#VoteCLT - Make your voice heard!
As we continue to discuss historical political races tied to the Charlotte region, we certainly have to include the rise of our city's current Mayor. Vi Lyles is the mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina. She unseated incumbent Mayor Jennifer Roberts in the Democratic primary and was sworn into office on December 4, 2017, becoming the first black woman to lead Charlotte in the city's history.
Lyles was born in 1952 in Columbia, South Carolina. She received a bachelor's degree in political science from Queens University and a master's degree in public administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Before entering politics, Lyles was the assistant city manager. She was involved in creating Charlotte's first capital budget and restructuring government assessment programs. She also worked as a consulting director for the Lee Institute and Flynn Health Holt Leadership.
Lyles was the community outreach director for the 2012 Democratic National Convention. She served two terms on the Charlotte City Council from 2013 to 2017, where she was voted mayor pro tem for two years during her tenure.
In 2017, Lyles was first elected mayor of Charlotte, winning by 18 percentage points. She was re-elected in 2019 by a margin of 55 percentage points.
The 2017 Charlotte mayoral election took place on Tuesday, November 7, 2017. Party primary elections were held on Tuesday, September 12, 2017. Second-round primaries would have been held on Tuesday, October 10, 2017, if they had been necessary, but both primary winners received more than the minimum 40 percent of the vote needed to avoid a runoff. The incumbent, Democrat Jennifer Roberts, was eligible to run for a second two-year term. She ran but lost the Democratic nomination in the primary. Two members of the City Council, Democrat Vi Lyles and Republican Kenny Smith, won the primaries and advanced to face each other in the general election. Vi Lyles defeated Kenny Smith in the general election, and became the 59th mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina.
Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles, center reaches out to comfort city councilman Tariq Bokhari as he sobs at the intersection of 4th Street and College Street in Charlotte, NC on Wednesday, June 3, 2020.
Until next week!
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Information taken from:
Wikipedia | "2017 Charlotte Mayoral Election"
Ballotpedia.org | "Vi Lyles"
“We have to do with the past only as we can make it useful to the present and the future.” – Frederick Douglass