Burke not running leaves Northeast Ward up for grabs

After 42 years of serivng on the Winston-Salem City Council Vivian Burke will be retiring in 2020.

Burke not running leaves Northeast Ward up for grabs
December 25
05:15 2019

For the first time in more than 40 years, Mayor Pro Tempore Vivian Burke will not be running for City Council. Burke didn’t file for re-election before the noon deadline on Friday, Dec. 20. 

A native of Charlotte, Burke has always had a passion for politics. In 1972 while working full time as a guidance counselor at Atkins High School, Burke was also a leader in the Democratic Party and was the Forsyth County manager for Rep. Shirley Chisholm’s campaign for president. Burke first ran for office in 1977, winning her seat to represent the Northeast Ward on the Board of Aldermen (now known as the Winston-Salem City Council). 

During her tenure as a member of the City Council, Burke helped bring about change within the Winston-Salem Police Department, including the development of the Citizens’ Police Review Board. She is also credited for starting the Outstanding Women Leaders awards, and was the longtime chair of the Public Safety Committee. 

When reflecting on her political career during an interview with The Chronicle in 2018, Burke said her success was due to hard work, loyalty, dedication, not making promises she can’t keep, and working hard to do what she says she’ll do. 

With Burke not running for re-election for the first time in four decades, the Northeast Ward is really up for grabs. According to the list of candidates provided by the Forsyth County Board of Elections, Morticia Parmon, Keith King, and Barbara Hanes Burke will battle it out for the Northeast Ward. 

Parmon, who is the daughter of former county commissioner and state legislator Earline Parmon, has said some issues she plans to address if elected include housing, childhood education and hunger. 

Keith King, a longtime resident of the Northeast Ward and owner of King’s Downtown Grocery, has run for the Northeast Ward several times in recent years. In past campaigns, King has said he wants to be the voice at the table who will listen to the people. 

Barbara Hanes Burke is Vivian Burke’s daughter-in-law and the only candidate with political experience. Hanes Burke was elected to the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School Board in 2018 and served as vice chair. She announced her decision to run for City Council in a Facebook post last Friday evening. 

The post read, “I am excited to announce that today I filed to run for City Council for the Northeast Ward! I am eager to use my voice to continue to be a strong advocate while having an even broader impact on the community in which I live. I hope I can count on your support!” 

The 2020 Primary Election is March 3 and the General Election will be Nov. 3. A complete list of candidates running for City Council and other races in the area is available on the Forsyth County Board of Elections website.  

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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