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Mecklenburg County commissioners sorting through 18 applications to fill Ella Scarborough’s seat

Mecklenburg County

Mecklenburg County commissioners have 18 applications of qualified candidates seeking to temporarily replace At-Large Commissioner Ella Scarborough.

Scarborough went on medical leave in early February after struggling to participate in virtual meetings for most of 2021. Health issues then kept her from attending commission meetings when they returned to the Government Center in October.

Ella Scarborough
Mecklenburg County
Ella Scarborough

Chairman George Dunlap said at Tuesday night’s commission meeting that Scarborough’s health has since taken a serious turn.

“Let me just take a moment to say that our prayers go out to the family of Commissioner Ella Scarborough,” Dunlap said. “We just learned earlier this afternoon that she was in hospice care and so our thoughts and prayers go out to the family.”

Scarborough has long been a significant figure in local politics. She was the first Black woman elected to the Charlotte City Council in 1987, and served on the City Council for a decade. In 2001, she won the Democratic primary in the mayoral race but lost in the general election to Republican Pat McCrory. She was then elected to the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners in 2014.

The county released a list Wednesday of 18 qualified candidates who applied to temporarily fill her at-large seat. They include former North Carolina Rep. Beverly Earle, former Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools Board Chair Mary McCray, and former At-Large Commissioner and CMS Board Chair Wilhelmenia Rembert.

The candidates are:

  • Vonnie Brown
  • Alisa Cates
  • Jackson Dumas
  • Beverly Earle
  • Madine Fails
  • Jessica Foster
  • Steven Jones
  • Irena Klika
  • Terry Lansdell
  • Mary T. McCray
  • Michael McIntosh
  • Ayanna Perry
  • Wilhelmenia I. Rembert
  • Marlin Smith
  • Jason Sorrells
  • Sam Spencer
  • Judy Taylor
  • Yvette Townsend-Ingram

Mecklenburg County said in a release that 22 people applied for the seat, but three did not meet the requirements set by the Board of Commissioners and another withdrew their application. Qualifying candidates must live and be qualified to vote in Mecklenburg County, be a registered Democrat and at least 21 years old.

Commissioners will select seven of the 18 applicants for interviews on March 8, and interview them on March 12 at the Government Center. Commissioners will then announce their selection at the March 15 meeting.

That person will finish Scarborough’s term that ends in December.

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