Turnover on CH Town Council guaranteed as Michael Parker bows out

Chapel Hill Town Council member Michael Parker. Photo courtesy Town of Chapel Hill.


By Carl Blankenship

CHAPEL HILL — A two-term Chapel Hill Town Council member will not seek reelection this fall.

Michael Parker, who took office in 2015 and was reelected in 2019, made the announcement Wednesday, describing his eight years of service as “an honor and a privilege,” and expressed optimism for the town’s future leaders.

Parker, a longtime health care, pharmaceutical and biotech consultant, campaigned on issues like expanding transit and revitalizing downtown Chapel Hill with year-round business. He serves on local transit boards, notably GoTriangle’s Board of Trustees and the state-mandated Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro Metropolitan Planning Organization.

The other incumbents whose seats are up for grabs this year, Tai Hyunh, Amy Ryan and Jessica Anderson, have not announced their plans for election season.

At this point, two new faces have thrown their hats in the ring, former Environmental Protection Agency employee Melissa McCullough and UNC-Chapel Hill student Michael Bearegard both announced their candidacies this month.

Town Council Member Adam Searing announced a run for mayor earlier this month, which could create a vacancy on the board to be filled by appointment, but if he fails to win that contest he will retain the remainder of his term through 2025.

Campaign announcements ahead of the start of the official filing period have no official function and only serve for candidates to get their names and platforms out ahead of time.

Candidate filing begins at noon on July 7 at local election board offices, and ends at noon on July 21. Early voting begins Oct. 19, and ends Nov. 4. The Orange County Board of Elections will set the exact schedule for the county’s early voting. Election day is Nov. 7.

Disclosure: Adam Searing is a former member of The Local Reporter’s advisory committee and a monthly donor.

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