The race is on.  District 3 City Councilmember Justin Outling has announced his candidacy for Greensboro mayor in the 2021 election.

Outling has been serving on the City Council since 2015, when he was appointed to fill the seat vacated when Zack Matheny resigned to accept the position as president of Downtown Greensboro Inc.  Outling then won election to represent District 3 in 2015 and reelection to a four-year term in 2017.  Outling is the first Democrat and first African American to represent District 3.  He is currently the only male on the City Council.

It has long been rumored that Outling would run for mayor, and with this announcement Outling has laid those rumors to rest.  He is the first to officially announce his candidacy for mayor, although also according to rumor it’s likely to be a crowded field.

In keeping with the times, Outling made his announcement via video, which can be viewed here: Outling for Mayor.

In a press release Outling said, “Greensboro should be the envy of our peer cities across the state, yet unfortunately, Greensboro isn’t achieving its potential.  Other cities have outpaced us in the critical areas of jobs and crime, leaving us overlooked, falling behind, with fewer opportunities, and less safe.”

Outling added, “For too long, our city’s mayoral leadership has lacked a coherent, inclusive vision that engages all parts of our community to attract and retain more and better paying jobs, expand opportunity, and provide public safety for all.  During my time on City Council, I’ve seen too much emphasis on reactive, short-term thinking, prioritizing day-to-day politics, symbolism and quick fixes over long-term success.”

In the campaign video, Outling talks about Greensboro’s potential to be a great community with great infrastructure, high quality of life and a low cost of living, but he adds, “However, the gap between Greensboro’s potential and its reality is broad and has been getting wider year after year.”

Outling notes, “In the past several years alone two of our community’s largest employers moved or merged out of the city and now Greensboro is ranked one of the most dangerous communities in all of North Carolina.”

Outling says, “To reach our potential we need stronger, more effective and a more unifying voice in the mayor’s office.”

Outling is a graduate of UNCG and Duke Law School and is currently a partner at Brooks Pierce law firm. He and his wife, Cora, who met at UNCG, live in Fisher Park and have two children attending Jones Elementary School.