by Michael Lowrey
Filing closed on Friday, and the news is as much about who isn’t running as who is:
Democratic mayoral nomination: Essentially, Patrick Cannon versus James Mitchell with Cannon likely a slight favorite as he’s served at-large on city council. “Smuggie” Mitchell’s decision to get in the race is fascinating. He certainly has a chance. It’ll will be interesting to see how Mitchell’s leadership in the Panthers stadium lease negotiations goes done with the public: Does Mitchell come across with voters as a hero for getting a deal that ties the team to the city for awhile or a goat for being in charge of talks that often made the city look bad?
Not running: Rep. Becky Carney and Sen. Daniel Clodfelter. Either could have presented another stronger challenger to Cannon and Mitchell.
The winner of the Democratic primary will almost certainly face Edwin Peacock in the general election in November. Found an interesting blog on N.C. politics called “Carolina Strategy”, which offers up this analysis, which seems pretty much spot on:
Edwin Peacock is a fine candidate. Some conservatives have complained about his opposition to Amendment 1, but from the results last year it looks like Mecklenburg residents shared his concerns. Peacock will almost certainly win many of the independents who voted for Obama last year, and he’ll probably win a fair share of white Democrats. But Republicans have a very low ceiling in Charlotte. In fact, it’s possible that the ceiling is already too low for any Republican to win.
Peacock can still prevail. But it will be tough. He’ll need to run a near-perfect campaign, and his opponent will have to have some missteps or be embroiled in scandal. Even if Peacock does win, time is running short for Republicans to be competitive in this city that is quickly becoming solid blue territory.
City council: You can see the 2011 election results here. Basically, Democrats are very likely to carry five of the seven city council districts, with Republicans expected to take the other two.
Democrats currently hold all four at-large council seats. There are seven Democrats, four Republicans, and one Libertarian running at-large. The GOP faces a registration and demographic disadvantage at-large. To overcome that, it would help a lot if Charlotte city government was in the news a lot, and not necessarily in a positive way. That’s what happened last year, and early this year. More recently though, the General Assembly and the airport issue has crowded out most everything else. Neither of those topics are particularly helpful to Republicans running in city-wide elections. For Republican candidates to have a shot, the focus needs to return to local issues like taxes, the street car, the Panthers stadium lease, and, yes, taxes.