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Obama in Durham today, endorses Bell

This is going to create a boatload of traffic for me on the way home, since I have to pass North Carolina Central University, where presidential candidate Barack Obama is speaking tonight (it's a fundraiser called “North Carolina Countdown to Change”). He's endorsed our current mayor, Bill Bell, who is up for re-election on Tuesday. Bell in turn has endorsed Obama. I almost forgot to post about this — sense my enthusiasm, huh?

Presidential candidate Barack Obama has given his support to Mayor Bill Bell, a high-profile endorsement that could be a factor in Tuesday's face-off between Bell and challenger [Republican] Thomas Stith III.

The news came the same day it was announced Bell had endorsed Obama for president.

“Barack Obama believes Mayor Bell has served Durham well, and he is encouraging Durham residents to turn out to the polls for him next week,” said Obama representative Ben Labolt.

The endorsement mirrors Bell's 2001 campaign for mayor, when former President Bill Clinton recorded a pro-Bell phone message that was sent primarily to black households in Durham.

The event is open to the public, but tickets are $25 for general admission (students $15). Doors opened at 3 p.m. More than 2000 are expected to show for this event (Durham, btw, is 42% black).

What's surreal about the mayoral race is that when I was a kid, we lived just down the street from Bill Bell (my mom was friends with his now ex-wife), and Tom Stith and his sister Karen were playmates (my mom was friends with his mom as well). I don't think I've spoken to Tommy Stith since I was a child.

My how times have changed…

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding