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Republican PAC Praises Lyles, Eiselt For RNC Vote In New TV Ad

Truth and Prosperity
A new television ad from a GOP PAC supports Democrats Vi Lyles and Julie Eiselt.

The televsion ad begins with a booming voice:

Vi Lyles. Julie Eiselt. Proven leaders. Vi Lyles and Julie Eiselt have led Charlotte with distinction and honor embracing policies that make Charlotte a leader in job creation and economic growth.

The ad continues those kind words, but it focuses on a subject that -- for Democrats -- is touchy: The Republican National Convention.

Even more strange: The ad is by the Truth and Prosperity PAC, which supports North Carolina Republican lieutenant governor Dan Forest in his bid to become governor. 

When partisans -- including some City Council members -- tried to deny the Republican National Convention from being held in Charlotte in 2020, Lyles and Eiselt stood firm, advocating the economic benefits the convention would bring to small businesses across Charlotte. That's what's being praised in the ad now.

Despite the praise in the advertisement, Eiselt isn’t happy. She’s confused why a Republican PAC would support her – and bring up the RNC.

"I have not been contacted by this group," she said. "I don’t know who they are. I haven’t reached out to them. And I would just as soon run my own campaign."

Eiselt, the mayor pro tem, was one of four Democrats last year who voted to host the convention – over the objections of some residents who said the city shouldn’t host President Donald Trump.

Lyles – who also supported the RNC -- is considered a shoo-in for mayor. And with only one Republican on the general election ballot, Eiselt is in good position to be re-elected to one of four at-large seats.

But the Democratic at-large candidates want to finish first in the Nov. 5 election. And a TV ad that reminds voters about the RNC might not help a candidate who voted for it.

Truth and Prosperity hasn’t been involved in Charlotte city elections before. It referred questions about the ad to its mission statement. That statement says the PAC supports candidates who, among other things, support free enterprise, limited government and individual liberties. 

Steve Harrison is WFAE's politics and government reporter. Prior to joining WFAE, Steve worked at the Charlotte Observer, where he started on the business desk, then covered politics extensively as the Observer’s lead city government reporter. Steve also spent 10 years with the Miami Herald. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, the Sporting News and Sports Illustrated.