Vi Lyles

Gwendolyn Glenn

Now that the election is behind her, Mayor-elect Vi Lyles says she wants to get to know the new City Council members and work to unify the city across party lines and neighborhoods. At a press conference Wednesday, Lyles said affordable housing is one of her top priorities.

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. 

The results of Tuesday's primaries are in, and it was a night of upsets in Charlotte. Young challengers beat long time incumbents and the city will have a new mayor.

Republican Kenny Smith easily won his primary. And Vi Lyles defeated Jennifer Roberts and Joel Ford in the Democratic primary. In a surprise, that race wasn't even close.

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.

Tom Bullock / WFAE

Six of the eight candidates for mayor of Charlotte debated each other Tuesday at an event sponsored by the League of Women Voters and PBS Charlotte. It was an hour long debate. But let's focus on just one question.

Here's moderator Jeff Sonier: "The city of Charlotte is on record in support of the I-77 toll lane project between uptown and Mooresville. As mayor, would you support the current toll lane project and would you support future toll lane projects in Charlotte and surrounding communities?"

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.

South Carolina voters are heading to the polls Tuesday to choose a replacement for former Congressman Mick Mulvaney, who now leads the White House Budget Office. Meanwhile, Charlotte's three Democratic mayoral candidates are preparing for a public forum to be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, and legislators in the North Carolina General Assembly are preparing to vote on a proposed state budget deal.

Here are Tuesday afternoon's top headlines on WFAE.

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