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The Voice of the Black Community


Mitchell announces at-large council bid
District 2 incumbent to try citywide campaign
Published Tuesday, April 9, 2013 8:58 pm
by Herbert L. White

Charlotte City Council member James Mitchell is ready to try his hand at a citywide campaign.

Charlotte City Council District 2 representative James Mitchell, with wife Joan beside him, announced his candidacy for an at-large seat on April 9. Mitchell has represented northwest Charlotte for 12 years.

The seven-term District 2 representative announced his candidacy for an at-large seat Tuesday, removing his name from a potential mayoral campaign in the process.

“I’m energized to serve the city, so I’m looking forward to at large and I’ve got to make sure everybody in the city of Charlotte knows me now,” he said. “That’s the mindset I’m going to take when I campaign. I’m going to be in every part.”

Mitchell, a Democrat, said he first contemplated an at-large bid in 2007, but waited for the timing to be right.

“There were different issues I had personally that I had to get through and now I’ve matured in my political skills and I have a proven track record. I’m ready.”

With Mitchell moving over to what’s expected to be a crowded field of at-large candidates – former assistant city manager Vi Lyles has already declared her intentions to run – the District 2 primary is likely to be congested as well. A competitive race will be good for the district, said Mitchell, who first won election in 1999.

“I think it’s a great opportunity,” he said. “One thing you want to do is leave something someone can be proud of. Six or seven candidates have already approached me about serving District 2, so I think it’s going to be a tremendous race.”

Mitchell, one of five African Americans on the 11-member council, said he considered a run for mayor when incumbent Anthony Foxx announced he won’t seek re-election, but family considerations led him to opt for an at-large council bid.

“I think it’s a great opportunity to be mayor of this great city, but more important I had to take care of home,” he said. “I’m newlywed – I have to keep my wife happy. My oldest (child) is two years from high school and I want to spend time with her and get her to college. Mayor Foxx is right – the mayor’s position takes a lot of time and energy and I don’t have that.”


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