My endorsements for Charlotte Mayor and City Council At Large

I have been asked by several people to make endorsements for Mayor and City Council At Large.  I suppose it is because I have been involved on the Charlotte political scene since the mid 80’s and served on the City Council for fourteen years and as Mayor Pro Tem.  My endorsements are not based on male/female, black /white or Republican /Democrat, but only my best attempt to discern who would provide the best leadership for Charlotte for the next two years.


I have known both candidates personally and served on the Council while Vi Lyles was a city staff member.  Both candidates are smart and well intentioned with the city’s well being as their objective.  Both have served the City in an elected capacity for the past two years through the Charlotte riots and the vote on the LGBT bathroom ordinance. During those events I have watched how both Lyles and Smith have handled themselves and how thy have voted on important city agenda items.  After careful deliberation I  have come to the conclusion that the candidate for Mayor who would provide the highest level of bi partisan leadership, with the ability to forge open communication and solutions for all segments of the community is Kenny Smith.

City Council at Large endorsements;

  1. James Mitchell I served on the Council with James for six years and have been friends with him since. He has been an admirable leader who has chaired the Council’s Economic Development Committee as I did.  I respect him and admire him as a man of principle and dedication to the city with no personal agenda except what he sees as best for the city.
  2. Julie Eiselt  I don’t not know Julie personally, but I have followed her voting record while she has served on the Council the last two years. A few votes I have disagreed with, but overall I find her to be a rational and reasonable study of issues on the Council’s agenda.
  3. Parker Cains Parker is new to the Charlotte political scene, but he would be an excellent addition to the City Council.  I have gotten to know him and find him to be smart, capable and pragmatic  He has served the community as a member to the city’s PCAC  committee and with heavy involvement the the F3 Foundation and the American Heart Association.
  4. John Powell  I know John, though not well.  He lost the City Council race by in 2015 by 252 votes and he has attended most of the City Council meetings since.  I don’t see him as a leader but he is affable and would represent all of Charlotte not one particular segment.

I can’t close this out without a mention of Braxton Winston who is running at large.

I have only met him once and he is a charmer. But is charm useful on the City Council?Exactly a year ago on October 21 Braxton participated in  demonstrations in the aftermath of the Keith Lamont Scott shooting, which quickly led to riots in Charlotte. Subsequently, Braxton Winston joined six other complainants in a federal lawsuit suing the City and challenging the Charlotte Police Departments handling of the civil rest demonstrations Braxton participated  in. The federal suit sought a temporary restraining order against the use of certain tactics  by the police department

I have this question for my readers to consider. Yes, Braxton Winston is a charmer and yes Braxton participated in the demonstrations against the Keith Lamont Scott shooting which is his right as a citizen. But do we really want  a member of City Council who  within the last year sued the City?  Does that exemplify the positive  leadership Charlotte needs as the city moves forward with critical decisions?

I think not.

Charlotte needs more than just charm to make decisions of the magnitude they handle.


Charlotte Buzz

District Attorney Andrew Murray ..Straight from the horse’s mouth ….our Mecklenburg County Distinct Attorney’s nomination for US Attorney was approved by the Senate Judicial Committee Thursday and his nomination heads straight to the full Senate for a vote by Thanksgiving . Once Senate approves, Trump will sign a resolution appointing Andrew.  Now comes the buzz on who will replace him as DA.  Governor Cooper appoints his vacancy and it is assumed it will be  a Democrat like Cooper.  Andrew supports Spencer Merriweather a current ADA in his office who is a Democrat and a Princeton grad as well. Let the lobbying begin.

A few fun tidbits…

Did you realize former BofA Pres Hugh McColl coached a  high school church league at Covenant Presbyterian Church in the 60’s?  I love that. He and wife Jane are still members there.

After every notable  sentencing Federal Judge Frank Whitney has made.  his wife Katherine  has glasses engraved with the convicted last words to Whitney?  Can’t be more than four words and has to be esoteric.

 Tariq Bokhari , about to be elected to represent City Council Dis trict 6 has been named Executive Director of the Carolina Fintech Hub, a Joint Non-Profit Venture focused on attracting new market talent and fintech startup companies to the city and region. Tariq’s new organization has already launched a Hackathon with UNCC as well as held the HiveStorm event where over 120 community members came to participate in the Amazon HQ2 RFP. Tariq has a had a full 2007…a new baby and two new jobs.  Congrats, Tariq.

County Commissioner Mathew Ridenhour recently had a big birthday…number 40!  I remember when Matthew at 32 ran for City Council At large in 2009. He’s had a momentous 2017 so far….new baby, which he incidentally delivered himself in his own driveway. I bet during his tours in Iraq he never fathomed his next challenge would be delivering a baby!