Government 101

How the City of Charlotte Runs and Who Runs It

Back to InFocus: Charlotte Index…

Charlotte is one of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S. according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The Charlotte metropolitan area is home to about 2.4 million people. In other words, running the city means making policy decisions that impact a lot of people.

The city’s website outlines 10 traits that the government wants to model in order to confront changing demographics and cultural trends, continuing to be a major U.S. city. Among these are an increase in affordable housing and being an inclusive community. Ideally, elected officials will further those goals.

The main official responsible for reaching those goals is City Manager Marcus D. Jones. Charlotte’s form of government leaves the city manager with the task of carrying out decisions made by the city council and the mayor, effectively making Jones the executive head of local government. The city manager is not an elected position, but the manager is appointed by the mayor and the city council.

The city’s mayor is a representative of the city at the state and federal level. Officially, the mayor presides over city council meetings and official city ceremonies. The current mayor of Charlotte is Vi Lyles, who is up for re-election on Nov. 5. Lyles is the first African-American woman to be the mayor of Charlotte.

Running against Lyles in the Democratic primary are:

Tigress Sydney Acute McDaniel, who has two degrees related to agriculture.

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Roderick Davis, who was also a mayoral candidate in 2015 and a city council candidate in 2017.

Joel Odom, who is running on a platform involving economic growth and crime reduction.

Lucille Puckett, who was a candidate for the N.C. House of Representatives in 2018 and a mayoral candidate in 2017.

There are no Republican candidates running for the office of mayor.

A majority of the legislative power in the city belongs to members of the city council. Up this year are four at-large city council seats and a race for every district seat.

The at-large candidates for City Council are:

Incumbent Dimple Ajmera

Incumbent Julie Eiselt

Incumbent Braxton Winston

Incumbent James Mitchell

Jorge Millares

City Councilwoman LaWana Mayfield
* (Please note that we originally identified Mayfield as a former City Council member. She is currently serving in the position and has so for a long time period. We regret the error and have corrected it here.) 

Former State Senate candidate Chad Stachowicz

There are four at-large seats on the city council, and the four winning candidates on Nov. 5 will take office.

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Ajmera, Eiselt, Winston, Mitchell, Millares, Mayfield and Stachowicz are Democrats. There are no Republicans running at-large for city council.

The candidates for the seat for District 1 are:

Incumbent Larken Egleston

Sean Smith

Smith and Egleston are Democrats. There are no Republican candidates for this district.

The candidates for the seat for District 2 are:

Jeremy Arey

Jessica Davis

Antoinette (Toni) Green

Former State Sen. Malcolm Graham

Arey, Davis, Green and Graham are Democrats. There are no Republican candidates for this district.

The candidates for the seat for District 3 are:

Terry Brown

Caleb Theodros

Victoria Watlington

Brown, Theodros and Watlington are Democrats. There are no Republican candidates for this district.

The candidates for the seat for District 4 are:

Richmond Baker

Gabriel (Gabe) Cartagena

Charlene Henderson

Renee Perkins Johnson

Charles Robinson

Sean Thompson

Baker, Cartagena, Henderson El, Johnson, Robinson and Thompson are Democrats. There are no Republican candidates for this district.

The candidates for the seat for District 5 are:

Incumbent Matt Newton

Former city council candidate Vinroy Reid

Mark Vincent

Newton, Reid and Vincent are Democrats. There are no Republican candidates for this district.

The candidates for the seat for District 6 are:

Incumbent Tariq Bohkari

Co-president of Charlotte Women’s March Gina Navarette

Bohkari is a Republican. Navarette is a Democrat.

The candidates for the seat for District 7 are:

Incumbent Edmund Driggs

Victoria Nwasike

Driggs and Nwasike are Republicans. There are no Democratic candidates for this district.

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