Policy: Mecklenburg Candidates Step Up Statewide
Breaking news from Braxton Winston today as he joins multiple Charlotte-area candidates on the statewide primary ballot in March.
Charlotte and Mecklenburg County aren’t known for producing candidates for statewide office in North Carolina. While two of North Carolina’s three Republican governors - Jim Martin and Pat McCrory - came from Mecklenburg County, that’s the exception and not the rule.
This year will be different, with serious candidates for Lieutenant Governor, Treasurer, and Commissioner of Labor all hailing from Charlotte and Mecklenburg County.
Hunt for (Lt.) Governor
State Senator Rachel Hunt, the daughter of North Carolina’s longest-serving Governor and a political powerhouse in her own right, is running to be the Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor. Education has always been a key issue for her, and as education continues to be a national political battlefield, expect her to continue to be a leader on the issue.
Of all of the Charlotte politicians, she’s the most likely to be well-funded and in a position to flip a seat (incumbent Lt. Governor Mark Robinson is running for the Republican nomination for Governor). The Hunt name certainly won’t hurt in Eastern North Carolina, a traditional Democratic stronghold that has shifted to the Republican Party in recent years.
Two for Treasurer
The two leading candidates for State Treasurer - Democrat Wesley Harris and Republican John Bradford - represent Mecklenburg County in the North Carolina House. Guilford County Commissioner James Upchurch has also announced.
Harris, who presented himself as “the nerd we need” in previous campaigns, is expected to highlight his extensive financial sector credentials as he seeks to win the nomination. Harris is an adjunct professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and an economic consultant, and his website now declares him “Our Nerd for NC Treasurer.”
If Bradford’s website is any indication, he’ll be running as a moderate who loves pets, which has never been a bad strategy in North Carolina elections. His races for the House District 98 against former State Representative Christy Clark have been some of the most expensive in North Carolina history, so Bradford knows how to raise money for a competitive race.
When Bradford announced, Harris was quick to respond: “John Bradford is running because he believes that the best government is no government at all, because he believes in lining his own pockets and the pockets of his friends, and because he believes that the hospital and insurance lobbyists are the people who know best when it comes to healthcare in our state.”
If both candidates make it through the primary, it won’t be boring.
The Elevator Activist
Y’all Weekly can confirm that Charlotte Mayor Pro Tem Braxton Winston will run for North Carolina Commissioner of Labor.
The Davidson graduate has served on the Charlotte City Council since 2017. In addition to coming to prominence in 2016 during the Black Lives Matter protests in response to the police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott, Winston is a member of the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees (IATSE) Locals 322 (Stagecraft) and 491 (Film & TV).
If elected, he would be the rare union member to serve as Labor Commissioner.
Editor’s Note: Y’all Weekly Editor Sam Spencer was a paid consultant to Winston in 2019.
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Like your straight forward analysis of these races. Hopefully they will entice voters to the polls next year. Meanwhile we have some local races.
Bradford is an unethical man. The worst kind of person to put n charge of public money.