Precincts (blue, Democrat Patrick Cannon; red, Republican Edwin Peacock; brown, tie) show a divided city in Charlotte’s 2013 mayoral election.
Republican Edwin Peacock gives his concession speech at Dilworth Neighborhood Grille. Credit: Russell Peck, via Twitter.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Democrat Patrick Cannon was elected the Queen City’s next mayor tonight, besting Republican opponent Edwin Peacock III. In City Council races, Democrats swept at-large seats, with several others easily winning in district races including openly lesbian incumbent LaWana Mayfield.
In the mayoral race, voters chose Cannon, the City Council’s current mayor pro tem. With all precincts reporting, unofficial results showed Cannon leading 53-47 percent.
Cannon has served on City Council for nearly 20 years. He became the youngest-ever Council member when
he was elected in 1993.
The campaign for mayor was marked by heavy debate on the future of Charlotte’s airport. The state has tried to wrestle control of the airport from the city. The issue is currently being litigated. Both Cannon and Peacock have supported keeping the airport under city ownership and control.
The candidates sparred over other issues, though. The two disagreed on business incentives, especially the $87.5 million City Council provided the Carolina Panthers. Peacock also questioned the street car, which Cannon supported after assurances no property taxes would be used to fund it.
Both Cannon and Peacock were viewed as largely friendly on LGBT issues, though neither won the endorsement of this newspaper. The Mecklenburg LGBT Political Action Committee (MeckPAC) also endorsed neither candidate. Cannon’s and Peacock’s views on marriage equality — neither support full recognition for same-sex couples — were a key deciding factor in both endorsements.
Democrats sweep at-large seats
Democratic candidates swept all four at-large seats. With all but three precincts reporting, Democrats Michael Barnes, Vi Alexander Lyles, David Howard and Claire Green Fallon were elected over a slate of five other candidates.
Districts return unsurprising results
Results in City Council district races were largely unsurprising. Only four of the seven district races were contested.
District 1 Democrat Patsy Kinsey, District 5 Democrat John Autry and District 6 Republican Kenny Smith faced no challengers in the general election. Kinsey has been serving as interim mayor since July 1, when former Mayor Anthony Foxx resigned after being confirmed to serve as secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation.
In District 2, Democratic candidate Al Austin easily won against Republican opponent Darryl Broome, leading with 80 percent of the vote.
In District 3, incumbent Councilmember LaWana Mayfield won against Republican challenger Eric Netter and Libertarian C. Travis Wheat. Mayfield carried the race with 77 percent of the vote.
Unaffiliated candidate Michael Zytkow made history this year, becoming the first unaffiliated candidate to gain entry to the general election ballot. His door-knocking and canvassing, however, couldn’t compete with Democratic voters, who elected Greg Phipps, who led 67-33 percent.
District 7 Republican candidate Ed Driggs easily won against Democratic opponent Bakari Burton. Driggs garnered 72 percent of the vote.