Mayor Jennifer Roberts is out in Charlotte. She lost the Democratic primary to the city’s Mayor Pro Tem Vi Lyles. While surprising and perhaps disappointing to some who appreciated Roberts’ stand on HB2, the Lyles win assures that Democrats will be lead by a progressive in the November election in the state’s largest city. Lyles will face Republican Kenny Smith. Conservative Democrat Joel Ford, who had support from many Republicans in Raleigh, was a distant third in the Democratic primary.
This is from the Charlotte Observer lead story:
“Charlotte Mayor Pro Tem Vi Lyles Tuesday won the Democratic mayoral nomination by upsetting Mayor Jennifer Roberts – a polarizing leader who made national headlines over House Bill 2.
Lyles, a former city budget director and assistant city manager, won in virtually every corner of the city, from the northwest to the southeast. She carried African-American precincts off Beatties Ford Road as well as those in Myers Park and Dilworth. She faces Republican Kenny Smith in November….
Lyles said she will emphasize affordable housing, the need for good jobs and the need for trust between the public and police department in the upcoming general election.
Meanwhile, City Council member Smith rolled past two rivals – Gary Dunn and Kimberley Paige Barnette – for the Republican nomination.
With 165 of 168 precincts in, Lyles had 46 percent of the vote to Roberts’ 36 percent. Ford had 16 percent.
Lyles had the support of the Black Political Caucus as well as establishment leaders such as former Bank of America Chairman Hugh McColl Jr….
Lyles starts the general election campaign at a distinct financial disadvantage. At the end of August she had $43,000 in her campaign account compared to Smith’s $325,000.
But she overcame a financial disadvantage in the primary. Through August, Roberts raised $468,000, far more than her rivals. That helped her stay on TV consistently since Aug. 21, while none of her Democratic opponents aired a single ad.”