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New Faces Mark Big Shift For Charlotte City Council

Anthony Foxx will be sworn in tonight for a second term as Charlotte mayor and four new people will take their seats on the City Council. The new faces mark a significant shift in city politics: there will be just two Republicans left on the Charlotte City Council. "We're an endangered species," jokes Warren Cooksey. He and fellow Republican Andy Dulin both ran unopposed in the general election. But Republican Edwin Peacock lost his chance for a third term representing the city at-large. Democrats now control all four at-large seats on the council with a majority of 9 to 2 and a Democrat for mayor. The two remaining Republicans will struggle to influence policy, admits Cooksey. "I hope we don't go far off the rails," says Cooksey. "I hope we don't have a tax increase. I hope we stay focused on the core functions of government." Cooksey and Dulin are also losing a Democratic councilman they could occasionally count on to help swing votes in their favor: District 3's Warren Turner. LaWana Mayfield replaces him on the council. Political newcomers Claire Fallon and Beth Pickering take their places as at-large representatives tonight and John Autry fills the seat vacated by Democrat Nancy Carter Turner. The swearing in ceremony for mayor and council is tonight at 7 p.m. in council chambers.