Primary Night Surprises Mean Big Changes For Charlotte City Council

Sep 13, 2017

Two incumbents and two newcomers won Democratic nominations for Charlotte City Council at-large seats in Tuesday's primary. 

Democratic nominees for city council at-large, clockwise from upper left: Braxton Winston, James Mitchell, Dimple Ajmera and Julie Eiselt.

Democrats currently hold all four at-large seats on the council. Three ran again this time, while the fourth - Vi Lyles - stepped up to run for mayor. That left at least one seat up for grabs, and five new candidates jumped in.

When the votes were counted, two newcomers won nominations and one incumbent was out.

Current at-large member James Mitchell was the top vote-getter, with 19.4 percent. Activist and political newcomer Braxton Winston was second with 17 percent. Incumbent Julie Eiselt (16.9 percent) and current District 5 representative Dimple Ajmera (13.3 percent) won the other two slots.

Those four will face three Republicans and a Libertarian in the November 7 general election.

In a bit of a surprise, three-term council member Claire Fallon failed to win re-nomination. She finished sixth among the eight candidates.

DISTRICT RACES

In the district races, another incumbent also lost her seat. District 1's Patsy Kinsey lost to Democratic Party activist Larken Egleston 43 percent to 46.2 percent. Egleston faces no opponents in the general election and will take over the seat in December.

In District 2, where former member Al Austin stepped down recently, the Democratic race is a toss-up – 42.4 percent to 42.2 percent. Unofficial final results have Justin Harlow leading J'Tanya Adams by just 13 votes – 2,358 to 2,345. The winner will face Republican Pete Givens in November.

In other Democratic primaries: Gregg Phipps won in the 4th District, and Darrell Bonapart won in the 5th District, where Ajmera did not seek re-election.

The only Republican council district primary was over the seat being vacated by Republican mayoral nominee Kenny Smith.  Tariq Scott Bokhari won that primary, and faces a Democrat and a Libertarian in November.

RELATED LINKS

Final unofficial results are on the State Board of Elections website, NCSBE.gov

List of all candidates on the ballot this fall at MECKBOE.org