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First-term Mecklenburg Commissioner Susan Harden Will Not Run In 2020

Susan Harden
Steve Harrison

Mecklenburg County Commissioner Susan Harden, a Democrat who was elected last year as part of a local Blue Wave election, said Wednesday she will not run for reelection in 2020.

Harden, along with Democrats Elaine Powell and Susan Rodriguez-McDowell, defeated three Republican incumbents last year. The nine-member commission now has all Democrats.

Harden was a champion of the proposed quarter-cent sales tax increase that would have funded the arts, along with parks and education. County voters last week rejected the tax hike, with more than 57% voting no.

She said that loss wasn't a factor in her decision not to run again.

"Losses are going to be a part of politics," she said. "You have to be prepared for that."

She said she will continue to serve the community as an associate professor in the college of education at UNC Charlotte.

Harden's District 5 seat includes much of south Charlote, which has historically been a Republican stronghold.

That seat had been held by Republican Matthew Ridenhour, who lost to Harden last year. Ridenhour then led the effort against the quarter-cent sales tax.

Ridenhour wrote on social media that he is "giving serious consideration" toward running for District 5 again.