Takeaways From Election Night 2019

CHARLOTTE, NC  —Voters in Mecklenburg county reject one of the biggest items on Tuesday’s ballot, a quarter-cent sales tax increase.

The sales tax would have generated an estimated $50 million a year for the arts, parks and schools.

As for the mayor’s race incumbent Democrat Vi Lyles has been re-elected for a second term.

She easily beat republican challenger David Rice.

Political contributor Mary C. Curtis discusses some of the biggest takeaways from the election.

Is a blue city in a purple state having second thoughts about hosting a red convention?

OPINION — CHARLOTTE, N.C. — When the Democratic National Convention hit town in 2012, the dancing traffic cop made headlines for his smooth moves and entertaining approach to law enforcement. The officer captured the party atmosphere of that event, leading up to the renomination of no-drama President Barack Obama for a second term.

City leaders and residents now look back at that time with nostalgia as they prepare for the Republican National Convention coming to town from Aug. 24-27 next year to renominate a president who is all drama, all the time — as chants of “Send her back” at a Trump rally in Greenville, North Carolina, earlier this month have reminded everyone of exactly what’s at stake.

Anticipating the economic and related benefits for the city after it was chosen by the GOP last year, Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority CEO Tom Murray said, “Charlotte has the collaboration, infrastructure and hospitality that will make the 2020 RNC an unforgettable experience for its attendees.”

Now, some are worrying about just how unforgettable the experience will be.

Charlotte Talks Local News Roundup: Voter ID Is Law In NC; 9th District Still Unresolved; I-77 Tolls

On this edition of the Local News Roundup:

The disputed election in the 9th Congressional district is a long way from being resolved. The new Congress takes office on Jan. 3 and the citizens in the 9th district will not have representation. How long could it go on? We’ll discuss the state election board’s plans for a hearing after the new year. We’ll also talk about what McCrae Dowless’ attorney said this week about proving her client’s innocence.

Voter ID is now law in North Carolina after the house overrode Governor Cooper’s veto. The move was followed immediately by lawsuits challenging the law.

The opening of the new Interstate 77 toll lanes is delayed again. I-77 Mobility Partners says that the section of the project that was slated to open by the end of 2018 will now be pushed back to the first quarter of 2019, with the full 26-mile project complete by summer.

Another jobs announcement for Charlotte this week, with more than 1,200 jobs headed our way in the expansion of financial tech company AvidXChange. What kinds of jobs will they offer and what’s the expected impact on the Queen City? We’ll explore.

City Council voted to approve new equipment for the CMPD SWAT team totaling over $500,000. We’ll talk about what equipment was picked and why some council members opposed the purchase.

Charlotteans are remembering Jim Rogers, the former CEO and Chair of Duke Energy, who died at the age of 71 this week. We discuss what some are saying about his legacy.

And with the Panthers’ Monday Night Football loss to the Saints this week, our post-season chances are just about zero. Cam Newton is sidelined for the rest of the season due to injury. What might this mean for Ron Rivera and others next season?

Guest host Erik Spanberg from the Charlotte Business Journal will go through those stories, and much more with our roundtable of reporters on the Charlotte Talks Local News Roundup.

Guests:

Ann Doss Helms, reporter for theCharlotte Observer 

Mary C. Curtis, columnist for Rollcall.com and WCCB

David Boraks, reporter for WFAE

Alex Olgin, reporter WFAE

How Will Charlotte Stay Above the Partisan Fray for RNC 2020?

CHARLOTTE, NC — Charlotte was out in front, and almost alone, in vying to host the 2020 Republican National Convention, set – for now – to nominate President Trump for a second term. The city won, and now we have more details.

Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel made the announcement at the Charlotte Convention Center this week alongside Mayor Vi Lyles and White House Senior Advisor (and presidential daughter-in-law and North Carolina native) Lara Trump: The convention will take place at the Spectrum Center in uptown Charlotte from August 24, 2020 through August 27, 2020.

So, as planning seriously starts, how will the Queen City pull it off, peacefully and professionally?

Charlotte Talks News Roundup: Divided City Council Backs RNC, Local Reaction To Trump/Putin Meeting

The Charlotte City Council voted in favor of the bid for the 2020 Republican National Convention, but the narrow 6-5 vote came after strong comments by council members and citizens. We go through the debates, the vote and where our bid stands.

President Trump’s failure to back U.S. intelligence agencies during his press conference with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki drew criticism from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. We’ll talk through what our local lawmakers had to say.

