Log in Newsletter

Fourth candidate files to challenge Mitch Colvin for mayor

Former councilman Tyrone Williams is running for his old District 2 seat on the Fayetteville City Council while Councilman Chris Davis has filed for the N.C. House.


A fourth candidate has filed to challenge Fayetteville Mayor Mitch Colvin, a former city councilman who resigned under a cloud of political suspicion is running again and an incumbent councilman is seeking a seat in the state House.

Nyrell Melvin is the fourth person to challenge Colvin, who is seeking a third term as mayor. Melvin entered the race Thursday when filings resumed at the Cumberland County Board of Elections.

The filing period runs through noon on March 4. The primary is scheduled for May 17.

Tyrone Williams, who resigned in 2018 amid accusations that he sought money from a developer to help resolve an issue with a property title, also filed Thursday. He is seeking his former District 2 seat now held by Shakeyla Ingram.

Councilman Chris Davis, who represents District 6 in west Fayetteville, will not seek a second term on the council. Instead, he has filed for the state House District 45 seat. That seat is currently held by Republican John Szoka, who plans to file for Congress.

The mayor and some council members have found themselves under public scrutiny since former councilwoman Tisha Waddell resigned Nov. 9, alleging a lack of transparency in a private equity firm’s attempts to take over the Fayetteville Public Works Commission, the handling of a proposed halfway house for federal intimates on Cain Road and special use permits for a downtown property of which Colvin is an investor.

Colvin has called the allegations baseless.

An investigation by CityView TODAY reporter Greg Barnes into the allegations related to the private equity firm found no corruption, but it did find a lack of transparency.

The four people challenging Colvin in the May 17 primary are John Antoine Miner, Franco Webb, Efrain Freddie Delacruz and Melvin.

“I’m running mainly because of what happened in 2020,” Melvin, 26, said about May 30, 2020, when protesters set a fire in the stairwell of the Market House and damaged downtown businesses. “The riots and the chief of police. They told police officers to stand down.”

Melvin said he also is concerned about the allegations raised in Waddell’s resignation letter.

“I think I can beat him,” Melvin said.

Melvin said he works as an armed guard for the N.C. Special Police in Fayetteville.

Other candidates

Williams, 53, said he has a simple reason for wanting to rejoin the council.

“My district needs me,” he said Friday. “It’s become worse. Just looking at the conditions, it’s not getting any attention at all, particularly the lower end.”

Williams resigned after The Fayetteville Observer published a secret audio recording of a meeting between him and Jordan Jones, who was restoring the Prince Charles Hotel for condominiums. On the recording, Williams told the developer that he could resolve a minor issue with a property title for $15,000. The council asked Williams to resign. When he refused, the council began a process to forcibly remove him from office in what is known as an amotion.

Williams said that is part of his past.

“I think I gained a lot of respect on council,” Williams said, “and had a bump in the road that wasn’t my fault.”

Williams said he never had a “fair shake.’’

He said the current council has members with too many agendas “going too many ways” and there is excessive infighting.

“We all have to … wear the same uniform,” Williams said. “I do believe I can pull the council together. I’m here to serve the people. If they don’t support me, I will still support” the District 2 choice.

“I’m here to serve if they want my help,” he said.

Ingram, 30, has not filed for re-election. She did not return an email from CityView TODAY seeking comment.

Janene Ackles has also filed for the District 2 seat.

Davis was elected to his first term as the District 6 representative on the City Council in November 2019. Now he will go after the N.C. House District 45 seat.

“My kids go to middle, elementary and high school here, and this is perfect,” Davis, 49, said Friday. “It is my community and my district. I am going to miss the council, but I have had a great time on the council. We are excited and plan to continue to serve.”

Joy Marie Potts previously filed for the District 6 seat. On Friday Leigh Howard also entered the race.

Antonio Jones, who replaced Waddell in January as the District 3 representative, filed Thursday to retain his seat. He will have three challengers in John Zimmerman, Kurin Keys and Mario Benavente.

And Deno Hondros filed Thursday to run against Councilwoman Yvonne Kinston in District 9. Kinston has filed for re-election.

Bill Kirby Jr. can be reached at billkirby49@gmail.com or 910-624-1961.

Fayetteville, Cumberland County. elections, mayor, City Council