Greensboro Aquatic Center, initially suggested council consider reopening White Street Landfill. • Suggests modifying the noise ordinance to allow 6-8 “blow out” events annually to be more equitable. Wants to engage students better. • Says city could be more transparent, revamp public records process and possibly create citizen police review board.

Jean Brown

• Concerned about wasteful spending, wants to lower property taxes. • Describes herself as a “lone wolf” on the human relations commission. • Against the performing arts center unless it is privately owned. Also opposed to police lawsuit settlement and the Rental Unit Certificate of Occupancy.

Chris Lawyer

• Emphasizes streamlining processes, cutting regulations and keeping taxes as low as possible. • Works as an emergency room physician’s assistant. • Narrowly lost at-large race in 2011, placed fourth again in the at-large primary this year.

Ben Holder

• Says council needs to seriously consider citizen police review board. • Wants to see a public records subcommittee on council to deal with transparency. • Claims city manager isn’t qualified, that numerous city staff members are “dead weight.”

Dianne Bellamy-Small (i)

• Longest continually serving council member. Created annual district report, focused on transportation issues. • Lone vote on numerous issues, such as opposing the teen curfew. • Successfully pushed for parity study and for council to adopt it.

Sharon Hightower

• Says the district needs someone who is more than advocate who can build consensus on council. • Against the curfew, supportive of a minimum wage increase. • Active in numerous community organizations including Greensboro NAACP treasurer and College Forest Neighborhood Watch President.

Jamal Fox

• Is 25, but worked under the city manager for three years, teaches at NC A&T University and serves on county transit board. • Priority is transportation, including sidewalks and public transit for safety and economic growth. • Charges that incumbent mishandled the Renaissance Shopping Center deal, wasn’t transparent.

Zack Matheny (i)

• Chairs economic development committee, his top issue on council. • Says he does his research and works out details, citing performing arts center funding plan. • Concerned about public safety. Led entertainment security ordinance, curfew and neighborhood meetings.

Jim Kee (i)

• Focused on dealing with solid waste, including capturing and monetizing methane gas from the White Street Landfill. • Takes credit for helping to bring over $300 million in economic development to the district. • Wants to create a “prosperity zone” around the landfill and incentivize business to prevent it from re-opening.

Wendell Roth

• Said he is running because of a lack of fiscal responsibility on council, high unemployment. • First-time candidate, serves on Greensboro Transit Authority’s board, founded Waterra. • Questions wisdom of noise ordinance, some recent council loans.

Nancy Hoffman (i)

• Says constituents like her “quiet leadership” and accessibility. Is often at community meetings. • Brought up the noise ordinance this year after revisions in 2012, wanted it to be stricter. • Progressive voice on council, served on post-RUCO committee and tree ordinance committee. Supports downtown university campus. 

Bill Knight

• Served as mayor from 2009-2011 during landfill quagmire. Says he won’t bring it up again. • Known for his conservative politics, served on Gov. Pat McCrory’s transition team and is Congressman Howard Coble’s treasurer. • Wants performing arts center to go before voters, concerned it will operate at a loss.

Tony Wilkins (i)

• Appointed to fill Trudy Wade’s vacancy, hasn’t been elected. • Known for fiscal conservatism. Voted against water rate increase, wanted property tax reduction. • Stays in touch with what residents want through network reaching people in every precinct in district, regardless of their beliefs.

Sal Leone

• Works as a police officer in Thomasville, ran at large in 2011. • Concerned about a lack of transparency, poverty and unequal development. • Said he asks for public records from city that he doesn’t need “just to keep them working.”


Allen Joines (D, i)

• Under his watch, Wake Forest Innovation Quarter has opened, BB&T Ballpark was built, Dell came and went, and Caterpillar set up shop in the city. • “The health and vitality of Winston-Salem will not be measured by the quality of life of just a few neighborhoods. No, it’s going to be measured by the fact that every neighborhood at every corner of our city will see revitalization and progress.”

James Lee Knox (R)

• “I’m going to run an aggressive campaign — low money, but aggressive. Think of Jack Cavenaguh running against Martha Wood. He ran a low-money campaign, but attacked, attacked, attacked.” • The Forsyth County Republican Party withdrew support following revelations that Knox used a racial slur to characterize a local election worker during the 2012 election.