One week after the CIAA announced that it’d be opening up its search for a tournament host city beginning in 2021 rather than staying in Charlotte, several cities have shown interest in hosting the tournament. We’ll talk about who has thrown their hat in the ring.

And CATS has revealed plans for new transit options, including an uptown tunnel.

GUESTS

David Boraks, WFAE reporter (@davidboraks)

Mary C. Curtis, Roll Call columnist (@mcurtisnc3)

Ann Doss Helms, The Charlotte Observer education reporter (@anndosshelms)

Erik Spanberg, Charlotte Business Journal  senior staff writer (@CBJSpanberg)

 

Public Hearing Ends In 6-5 Vote to Accept Contracts for 2020 RNC

“It’s not a convention like any other because Donald Trump is not a president like any other,” says WCCB Charlotte Political Contributor Mary C. Curtis.

Charlotte Talks: Local News Roundup Recaps 2017’s Top Stories

What DIDN’T happen in 2017?

Charlotte grappled with its highest murder count since the early 1990s. Police were at a loss for an explanation for the sharp increase, which disproportionately impacted the African-American community.

The city’s first African-American female mayor, Vi Lyles, took office after unseating incumbent Jennifer Roberts in the Democratic primary. Young newcomers were elected to form a majority on the City Council.

The national reckoning with sexual harassment found its way to the Carolina Panthers front office, leading to the swift downfall of owner Jerry Richardson.

House Bill 2, which put transgender rights in the national conversation, went by the wayside.

new school superintendent, Clayton Wilcox, took the helm at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools as the dust settled on a controversial student assignment.

Mike Collins and the reporters who covered these and other stories put it all into perspective.

GUESTS

Tom Bullock, reporter, WFAE (@TomWFAE)

Glenn Burkins, editor and publisher, Q City Metro (@glennburkins)

Mary C. Curtis, Roll Call columnist (@mcurtisnc3)

Ann Doss Helms, education reporter, The Charlotte Observer (@anndosshelms)

2018 Politics Preview and Predictions

CHARLOTTE, NC — Will 2018 beat 2017 when it comes to political surprises? WCCB Political Contributor Mary C. Curtis takes a look at what’s in store in Charlotte and beyond.

Charlotte Talks Friday News Roundup: Charlotte’s New Mayor, A Young City Council, Bonds Pass, More

On this edition of the local news roundup….

Local Elections wrapped up Tuesday evening, giving Charlotte its first female African American Mayor, in Vi Lyles.

The new Charlotte City Council is sporting several younger council members and keeps a Democratic majority.

Area towns elected new mayors and town boards.

The School Bonds passed, and a few new faces will be seen on the CMS School Board. We’ll talk through the results and the “what’s next” from this year’s election.

And now that this election is the books, Pat McCrory is making headlines, laying blame for his gubernatorial election loss last year and he hasn’t closed the door on a future run for office. We’ll talk about what he said, including his wife’s reaction to his chilly reception now that he’s back in the Queen City.

In the wake of the shooting at a Texas church last Sunday, houses of worship here in the Queen City are evaluating their security and safety. We’ll discuss that.

Those stories and much more with Mike Collins and a panel of Charlotte reporters on the Charlotte Talks Friday News Roundup.

Guests:

Tom BullockWFAE Reporter.

Ann Doss Helms, Reporter for The Charlotte Observer.

Kirstin Garriss, government reporter for Spectrum News.

Mary C. Curtis, columnist for RollCall.com and WCCB.

Opinion: Will 2018 Midterms Follow Scorched-Earth Playbook?

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – It was a nice little mayor’s race in the largest city in North Carolina, considering that Charlotte has gone through a lot of mayors (seven) in the past nine years. And that’s even taking into account Democratic incumbent Jennifer Roberts losing, in the primary, her chance to defend her spot because of her part in a “bathroom” bill that labeled the state in all the wrong ways and her handling of protests that turned violent after a police-involved shooting.

But all that aside, the scorched-earth campaign between two mild-mannered city council members competing to move into the mayor’s office was a bit unexpected. It reached a heated crescendo with a digital ad from the N.C. Values Coalition, which supported Republican Kenny Smith. The ad said Democrat Vi Lyles “is Jennifer Roberts” and featured an ominous voice-over, a man entering a bathroom to the frightened chagrin of a girl already claiming the space, scenes of rioting and the image of comedian Kathy Griffin holding a blurred severed head.