Kinsey redux? Charlotte Council will pick new mayor on Monday

Gay Charlotteans take to Facebook: "Draft Patsy Kinsey!" Given opportunity, Billy Maddalon could return to Council

Originally published: March 27, 2014, 9:06 p.m.
Updated: March 27, 2014, 2:29 p.m.

Charlotte Councilmembers (L-R) John Autry, David Howard, LaWana Mayfield and Al Austin await other members of Council for the Wednesday press conference following now-former Mayor Patrick Cannon's arrest. Given the right circumstances, Mayfield and Austin could be joined by a third openly gay Council member when the body chooses the next mayor.

Charlotte Councilmembers (L-R) John Autry, David Howard, LaWana Mayfield and Al Austin await other members of Council for the Wednesday press conference following now-former Mayor Patrick Cannon’s arrest. Given the right circumstances, Mayfield and Austin could be joined by a third openly gay Council member when the body chooses the next mayor.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Following now-former Mayor Patrick Cannon’s federal corruptions arrest and resignation Wednesday, it will be up to City Council to once again choose a new mayor.

And, if such an action seems familiar, it’s because it is. Just last July, District 1 Councilmember Patsy Kinsey was elevated to the mayoral role when former Mayor Anthony Foxx resigned to take his position as U.S. Secretary of Transportation.

The city said Thursday that Council will pick Cannon’s successor at a meeting at 6 p.m. this Monday. The appointee must be a resident of the city and of the same party as Cannon, a Democrat. The appointee does not have to be from Council or an elected official.

- - - advertisement - - -

Kinsey, who served as mayor until Cannon was sworn-in in December, declined to say whether she wanted the job again.

“That’s not on my radar screen,” Kinsey told The Charlotte Observer. “I’m concerned about the city and how to get past this. We’ll work through it and we’ll be OK because we’ve got good people leading the city.”

Then-Mayor Patsy Kinsey rides in the Bank of America Charlotte Pride Parade on Aug. 25 in Uptown Charlotte. Photo Credit: Bobby Cochran.

Then-Mayor Patsy Kinsey rides in the Bank of America Charlotte Pride Parade on Aug. 25 in Uptown Charlotte. Photo Credit: Bobby Cochran.

For local LGBT residents, Kinsey is the obvious first choice. Several local LGBT residents took to Facebook yesterday to root for Kinsey.

“So who else wants Patsy Kinsey back?” read one comment.

“Draft Patsy Kinsey!” read another.

“I want Patsy back,” read yet another, among several more examples.

Though her term was short, Kinsey won over a great deal of the city, advocating for greater inclusion and outreach to a diversity of Charlotte’s minority communities, including immigrants and LGBT people. In August, she became the first Charlotte mayor to issue a proclamation for Charlotte Pride, the city’s annual LGBT Pride festival, and rode in the city’s first Pride parade in nearly 20 years. qnotes named her among our 2013 People of the Year.

- - - advertisement - - -

Kinsey’s historically-inclusive mayoral term was followed by the election of Patrick Cannon, stoking speculation at the time that city leadership would retreat from Kinsey’s more outwardly LGBT-inclusive style.

Kinsey’s elevation to mayor last year simultaneously created a vacancy for her District 1 seat.

Openly gay Plaza Midwood businessman Billy Maddalon was appointed by Council to fill Kinsey’s term until she stepped down from mayor and back into her District 1 seat.

If Kinsey becomes mayor again, she would serve until December 2015. That would open up a nearly two-year term for a new District 1 Council member.

In past interviews with qnotes, Maddalon said he would consider continued public service in his future. On Thursday morning, Maddalon said he would again consider filling a District 1 term if the opportunity presented itself.

“I enjoyed my first time around,” he said. “If called upon, I would be more than happy to consider that. It was enjoyable and I learned a lot, and from what I understand I did a decent job given the short time I was there.”

Given that scenario, Council could once again have its most LGBT-friendly mayor returned to office and a total of three openly gay or lesbian members, with Maddalon joining Councilmembers LaWana Mayfield and Al Austin.

The Charlotte Observer reports that other elected officials, including Councilmembers David Howard and Vi Lyles as well as Mayor Pro Tem Michael Barnes, could want the job.

- - - advertisement - - -

Posted by Matt Comer

Matt Comer is a staff writer for QNotes. He previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015.