Meet The Candidates Vying For Mayor Of Charlotte

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(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

(CBS Charlotte) — Charlotte voters will head to the polls on Election Day to elect the next mayor of Charlotte. Both candidates, Republican Edwin Peacock and Democrat Patrick Cannon are making the time before Election Day count — each going door to door campaigning, while offering to arrange rides for voters who need help getting to the polls.

Past the last minute campaigning, what else do we know about the mayoral candidates — what do they support/oppose, and more importantly, what can they “bring to the table” if they become the next mayor of Charlotte?

Meet The Candidates

Mayor Pro Tem Patrick Cannon: Cannon is a Charlotte native who grew up in public housing. Cannon refused to let his upbringing define him, and went on to graduate from North Carolina A&T State University.

In 1993, at age 26, Cannon became one of the youngest members of the Charlotte City Council — and he remains on the council today. He is also the founder and chief executive of the ever popular E-Z Parking.

Cannon is active in various local groups, and he also is an assistant Little League coach. He is married and has two children, and spends his “spare time” talking politics on his radio show on 105.3 FM.

Republican Edwin Peacock: Like Cannon, Peacock is also a Charlotte Native, is married with two children, and is a member of various groups in the Queen City, in addition to being an assistant coach for Myers Park Trinity Little League. That’s about where the similarities between the two candidates end.

Peacock is Vice President of the Pomfret Financial Company, representing Northwestern Mutual. He also served on Charlotte City Council, at-large from 2007 to 2011. Last year, Peacock ran for Congress while publicly opposing Amendment One. Needless to say, he did not win a congressional seat.

Peacock is not a stereotypical Republican, and many of his political views are more in line with that of a Liberal compared to a Republican. Nevertheless, Peacock identifies with the Republican party.

In Favor Of…

If Cannon has one solid advantage regardless of the issues he supports/opposes, it would be that the city of Charlotte is known for having a strong democratic backing. Currently, nearly half of all registered voters in Charlotte are Democrats, 23 percent are Republicans, and 26 percent are Unaffiliated.

Where They Stand

Cannon prides himself on playing fair and creating balance. When homeowners in Ballantyne complained that their property taxes were too high, Cannon fired back by explaining that they were obligated to pay higher taxes because they could afford a bigger, nicer home than someone living in East Charlotte, for example.

Cannon is also a proponent of public-private ventures, and if elected mayor, he would like to establish more unity between communities that are faith based, charitable based, and private sectors.

What’s noticeably absent, given Cannon’s roots in the poor community, is a strong stance on poverty. While democrats are typically known for being sympathetic to the needs of the poor, over 60,000 people in Charlotte are living below the poverty line — meaning, poverty is a major concern in our city — a concern that can no longer be ignored by the leaders of this city. Unless you’ve walked a day in a poor or homeless persons shoes, it’s impossible to imagine what it must be like to be them. Of the two candidates, Cannon is the only one who could have a hand in reducing poverty, if compelled to do so.

A self-described “pragmatic Republican,” Peacock has an agenda different from the “average” Republican — solve problems rather than be a part of the problem. Peacock is a proponent of public educators and believes that they should be compensated accordingly and fairly.

Peacock opposed the city of Charlotte giving money to the Panthers for stadium renovations, in addition to the streetcar project, and as previously mentioned, Amendment One.

Peacock can easily be labeled as a fiscal conservative, and if elected mayor of Charlotte, he has no immediate plans to raise taxes. Furthermore, as it stands, Peacock would be less likely to throw money at large projects without careful consideration on whether or not the investment would benefit the city of Charlotte.

Who do you think will win the election? Feel free to leave a comment below.

-Nichole Jaworski, CBS Charlotte

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