Gay candidates sail to victory in North Carolina

Charlotte council member, two town mayoral candidates elected

by Matt Comer  Editor  editor@goqnotes.com
Published: November 5, 2013 in News

LaWana Mayfield

LaWana Mayfield

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Several openly gay and lesbian candidates for local offices in North Carolina sailed to victory on election night.

In Charlotte, incumbent City Councilmember LaWana Mayfield easily bested Republican challenger Eric Netter and Libertarian C. Travis Wheat. With all precinct reported as of 9:58 p.m., Mayfield swept the race with 77 percent of the vote.

Mayfield was first elected 2011. She became the city’s and Mecklenburg County’s first openly LGBT elected official, to great fanfare from local LGBT community members.

Her re-election on Tuesday comes after her controversial decision last October to attend a local event with national anti-Semitic and anti-LGBT hate group leader Louis Farrakhan, where she said he was “doing God’s will not his own.”

Mayfield this year again received the endorsement of the Mecklenburg LGBT Political Action Committee (MeckPAC). In 2011, the group was among her largest single campaign contributors, donating $1,000 toward her first run for public office. MeckPAC’s contribution this year has not yet been documented. Another past contributor, the national Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, gave Mayfield’s campaign $2,000 in 2011. It’s not clear if the national group contributed to her campaign this year. Mayfield’s campaign raised less money this year than it did in 2011. Mayfield raised nearly $48,000 in 2011. According to an Oct. 25 pre-election report this year, the campaign had raised $33,155.

Incumbent Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt faced no opponent on the ballot this year, though some residents had mounted write-in campaigns. He caught 90 percent of the vote, with all precincts reporting.

In nearby Carrboro, with all precincts reporting, incumbent town Alderwoman Lydia Lavelle garnered 96 percent of the voter in her uncontested race for mayor.