Kevin Mundy hopes to fill Dan Besse’s seat on City Council

Kevin Mundy

Kevin Mundy hopes to fill Dan Besse’s seat on City Council
April 02
03:40 2020

Last fall City Council Member Dan Besse announced his intention to run for the N.C. House of Representatives. Besse’s decision to run against Republican Donnie Lambeth for District 75 left the citizens of the Southwest Ward wondering who would represent them on the City Council. 

In the primary election, voters seemed to have made their decision. In the race where Democrats Kevin Mundy and Scott Bowen faced off, Mundy, who works for Leadership Winston-Salem, defeated Bowen with 63% of the vote. 

Mundy said although he was confident he had a chance to win, he was surprised when he won by such a large margin. He said with Bowen being younger and having so much support from the under-40 crowd, he thought if won, it would only be by a few votes. 

“He was marking better with the under-40 crowd than I was, so I honestly didn’t know until returns starting coming in that I was going to win for sure,“ Mundy continued. “I was very relieved that it came out that way.”

Originally from Aiken, S.C., Mundy relocated to Winston-Salem in 1987 after graduate school at the University of South Carolina, to take a job with Sara Lee (now HanesBrands), where he worked for nearly 20 years. 

While best known for his work in the business sector, Mundy is also well known for his work with various groups and organizations in the community. He serves on several boards and committees including March of Dimes, National Black Theatre Festival (NBTF), Crosby Scholars, Winston-Salem Symphony Chorale, Triad Pride Men’s Chorus, AIDS Care Service, City of Winston-Salem Senior Games and Silver Arts planning committee, and several others. 

Mundy told The Chronicle his experience working with various organizations and initiatives in the community gives him a unique perspective of the city and the issues. He said, “I learned so much about the systemic issues that they are working to address in Winston-Salem, Forsyth County, Northwest N.C., and in some cases statewide. I was exposed to so many more issues than the average corporate employee … they just wouldn’t have visibility to these issues and realize all of the needs that are out there in the community.”

The three most pressing issues Mundy plans to address are affordable housing, economic development, and workforce development. He said the issues we currently face are directly related to the city’s shift away from being a “Tobacco Town.” Mundy mentioned there once was a time when people had a place to go and earn a livable wage, even if they didn’t go to college, but those times have passed. 

“Some of the issues that we have now that disproportionately affect people of color and people of lower resources – affordable housing, food insecurity – so many of these issues I think tie back to our transition from being a textile and tobacco town.” Mundy continued, “Even when I moved here in ’87 … if you graduated from high school, you didn’t necessarily have to go to college to get a job in one of the Hanes’ plants or one the Reynolds’ plants.”

To turn the tide on these issues, Mundy said the answer is investing in small businesses. He said instead of looking for a Fortune 500 company to come in and hire thousands of people, the city should be looking for smaller businesses that can hire hundreds. To get businesses here, Mundy said the city must have the infrastructure to support the business and people in the community who can work.

“I don’t hold out a whole lot of being home to five Fortune 500 businesses anymore,” Munday said. “If we could get companies coming in who employ several hundred people, that’s probably where our new sweet spot is going to be, but we have to have employees who can go to work there. To get a business here, it’s a formula of what our infrastructure … or what I call the hardware pieces, but we also have to be able to provide employees for them. And so many of our younger citizens are leaving to look for other opportunities, so we have to make Winston-Salem an attractive place.”

Although there wasn’t a Republican contender during the primary election, it is possible that Mundy could have a contender in the general election running as an Independent or Unaffiliated candidate. The general election is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 3. 

When asked what the people of the Southwest Ward can expect from him as a member of City Council, Mundy said, “What they can expect from me is someone who is going to be actively involved in the community and actively trying to communicate with my constituents.”

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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