Charlotte has a new mayor. Democrat Patrick Cannon won 53 percent of the vote last night, defeating Republican Edwin Peacock.
Donna and Marvin Bias spent the last two months knocking on doors, making phone calls, handing out pamphlets, and packing lunches for volunteers.
At the Sheraton uptown last night, the married couple enjoyed the party as the candidate they volunteered for, Patrick Cannon, became Charlotte’s new mayor.
“Thank you, Charlotte!” Cannon said to raucous applause when he took the stage for his victory speech. Cannon was mayor pro tem and has served on the city council for 20 years.
“I have been on this journey since I entered politics two decades ago at the age of 26 – a journey where it hasn’t been any crystal stairs,” he said.
When Cannon was young, his father was murdered. His mom raised him, and he grew up in public housing in Charlotte. He later founded his own business, a parking company.
Voter Kelle Pressley says she relates to him.
“I’m a mom,” she said. “I’m a wife. I am a businesswoman, so I do like to know that the person that’s representing me has an idea of my life. And I feel most connected with Cannon.”
More than 17 percent of Mecklenburg County voters turned out. Cannon beat Republican Edwin Peacock by about 6,000 votes.
Peacock sees that margin as progress for the GOP. Charlotte has twice as many registered Democrats as Republicans, and the last mayor’s race wasn’t even close.
“What’s happened in my race will set the tone for the next race,” he said. “The Meck GOP will return. I think there is going to be a brighter day.”
Peacock and Cannon served on the city council together, and Cannon says he hopes to maintain a relationship with Peacock.
When Cannon takes office, he says fighting to keep control of the city’s airport and bringing down the area’s 8.3 percent unemployment rate will be among his priorities.