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Lyles Wins Early Endorsement For Mayor From Black Political Caucus

Vi Lyles
Lyles Campaign

Charlotte mayoral candidate Vi Lyles has won the endorsement of the Black Political Caucus of Charlotte-Mecklenburg in her run for mayor. Lyles is a Democrat and the current Mayor Pro Tem. She's challenging current mayor Jennifer Roberts and state Sen. Joel Ford for her party's nomination in the Sept. 12 primary.

The winner of the primary will face Republican city council member Kenny Smith in the November general election. He's unopposed for the Republican nomination.

In a statement on her campaign Facebook page, Lyles welcomed the endorsement.

"I am thankful, humbled and encouraged to have received the endorsement of the Black Political Caucus of Charlotte-Mecklenburg. Our grassroots movement is strong and shows the people of Charlotte we are ready to elect an experienced Mayor who is going to work for the betterment of our communities and a brighter future for all Charlotteans," she said.

The 50-year-old Black Political Caucus picked Lyles at a meeting Sunday, aftera debate last Thursday among the three Democratic candidates.

Caucus leader Colette Forrest says they're hoping to play a bigger role in this year's camapaign than past years. The group has about 200 members - all local African American residents.

The caucus rated candidates on a variety of factors such as credibility, accountability, character, and their stances on issues, including whether they can "boldly lead the city and represent a black agenda."

Lyles came out on top with a score of 79 percent of possible points. Ford got 64.5 percent and Roberts received, 41 percent, the caucus said.

The early endorsement was unusual, coming two months before candidate filing opens and four months before the primary.  

Forrest said Monday the caucus will meet Lyles and her aides within the next week to discuss how they can help the campaign.

"We are already working with the Lyles camp, so we can coordinate an intensive community roll out campaign and heighten her chances of winning the primary," Forrest told WFAE.

David Boraks previously covered climate change and the environment for WFAE. See more at www.wfae.org/climate-news. He also has covered housing and homelessness, energy and the environment, transportation and business.