Val Applewhite, Mayor, Fayetteville, North Carolina
Val Applewhite, currently a member of the Fayetteville, North Carolina, city council, hopes to be the city's newly elected mayor on Nov. 5, 2013. She is the only woman and African-American in the race, which helps increase her odds in a majority Black city. She also has a good story. Applewhite served in the Air Force for more than 20 years and survived the terrorist attack on the Pentagon on Sept. 11.