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Sun. Headlines: Roberts, Peacock top mayoral poll; prominent pastor Davis dies

Jennifer Roberts and Edwin Peacock.
The Charlotte Observer

Early voting begins Thursday in Charlotte’s mayoral primary and a new poll shows there are clear front-runners for the two major parties.  With voting set to begin ahead of primary day, Sept. 15, The Charlotte Observer reports that Democrat Jennifer Roberts has support from 39 percent of likely primary voters, just short of the 40 percent needed to avoid a runoff. Current Mayor Dan Clodfelter is a distant second at 21 percent.

In the Republican race, former city Council member Edwin Peacock  leads Scott Stone 44 percent to 26 percent. The Observer said it polled 816 likely democratic voters and 538 likely republican voters.

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Credit Nations Ford Community Church
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Nations Ford Community Church
Bishop Phillip Davis

BISHOP PHILLIP DAVIS DIES IN ACCIDENTAL SHOOTING

A prominent African American pastor in Charlotte has died in an accidental shooting. Bishop Phillip Davis, the founder and senior pastor of Nations Ford Community Church, was found dead Saturday at his home in Union County.

The Union County sheriff’s office said Sunday that it appears Davis was cleaning his pistol at his desk around 1pm when it accidentally fired. He had told his son earlier that he planned a trip to a firing range.

Davis and his wife, Cynthia, built Nation’s Ford into one of the area’s largest congregations. He also was outspoken on major issues, including calling for justice in the shooting death of Jonathan Ferrell. Ferrell, an African American, was unarmed two years ago when was shot to death by charlotte police officer Randall Kerrick. Kerrick’s case was declared a mistrial.

Read more about Davis and reaction in the community to his death, on QCityMetro.com

DRIVER'S LAWYER DISPUTES TONY STEWART ACCOUNT

A lawyer for a race car driver who was killed when he was run over by Tony Stewart's car says legal claims by the NASCAR driver in response to a lawsuit are "appalling." Attorney Mark Lanier said in an email to the Associated Press Saturday that Kevin Ward Jr. was killed last year as he walked on a dirt track in upstate New York even though Stewart is one of the world's best drivers. The lawyer noted five other cars drove around Ward during a yellow caution flag before Stewart "revved his engine and ran him over." Stewart, whose race team is based in Kannapolis, said in a court filing lasting week he didn't realize Kevin Ward Jr. was walking along the track after the crash at Canandaigua Motorsports Park on Aug. 9, 2014. Ward's family has filed a lawsuit accusing Stewart of gross negligence, arguing he gunned his engine and put his car into a skid before hitting Ward. Stewart's lawyer argues Ward caused his own death by getting out of his car and walking along the track.  A toxicology report shows Ward smoked marijuana within five hours of the race.