Now that he's filed paperwork to become an official candidate, Raleigh mayoral hopeful Randall Williams is ready to break out the ice cream for his first public campaign event.
Williams will speak to supporters Aug. 11 at 6:30 p.m. at Broughton High School about why he wants to succeed the outgoing Charles Meeker, who will leave office this year at the end of his fifth term.
For Williams, the choice of venue isn't surprising. The physician and father of three has served as president of the Broughton Capital Foundation and Caps Club. He also co-founded the school's athletics hall of fame.
Now Williams says he's ready to transition into city politics. Making his first run for office, Williams has enlisted support from former mayors Paul Coble and Tom Fetzer, with Fetzer signing on as campaign adviser.
A self-described fiscal conservative, Williams says low taxes and efficient government are the keys to attracting business as Raleigh recovers from the recession. Beyond that, Williams has revealed few specifics about his campaign positions.
Williams said he's met with City Manager Russell Allen, Police Chief Harry Dolan and others. He added in an email that "differences between candidates will become apparent as campaign unfolds."
Also in the race are City Councilwoman Nancy McFarlane, who will run as an independent, and real estate executive Billie Redmond, a Republican.
Williams has experience on the political scene. While attending UNC Chapel Hill, he served as Speaker of the Student Congress and received a Holderness Fellowship. He finished his residency in obstetrics and gynecology in 1989, serving as Administrative Chief Resident his fourth year. That year, he moved to Raleigh with his wife, Elizabeth, who was born here and graduated from Broughton High School, according to a campaign bio.
The couple has three children in college at the University of Montana, N.C. State University and UNC Chapel Hill.
Williams has taken his medical expertise to Iraq, Afghanistan and Haiti on humanitarian missions coordinated by the State Department and NGOs (non-governmental organizations).
“It has been my experience that people appreciate those who genuinely care and work hard.” Williams said. “When people ask why Raleigh is a great place to do business or live, I hope we will be judged on how we treat each other and have it be said that ‘Raleigh Cares.'"