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.