Kenny Smith

Jenifer Roser / WFAE

Election Day is now just two weeks away. Early voting has already begun.

And the big race, the one for Charlotte's next mayor, is too close to call, at least according to a Spectrum news poll.

Tuesday, the two candidates for that post, Democrat Vi Lyles and Republican Kenny Smith took part in a Charlotte Talks debate. And though few political elbows were thrown, the candidates did paint very different pictures about how they would lead.  

Greg Collard / WFAE

Charlotte’s two mayoral candidates see expanding public transit as a way to increase economic mobility in the city. Republican Kenny Smith and Democrat Vi Lyles addressed the issue on WFAE’s Charlotte Talks this morning. But they disagree on whether the streetcar is a good investment. 

Moderator Jeff Sonnier of WTVI (center) and mayoral candidates Vi Lyles and Kenny Smith watched a video clip during the debate taping Thursday. The debate airs Tuesday night on WTVI.
David Boraks / WFAE

In a half-hour debate Thursday organized by the League of Women Voters, Charlotte's two mayoral candidates went head-to-head on a variety of city issues. Democrat Vi Lyles and Republican Kenny Smith differed on taxes, tolls and city priorities. But they started by agreeing on one thing - the need for new leadership as they compete to replace current Democratic mayor Jennifer Roberts. 

Screen Grab via WBTV

The final debate before any election is always the most contentious, the most pointed, some would say the most fun.

Wednesday night's Charlotte mayoral debate was no exception. It was televised in prime time and featured just the top tier candidates running for mayor. And it came just days before the all- important September 12 primary.

Nick de la Canal / WFAE

Mayor Jennifer Roberts is leading both her Democratic and Republican rivals in fundraising efforts and campaign spending. According to finance reports filed on Friday, Roberts' campaign has raised roughly $370,000 for the upcoming election, well ahead of Democratic challengers Vi Lyles ($223,000) and Joel Ford ($212,000), and Republican challenger Kenny Smith ($263,000).

The plan had been for three Democrats and a Republican to show up to Tuesday night's forum, but that's not what happened.

North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore is calling for immediate legislative action to stop Charlotte’s updated non-discrimination ordinance from taking effect. Moore and other Republican lawmakers say the ordinance is an imminent threat to public safety.