Disbelief in the Great State of Mecklenburg

The folks in the editorial department of the Charlotte Observer can’t seem to come to grips with the fact that Lieutenant Governor Beverly Perdue defeated Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory Tuesday. The Observer calls her election ” a bittersweet moment” and laments McCrory’s loss as a missed opportunity to “dispel the myth of the Charlotte curse” in statewide politics.

The Observer endorsed McCrory and the editorialists must be especially troubled that Perdue defeated the Mayor in his home county of Mecklenburg. Maybe that accounts for the barbs the editorial has for Perdue the morning after she defeated Charlotte’s latest hope to run North Carolina.

After praising McCrory for running a strong campaign based on calls for reform of state government, the editorial moves on to blast Perdue.

She has billed herself as a progressive who works for measures of broad benefit, such as access to education for all citizens and for protecting North Carolina’s environmental resources. Yet during the campaign, she used her seat on the N.C. Community College Board to orchestrate a vote that rejected letting undocumented residents enroll so long as they pay higher, out-of-state costs.

It was shameful that Perdue led the effort to deny undocumented students admission to community colleges, but McCrory wanted to slam the door in the students faces too and was much more zealous in his anti-immigrant rhetoric during much of the campaign.

The editorial goes on to fret about Perdue’s relationship with the leadership of the state senate and her willingness to demonstrate that she understands “urban needs.” Valid points to be sure, but odd that they take precedence over calls for unity and moving forward the day after a heated campaign.

It is not clear if there is a Charlotte curse in statewide politics, so maybe there was no myth to dispel. But it does seem that many folks in Charlotte still can’t fathom why the rest of North Carolina doesn’t fully appreciate the “Great State of Mecklenburg.”

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