Vivian Burke (D, i)

• Mayor Pro Tem Vivian Burke’s longevity in public service is unrivalled having represented the Northeast Ward since 1977. • Mixed-use development in the Hanes Mill Road and St. Andrews areas is the candidate’s proudest achievement. • “Yes, I support the Urban Circulator 100 percent! Citizens need a dependable and reliable method of transportation that will also get them there on time.”

Michael Owens (R)

• As a 37-year-old unemployed person with no political experience, Owens typifies the creature known as the “self-generating candidate.” • Opposes the proposed Urban Circulator. • Took a pass on questions about Kalvin Michael Smith and the Business 40 improvement project in our questionnaire.

Keith King (U)

• The owner-operator of Kingz Downtown Market got on the ballot as an unaffiliated candidate by collecting signatures from 791 registered voters in the Northeast Ward. • Says many Northeast Ward voters are frustrated because they can’t get in touch with their council representative. • Opposed to the Urban Circulator.

Mike Hunger (R)

• The candidate owns National Property Inspections. • He isn’t talking to the news media. • His campaign’s Facebook page has attracted about a dozen “likes.”

James Taylor (D, i)

• Won his seat four years ago by defeating a veteran incumbent. • Takes credit for helping create the Entertainment District in downtown. • Favorite way to unwind in Winston-Salem: “By enjoying a summer evening breeze while listening to live-music bands with my family.”

Molly Leight (D, i)

• Unseated Vernon Robinson, the self-proclaimed “black Jesse Helms” in 2005. • Quarterbacked a resolution opposing the marriage amendment on the ballot across the state in the 2012 primary. • Touts the city’s record of corporate recruitment, a public-private partnership to shore up struggling shopping centers and new regulations to protect trees and streams.

Nathan Jones (R)

• Jones ran as a write-in candidate in 2009, and scared up enough votes to carry his home precinct of Griffith Fire Station on the Davidson county line. • Like Mike Hunger, Jones is conducting a media-free campaign. • His Twitter feed seems to exclusively consist of links to the conservative Daily Caller news and commentary site.

Dan Besse (D, i)

• The strongest proponent of the Urban Circulator to connect WSSU and Hanes Mall to downtown, promote urban reinvestment. • Ran unsuccessfully for lt. governor in 2008, caucuses with Democratic officials across NC and promotes fellow W-S Dems in tight races. • Has sometimes broken with fellow progressive Democrats, notably in his resistance to a resolution opposing the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.

Donald T. Shaw (R)

• A small-business owner with a curmudgeonly take on virtually all government activity, the 81-year-old candidate is making his fourth try for the Southwest Ward seat. • Definitely opposed to the Urban Circulator. • Believes that evolution is a lie and that tobacco is not harmful to human health.

Jeff MacIntosh (D)

• Crushed a three-way Democratic primary to replace Northwest Ward rep Wanda Merschel. • Touts his successful effort to revitalize the Holly Avenue neighborhood and building a successful tech company as being among his proudest achievements. • Has become skeptical about the Urban Circulator after initially declaring his support.

Lida Hayes Calvert (R)

• As a successful business owner with a strong resume of civic voluntarism and robust campaign financing running in the ward with one of the highest shares of Republican and unaffiliated voters, Lida Hayes Calvert is thought to be the Republican candidate with the best chance of picking up a seat. • Has served on the Citizens Organizational Efficiency Review Committee. • Does not support the Urban Circulator.

Denise D. Adams (D, i)

• Counts among her proudest achievement as passing an ordinance to allow neighborhoods to petition to prohibit residents from parking on their front lawns. • Like her opponent, Adams does not believe the city should intervene with the courts on behalf of Kalvin Michael Smith. • Predicts the council will be reluctant to build Urban Circulator in difficult economic times.


Patricia Kleinmaier (R)

• Active with the tea party movement for the past four years, Patricia Kleinmaier has been relentlessly knocking on doors, hoping to improve on the 33.9-percent showing by her party’s last standard-bearer in the North Ward. • Opposed to the city making loans to small businesses and grants to nonprofits. • Active in promoting suicide awareness and prevention.