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Big Money Raised And Already Spent In Charlotte Mayoral Race

Denise Cross Photography

Tuesday is primary Election Day in Mecklenburg County. Polls open at 6:30 a.m. and close at 7:30 p.m.

We don’t know how many ballots will be cast, but we do know the Charlotte mayoral race will end up being the most expensive in the city's history.

The record for the most expensive mayoral race in the city was set back in 2009. The total raised in that race was $1.2 million, and that was through the November election.

The latest campaign finance reports filed just before Tuesday's primary show the top four mayoral candidates - Democrats Jennifer Roberts, Joel Ford and Vi Lyles, and Republican Kenny Smith - have already raised just shy of $1.3 million.

From left, Jennifer Roberts, Joel Ford and Vi Lyles are the top three candidates for the Democratic mayoral nomination.
Democratic candidates for mayor, Jennifer Roberts, Joel Ford, Vi Lyles, Constance Partee-Johnson, Lucille Puckett

Roberts leads the pack with $468,000 and change raised. Smith follows with $325,000. Lyles comes in third with $279,000, and Ford has raised some $221,000.

And while Smith has spent just $72,000 of his war chest, Democrats are spending heavily. Roberts alone has spent $366,000. Lyles and Ford have together spent another $413,000, nearly all the money they had on hand.

Republican candidates for mayor, Kenny Smith, Kimberley Paige Barnette, Gary Dunn

Turnout in this election was already expected to be low – in the high single digits. But that was before the weather looked to be a factor.

The Mecklenburg County Board of Elections now says the primary will take place as planned, but with wind and rain in the forecast, turnout could be exceptionally low.

So one of the most eye-popping numbers to watch for when results come in: Just how much money each candidate spent per vote.

WFAE will have coverage of Charlotte's municipal elections Tuesday night on 90.7-FM (Charlotte), 90.3-FM (Hickory), and on wfae.org.

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