Roberts, Clodfelter Headed For Runoff; Winner To Face Peacock
The race for mayor of Charlotte is down to three candidates. Former city councilman Edwin Peacock will represent the Republican Party in the general election. He’ll have to wait a few more weeks to find out whether his opponent will be Jennifer Roberts or incumbent Dan Clodfelter.
The Democratic Mayoral Primary
Tuesday was a bad night for Michael Barnes and David Howard. Both are fixtures of the Charlotte City Council who have had strong support among African Americans, which make up nearly two-thirds of Charlotte’s registered Democrats. However, that support didn’t carry over to success at the polls. Barnes finished fourth in what was in essence a four-way race. Howard finished third.
Statutes require a runoff if no candidate pulls in 40 percent of the vote. No one did. Jennifer Roberts came the closest.
“I am honored to have received the most votes of any mayoral candidate in this primary,” said Roberts at a rally near uptown.
She received 11,070 votes or 36% of those cast for Democrats in the race.
Her opponent is the sitting mayor Dan Clodfelter who was appointed to the job after corruption charges prompted Patrick Cannon to resign.
“I’m not the flashiest candidate, never have been. But we know how to do our work, we know how to make it solid, we’ve been seeing really solid momentum now for the past three or four weeks,” said Clodfelter.
Clodfelter beat out David Howard for the runoff by just 643 votes.
“Well, my friends this is not the speech I wanted to give tonight. I want to start by congratulating both Jennifer and Dan on their win because everybody fought hard,” said Howard surrounded by supporters.
While both Roberts and Clodfelter celebrated last night, both campaigns will need to kick into gear again quickly. Their runoff election is October 6th, just three weeks away.
Tuesday’s primary saw turnout of 8.7 percent, which is low by most standards but better than average for a municipal primary. Turnout for runoff elections are traditionally much lower than that, so keeping their supporters motivated will be key.
Former Councilman Edwin Peacock cruised to victory over Scott Stone in the Republican primary, gaining 66 percent of the vote.
Peacock Soundly Defeats Stone in Republican Primary
Former Councilman Edwin Peacock cruised to victory over Scott Stone, a previous mayoral candidate in 2011.
Peacock won 66 percent of the vote and receives his second Republican mayoral nomination. Just two years ago he lost to Democrat Patrick Cannon by less than 6,000 votes. But this time, Peacock says he’s more confident. He says he’s focused on reaching unaffiliated voters. They actually outnumber Republicans in Charlotte, representing nearly 30 percent of registered voters.
“We’ve spent a lot of time talking to unaffliateds. They are a little bit frustrated with both parties and we’re trying to find that middle,” says Peacock.
Still, Democrats make up nearly half of the registered voters in the city. Republican political consultant Larry Shaheen says that will be hard to overcome.
“He’s got to raise a lot of money. For a Republican candidate to win in Charlotte, it’s going to cost half a million dollars,” says Shaheen.
He says Peacock will have to spend a lot of that on TV ads to be taken seriously.
But he says the Democratic runoff between Jennifer Roberts and Dan Clodfelter could benefit Peacock.
“If the runoff turns nasty, there is a possibility that voters could defect to an Edwin Peacock candidacy because he’s someone they feel they can trust,” says Shaheen.
Peacock notes a runoff will force the Democrats to spend money against each other.
City Council At-Large
City Council at-large incumbents Vi Lyles and Claire Fallon made it past the Democratic primary and into November’s election. Lyles was the top vote-getter at 19 percent. James Mitchell was a close second. He was a long time city council member before leaving to run for mayor two years ago and Congress last year. Newcomer Julie Eiselt received 13 percent of votes. She founded the group Neighbors for a Safer Charlotte. Fallon won the fourth and final spot on the general election ballot with 12 percent of the vote. Those four Democrats will go up against three Republicans in the general election Pablo Carvajal, John Powell, and David Michael Rice.
You can click here for complete election results in Charlotte.