Democrat Cannon Elected Mayor Of Charlotte

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(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — For Patrick Cannon, winning the mayor’s race in North Carolina’s largest city is the highlight of his political career.

“Tonight, ladies and gentlemen, I am realizing a life goal,” Cannon told supporters in a packed Charlotte hotel. “I’m so pleased that voters agreed with my platform on investing in Charlotte’s future. I’m so ready to lead us there.”

Cannon, a Democrat, was elected Charlotte mayor Tuesday, defeating Republican challenger Edwin Peacock with 53 percent of the vote, compared to 47 percent for Peacock, according to unofficial results.

The results were released by the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections.

Peacock has conceded, his spokesman Russell Peck said.

Cannon will replace Anthony Foxx, who was appointed by President Barack Obama as U.S. Transportation Secretary. Patsy Kinsey has been serving as the city’s interim mayor.

The 47-year-old Cannon is the owner of a parking management company. First elected to the City Council in 1993, Cannon is a longtime radio show host who discusses local and national political issues.

“I said when I won the primary in September that winning never gets old. And that’s still true,” he said.

During the campaign, both Cannon and Peacock touted plans to help create new jobs in a city that has become one of the nation’s leading banking and energy centers.

Peacock made an unsuccessful bid last year for the Republican nomination in the 9th Congressional District. But the former city councilman impressed voters by campaigning as a moderate; he opposed a statewide amendment last year that banned same-sex marriage.

He was at a disadvantage — 50 percent of Charlotte’s 550,000 registered voters are Democrats. About 23 percent are Republicans, the rest unaffiliated.

The candidates sparred in several debates.

Cannon called Peacock anti-Charlotte for opposing a capital budget plan. Peacock said it was too expensive.

Peacock criticized Cannon for a city deal to provide $87.5 million for upgrades to the Carolina Panthers’ stadium in exchange for a commitment to stay in Charlotte at least another six years. Peacock said public trust was violated because the package was negotiated behind closed doors. But Cannon said he didn’t take part in negotiations because he asked to be recused; his parking company has a contract with the Panthers.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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