Charlotte's City Council will get five new members - all under the age of 40 - when the new council is sworn in on Dec. 4. That represents a generational shift in city government, says WFAE's Tom Bullock.
Democrats swept the four at-large seats, with incumbent Julie Eiselt getting the most votes. She was followed by political newcomer and activist Braxton Winston, incumbent James (Smuggie) Mitchell Jr., and Dimple Ajmera. Ajmera was appointed to the District 5 seat this year, but stepped up to run at-large.
In the district races, Democrat LaWana Mayfield (District 3), Democrat Greg Phipps (District 4) and Republican Ed Driggs (District 7) all won re-election. They'll be joined by several newcomers: Democrats Larken Egleston in District 1, Justin Harlow in District 2 and Matt Newton in District 5, as well as Republican Tariq Scott Bokhari, who won mayoral candidate Kenny Smith's seat in District 6.
Two issues that were common themes in the election are likely to be at the forefront on the new council, says Bullock - affordable housing and CMPD, including the rising homicide rate and the need to build community trust with police.
Updated at 9:51 p.m.
With about three-quarters of the votes counted as of 9:45 p.m. Tuesday night, Democrats were on their way to keeping the city council's four-at large seats, and five of the seven districts seats.
Votes in 131 of the 168 precincts had incumbent council member Julie Eiselt as the top vote getter, with 58,234 votes. Newcomer and political activist Braxton Winston was next with 55,081, followed by incumbent James (Smuggie) Mitchell Jr. (54,856) and Dimple Ajmera (48,195).
Republican John K. Powell Jr. was still short of the cutoff in fifth, with 39,019 votes.
Democrat Justin Harlow was headed for victory in District 2, over Republican Pete Givens, 80.5 percent to 19.3 percent. In District 2, LaWana Mayfield was on her way to re-election, leading Daniel Herrera 74.4 percent to 25.5 percent.
Republicans Tariq Scott Bokhari in Disrict 6 and incumbent Ed Driggs in District 7 also had comfortable margins over their Democratic opponents.
Democrats Larken Egleston in District 1, incumbent Greg Phipps in District 4, and Matt Newton in District 5, all are unopposed.
Updated at 9:15 p.m.
Democrats were holding the four top slots in the race for the four Charlotte City Council at-large seats at 9 p.m., including early votes and results from 65 of 168 precincts.
Julie Eiselt (36,544), James (Smuggie Mitchell) Jr. (34,652), Braxton Winston (34,545) and Dimple Ajmera (30,462) were in position to reclaim the four seats for Democrats.
Republican John K. Powell Jr., who finished a close fifth for an at-large seat in 2015, was the next closest vote-getter, with 16,252.
Early returns in District races produced leads for several Democrats and one Republican:
- District 2 (north Charlotte) - Democrat Justin Harlow leads Republican Pete Givens 80 percent to 20.1 percent. (7 of 19 precincts)
- District 3 (west Charlotte) - Incumbent Democrat LaWana Mayfield led Republican Daniel Herrera 76.1 percent to 23.9 percent. (6 of 22 precincts in)
- District 6 (Southpark area) - Republican Tariq Scott Bokhari (61.4 percent) leads Democrat Sam Grundman (33.5 percent) and Libertarian Jeff Scott (5.1 percent) (20 of 35 precincts reporting).
- District 7 (Ballantyne area) - Incumbent Republican Ed Driggs is ahead of Democrat Sharon Roberts, 59 percent to 41 percent.
Running unopposed are Democrats Larken Egleston in District 1, incumbent Greg Phipps in District 4, and Matt Newton in District 5.
Posted at 8:35 p.m.
Democrats took an early lead in the race for Charlotte City Council's four at-large seats, when early votes were released after the polls closed across the city.
Incumbents Julie Eiselt and James (Smuggie) Mitchell Jr. held the top two spots in the eight-person race. Activist and political newcomer Braxton Winston II was third, followed by current District 5 council member Dimple Ajmera.
In the District 7 race in south Charlotte, Republican Ed Driggs got 2,916 early votes, or about 55.8 percent, in his race against Democrat Sharon Roberts, who had 44 percent of the vote.
In the race to replace Republican mayoral candidate Kenny Smith in the Sixth District, Republican Tariq Scott Bokhari (3,420 votes, or 60 percent) was leading Democrat Sam Grundman (36 percent and Libertarian Jeff Scott (3.9 percent).
And in north Charlotte District 2, Democrat Justin Harlow has a big lead over Republican Pete Givens, 81.2 percent to 18.5 percent.
Incumbent Council Member LaWana Mayfield led early voting in west Charlotte's District 3. She had about 74 percent of the vote, to Republican Daniel Herrera's 26 percent.
Three Democrats are on their way to victory, running unopposed: Larken Egleston in District 1, Greg Phipps in District 4, and Matt Newton in District 5. Phipps is an incumbent, both Egleston and Newton will be new to the council.
CHARLOTTE CITY COUNCIL AT-LARGE
(Early votes only)
Julie Eiselt (D) - 18,728 votes
James (Smuggie) Mitchell Jr. (D) - 18,244
Braxton Winston II (D) - 18,036
Dimple Ajmera (D) - 16,469
John K. Powell Jr. (R) - 10,167
Parker Cains (R) - 9,278
David Michael Rice (R) - 7,139
Steven J. DiFiore II (L) - 4,198
See live results on the N.C. State Board of Elections website, NCSBE.gov