The Queen City has witnessed the end of two decades of Republican Mayoral leadership with the election of Democrat Anthony Foxx last night. Foxx beat out Republican John Lassiter 51% to 49% in a squeaker of a race. This was a weird race for Mayor because it really didn’t get interesting until the end (accusations of dirty politics and someone dressed in a chicken costume yada yada yada..). There were some similarities in this race to the 2008 Presidential Election. You had an older white man with experience running against a younger black man without experience. I have to admit that I was skeptical of Foxx’s chances of winning. I knew he would need a large black vote along with a good percentage of Independents (“enough” registered democrats and independents helped him). I suspected that voter turn out would be low (and it was) and that would play against Foxx (but it didn’t). In all of the debates that I have watched, Lassiter always looked sharper than Foxx. In the last televised debate, Foxx showed more of his personality. Before the last debate he always seemed subdued and came off very wonkish. Actually both candidates came across as the guy you would most want to live next door to. So if you take away experience, you end up with the same guy. But all of that is in the past and Foxx is the new mayor. As citizens of the city of Charlotte, we should now come together and rally behind Foxx.
My personal notes from Tuesday’s election –
*In my District, there were originally 2 people running for the Board of Education. Kimberly Mitchell-Walker dropped out before Tuesday so that left Richard McElrath as the only person on the ballot besides the “write in option.” McElrath beat Mitchell Walker 51% to 47%. You are probably thinking that means McElrath is an unpopular guy. What clown runs a close race with someone that’s not even running? This might not necessarily be the case. Many people in my district were solely focused on Mayor and City Council seats that they didn’t do their due diligence on School Board Election research. Some people didn’t know anything about the people running or their platforms. Also they didn’t even know that Mitchell-Walker had dropped out of the race.
*Compared to the Presidential Election in 2008 the voter turnout was low. I know I’m naïve but the way people voted in 2008 should be the way they vote every time. Even with over 24,000 people voting early we still had low numbers.
Precinct 141 had a voter turnout of 2% (FYI – 50% of the people in that district are non-white).
Precinct 121 had a voter turnout of 30% (FYI – 10% of the people in that district are non-white).
Precinct 48 had one of the highest turnouts of the day with 51%. Keep in mind that is only one precinct out of over 200 precincts.
*The demographics in Charlotte are changing. We are getting more minorities and whites from other states in the country. This is changing the voting landscape of the south. It’s not as conservative as it once was and Independents (or unaffiliated as it’s called in N.C.) are becoming a larger group (FYI - which I am a part of).