Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Former State Treasurer Cowell wants to be Raleigh mayor

Former N.C. State Treasurer Janet Cowell plans to run for mayor of Raleigh, where the two-term incumbent Mary-Ann Baldwin has not indicated she will step aside.

The election is Nov. 5.

Cowell is the CEO of the nonprofit Dix Park Conservancy, which is overseeing a redevelopment of former state-owned land that housed a former mental hospital into a world-class park and entertainment venue.

She was state treasurer from 2009 to 2916 after previously serving in the N.C. State Senate and on the Raleigh City Council. She has received the endorsement of former mayors Charles Meeker and Nancy McFarlane.

Baldwin has said she plans in coming months to decide whether to seek another term. She raised more than $600,000 in her previous election victory in 2022. The deadline for filing is July 19.

Council member Corey Brand, who represents Southeast Raleigh, has said he is running in the election.

Baldwin, Cowell and Brand are registered Democrats. Mortgage broker Paul Fitts, a Republican, has said he is running, the News & Observer has reported. There is no primary or run-off.

At the city-owned Dix Park, the Department of Health and Human Services is moving to a new campus in July 2025. The site includes 88 buildings, including the former hospital and DHHS headquarters. The city is considering demolishing many of the buildings, while restoring some, including century-old stone houses. Fundraising to achieve Dix’s ambitions continues.

Baldwin is vice president of advancement at the First Tee – Triangle nonprofit.

The Raleigh mayor’s annual salary is about $27,500. it’s technically a part-time job.

In a statement to WRAL News, Baldwin called Cowell a friend. “She’s been a strong leader throughout her career — from city council to state Senate to treasurer to her role with the Dix Park Conservancy,” said Baldwin. “I welcome her to the race.”

David Mildenberg
David Mildenberg
David Mildenberg is editor of Business North Carolina. Reach him at

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