by Michael Lowrey
The Charlotte Observer has endorsed Dan Clodfelter over Jennifer Roberts in the Democratic mayoral runoff. The paper takes it a step further though, stating that:
His centrist approach probably makes Clodfelter a stronger candidate for Democrats against [Republican Edwin] Peacock in the fall. He appeals to both liberals and moderates, and even to a few conservatives; Peacock would have a difficult time differentiating himself enough to build a winning coalition. Roberts, being more liberal, gives Peacock a better chance to peel off moderates.
What??? To argue electability here is bizarre. The reality is that Charlotte leans Democratic these days. Roberts would be a favorite over Peacock just as Clodfelter would be a favorite over Peacock. It’s that simple.
That said, if you are going to argue electability, the UPoR’s analysis is well wide of the mark. Roberts was the top vote-getter three times at large for the Mecklenburg County Commission. She’s definitely a known quantity, and more Charlotte voters have previously cast ballots for her than for Clodfelter (Clodfelter’s old state Senate district only covered a portion of Charlotte). The main issue facing Roberts isn’t whether she’s more liberal than Clodfelter, or too liberal in general — which obviously hasn’t been a problem in the past — but rather whether the citizens of Charlotte might be a bit too familiar with her, that she wore out her welcome while leading the county commission for all those years.