Charlotte LGBT political group releases election endorsements

MeckPAC endorses Foxx for mayor; Mayfield, other candidates for city council and school board

by Matt Comer  Editor  editor@goqnotes.com
Published: September 10, 2011 in News

CHARLOTTE — The Mecklenburg LGBT Political Action Committee (MeckPAC) released their primary voter guide and endorsements Thursday night, giving a positive nod to more pro-LGBT candidates for Charlotte City Council and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education.

Dozens of citizens attended the group’s pre-primary election party at the Morehead Inn. The event also drew a healthy dose candidates. The party came just a few days in advance of the primary election, held this year on Tuesday, Sept. 13. The general election will be held on Nov. 8.

The group’s highest profile endorsement went to LaWana Mayfield, only the fourth openly gay or lesbian Charlottean to seek public office in the city. She faces incumbent Democratic City Councilmember Warren Turner and a second challenger, Svend Deal, in her primary for the council’s District 3 seat. If successful, she’ll be the first and only openly gay or lesbian elected official in Mecklenburg County. Mayfield, who was previously endorsed by the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and qnotes, also received an endorsement this week from The Charlotte Post, the city’s weekly African-American community newspaper. In explaining their choice, the newspaper’s staff said allegations last year of anti-gay and misogynistic sexual harassment and other misdeeds had done damage to Turner’s credibility.

In the primary for Democratic at-large council seats, MeckPAC gave their nod to incumbents Patrick Cannon and David Howard. The group also endorsed newcomers Claire Fallon and Beth Pickering.

The group endorsed Democrat Cameron Webb Gardner in his city council District 2 primary.

John Autry received the committee’s endorsement in his District 5 Democratic primary race against Darrell Bonapart. Current District 5 City Councilmember Nancy Carter is not seeking election. The group noted that Bonapart’s support for LGBT equality issues but ultimately decided Autry was “the most supportive candidate.”

For the general election, MeckPAC gave their nod to District 1 Democratic incumbent Patsy Carter, Republican at-large incumbent Edwin Peacock, Libertarian at-large candidate Alex Vuchnich and incumbent Democratic Mayor Anthony Foxx. The group did not make any endorsements in Charlotte City Council Districts 4, 6 or 7.

In non-partisan, at-large Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education races, the group endorsed Lisa Hundley, Aaron Pomis, Darrin Rankin, former Mecklenburg County Commissioner Lloyd Scher and Jeff Wise.

qnotes released its own slate of primary election endorsements in our Sept. 3, 2011, print issue. Those endorsements and the candidates’ responses are available in our Charlotte Election Central 2011 at goqnotes.com/clt11/.