Nancy McFarlane

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Nancy McFarlane
Nancy McFarlane cropped.jpg
38th Mayor of Raleigh
Assumed office
December 5, 2011
Preceded byCharles Meeker
Personal details
Born (1956-07-20) July 20, 1956 (age 62)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Political partyIndependent
EducationVirginia Commonwealth University (BS)

Nancy Pletcher McFarlane (born July 20, 1956) is the 35th mayor of Raleigh, North Carolina, the state capital. She was elected to lead the city in the 2011 election, and succeeded Charles Meeker, who had declined to run for re-election to another term.[1] McFarlane is a political independent (called "Unaffiliated" in North Carolina) but ran with the endorsement of the local Democratic Party.[2] She was re-elected in 2013,[3] again in 2015, and a third time in 2017.[4]

Before her election as mayor, McFarlane, a pharmacist and small business owner, served on the Raleigh City Council. She was elected in 2007 and re-elected without opposition in 2009 until 2011.

Early life and education[edit]

Nancy Pletcher McFarlane was born in Washington, D.C., on July 20, 1956 to Jean Pletcher and the late Ralph Pletcher. Joined by her brothers, the family lived in Arlington, Virginia, where McFarlane formed an early impression that the congestion there was a detriment to living quality. "I know what large, poorly planned growth can do to an area," she said during her 2011 run for mayor.[5]

McFarlane earned a Bachelor of Science in pharmacy from Virginia Commonwealth University's School of Pharmacy at the Medical College of Virginia. While there, she met Ron McFarlane, who was pursuing a degree in pharmacy as well. She married him in 1980. In 2010 the McFarlanes received the Distinguished Pharmacy Alumni Award from Virginia Commonwealth University for the contributions they have made to the profession of pharmacy.[6]


After graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University, McFarlane worked as a hospital pharmacist in Richmond, Virginia until she and her husband moved to Raleigh, North Carolina in 1984. She later worked briefly as a retail pharmacist and then spent 15 years at Raleigh Community Hospital (now known as Duke Raleigh North) as a hospital pharmacist while raising her three children.[5]

MedPro Rx[edit]

In 2002, after 22 years as a retail and hospital pharmacist, McFarlane launched MedPro Rx, Inc., an accredited specialty infusion pharmacy that provides infusion medications and services to clients with chronic illnesses. "I wanted to provide more than medicine," she said. "I wanted to offer the support and services that are often lost in bigger companies."[7] She has built the company into one of Inc. Magazine's fastest-growing companies from 2009–2011.[8] In 2013, McFarlane was named one of the top entrepreneurs in the Triangle region by Business Leader Magazine.[9]

City council service[edit]

McFarlane won the District A City Council seat in 2007,[10] and ran without opposition in 2009.[11][12] She served on the Budget and Economic Development Committee and was chair of the Comprehensive Planning Committee.[5]

McFarlane worked with the Coalition to Unchain Dogs which works to mitigate the negative consequences of keeping dogs chained and she initiated the tasking of the City Attorney to draw up the Dog Tethering Ordinance[13] which was unanimously passed by the City Council on March 3, 2009 and took effect July 1 of that year.[14]

Mayoral service[edit]

On March 13, 2019, McFarlane announced that she would not be seeking reelection.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Garfield, Matt (December 4, 2011). "McFarlane era to begin Monday in Raleigh". Raleigh News & Observer. Retrieved October 5, 2012.
  2. ^ Garfield, Matt (October 15, 2011). "McFarlane gets decisive victory in mayoral race". North Raleigh News. Raleigh News & Observer. Archived from the original on April 15, 2012. Retrieved October 5, 2012.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b c Garfield, Matt (September 19, 2011). "Growth issues drive McFarlane in Raleigh mayoral race". Raleigh News & Observer. Archived from the original on March 8, 2014. Retrieved October 5, 2012.
  6. ^ "SOP alumni honored for contributions, service and loyalty" (PDF). The RxExchange. Virginia Commonwealth University School of Pharmacy. Spring–Summer 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 11, 2010. Retrieved October 5, 2012.
  7. ^ Petty, Barbara (November 2008). "Nancy McFarlane, A Lifetime of Community Service". Boom Magazine. Prime Communications. Retrieved October 4, 2012.
  8. ^ "Top 300 Small Businesses 2012". Business Leader. Retrieved October 4, 2012.
  9. ^ "MedPro Rx President Nancy McFarlane Named Top Entrepreneur For 2013 By Business Leader Magazine". NC Headlines. New Media Campaigns. May 30, 2013. Retrieved June 7, 2013.
  10. ^ Eisley, Matthew (October 11, 2007). "Victors, losers sort out election". Raleigh News & Observer. Archived from the original on September 3, 2012. Retrieved October 4, 2012.
  11. ^ "Triangle election results". Raleigh News & Observer. October 6, 2009. Archived from the original on September 4, 2012. Retrieved October 4, 2012.
  12. ^ "Results". Wake County Board of Elections. Retrieved October 5, 2012.
  13. ^ "Raleigh City Council I: Less dog-tethering, please". WRAL. Jan 22, 2009. Archived from the original on January 26, 2013. Retrieved November 8, 2012.
  14. ^ "Raleigh passes dog tethering ordinance". WRAL. March 3, 2009. Retrieved October 4, 2012.
  15. ^ Glusco, Jodi Leese (March 13, 2019). "'Raleigh politics could use a reset': Mayor McFarlane not running again". WRAL-TV. Capitol Broadcasting Company. Retrieved March 13, 2019.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Charles Meeker
Mayor of Raleigh
December 5, 2011 – Present
Succeeded by