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Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles Declines To Commit To Reelection Bid

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City of Charlotte
Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles addresses reporters during a virtual press conference July 1, 2021.

Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles on Thursday declined to answer a question about whether she will seek a third term as the city’s top official.

“My understanding is that ... the filing for next year’s elections starts December the 6th at noon,” Lyles told reporters during a virtual press conference. “So why don’t you ask me that question December the 6th at noon, and I’ll be able to give you an answer.”

Lyles, a Democrat, was elected as Charlotte’s first female African American mayor in 2017. She’s now poised to hold an extended second term after Charlotte City Council members voted Monday to delay all municipal elections until spring 2022.

A bill that became law without Gov. Roy Cooper's signature last week allows many North Carolina cities to postpone 2021 elections to 2022 because of delays in U.S. Census Bureau population data needed to redraw districts.

Charlotte would have been able to move elections for its seven district-specific City Council members to 2022 but hold elections for mayor and four at-large members on time in November. But on Monday, council members opted to hold all elections at once.

The Charlotte Observer reports that Ed Driggs and Tariq Bokhari, the council’s two Republican members, voted to split up the elections. Four council members did not attend the Monday meeting. Having two elections would have cost the city about $350,000. City Council primaries would be in March.

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Claire Donnelly is WFAE's health reporter. She previously worked at NPR member station KGOU in Oklahoma and also interned at WBEZ in Chicago and WAMU in Washington, D.C. She holds a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University and attended college at the University of Virginia, where she majored in Comparative Literature and Spanish. Claire is originally from Richmond, Virginia. Reach her at cdonnelly@wfae.org or on Twitter @donnellyclairee.