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Charlotte Mayor, At-Large Incumbents Cruise To Victory In Primary

Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles joined Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins Thursday, Dec. 13.

Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles beat four Democratic challengers with nearly 87% of the vote in Tuesday's partisan municipal primaries. The first-term mayor will face Republican and perennial candidate David Michael Rice in November.

"We still have more work to do as we head into November, and I want to continue to earn the honor of being your mayor," Lyles said on Twitter after her victory.

In the race for City Council's at-large seats, incumbent Democrats Braxton Winston, James Mitchell, Dimple Ajmera, and Julie Eiselt moved on to the fall ballot. Republican Joshua Richardson, who had no opponent in the primary, will also be on the November ballot for the four City Council at-large seats.

Incumbent Democratic councilwoman Lawana Mayfield will not be moving on to the fall ballot. She represents District 3 but ran for an at-large seat this year, coming up short against the four incumbents.

Incumbent Democrats Larken Egleston of District 1 and Matt Newton of District 6 also beat primary challengers Tuesday, as did Republican Ed Driggs of District 7. Malcolm Graham won a four-person Democratic primary for District 2, Victoria Watlington won a three-person Democratic primary for District 3 and Renee Perkins Johnson won a six-person Democratic primary for District 4.

Graham, a former state senator, said Charlotte's crime and housing challenges compelled him to run.

"The rise in crime rate over 75 homicides, the issue of affordable housing and gentrification along West Trade Street, Beatties Ford corridor, the RNC coming to Charlotte and my belief that the council did not provide thoughtful consideration around that decision all inspired me to seek a seat on the Charlotte City Council to bring some mature steady leadership," Graham said.

The general election will be Nov. 5.

Marshall came to WFAE after graduating from Appalachian State University, where he worked at the campus radio station and earned a degree in communication. Outside of radio, he loves listening to music and going to see bands - preferably in small, dingy clubs.
Sarah Delia is a Senior Producer for Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. Sarah joined the WFAE news team in 2014. An Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist, Sarah has lived and told stories from Maine, New York, Indiana, Alabama, Virginia and North Carolina. Sarah received her B.A. in English and Art history from James Madison University, where she began her broadcast career at college radio station WXJM. Sarah has interned and worked at NPR in Washington DC, interned and freelanced for WNYC, and attended the Salt Institute for Radio Documentary Studies.