Charlotte Politics

Courtesy of the candidates

The last Republican mayor of Charlotte once told a crowd, "If my dog doesn’t like the mansion we might be spending a lot more time here in Charlotte."

For the record, Pat McCrory’s dog seems to like the governor’s mansion just fine.

Charlotte is a heavily Democratic city, but one with a history of Republican mayors. McCrory served in the post for 14 years. His immediate predecessors, Richard Vinroot and Sue Myrick were also Republicans.

Courtesy of the city and candidates

Charlotte’s most recently elected mayors have had quite the trajectory—to the governor’s mansion, U.S. Cabinet, and federal prison. In total, the city has gone through five mayors in as many years. This year, six Democratic candidates are vying for the office.

Tom Bullock / WFAE

The next mayor of Charlotte will get an annual salary of $23,000, an expense account worth up to $14,800 and an office atop the Government Center with truly spectacular views of the city. Obviously these are nice perks, but hardly the reason eight candidates are running to be mayor of the city.

So, ahead of the elections this fall (primaries are September 15 and the general election is on November 3), we invited all declared candidates to sit down for a one-on-one interview about why they want to be mayor and what they would do if elected. Six of the eight candidates said yes.

We asked each some stock questions - think streetcar, toll lanes, city budget and the like in order to give you a fair comparison on their views of likely campaign issues. And we sprinkled in some questions specific to each candidate. You can listen to all of them below.

Tom Bullock / WFAE

Child care, student loans, wages, the economy. These were some of the issues President Obama addressed Wednesday at ImaginOn in uptown Charlotte. But the overall focus of the town hall-style meeting was on women.

President Obama began his remarks by having a little fun with the fact he was speaking at a children’s library.

"I was just hanging out with the Cat in the Hat," he joked.

Ben Bradford / WFAE

The new session for the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners kicked off Monday evening, but it was old divisions that dominated the meeting—starting with the election of the board’s chairman.


The North Carolina Bar Association has condemned an ad that attacks state Supreme Court Justice Robin Hudson in her re-election campaign. The 30-second spot claims Hudson “sided with child molesters” in a case that involved GPS tracking devices. WFAE’s Duncan McFadyen looks at that ad and the group behind it.

Charlotte Observer

There’s a phrase that now hovers over the Charlotte city government:

Pay-to-play. An arrangement where political influence is for sale. Mohamed Moustafa says he was offered the chance at pay-to-play.

"The way they did this process was 100 percent pay to play scheme."

What’s interesting about his quote is it’s from July of 2011 - 2.5 years before Patrick Cannon was arrested and resigned. That was Moustafa then. This is him now:

"What I said then in 2011, it is proved itself now in 2014. It is proved."