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Mitchell quits congressional race
Late start, crowded field doomed campaign
 
Published Monday, April 14, 2014 5:13 pm
by Herbert L. White

Former Charlotte City Council member James Mitchell is dropping out of the 12th Congressional District race.

Mitchell, who lost the Democratic mayoral primary to Patrick Cannon in September, announced his withdrawal today with a letter to supporters in order to “step back and focus on my family and professional career.” His decision was due in part to the crowded primary field of seven candidates, including four contenders from Charlotte. The 12th is North Carolina’s most urban district, stretching from Charlotte to Greensboro. 

“Obviously, this is not the way I had hoped things would go,” Mitchell wrote. “But it is the most prudent decision for our campaign given the circumstances.” 

Mitchell’s campaign struggled to gain traction among potential donors and voters, with a late start in announcing his plans leaving him at a disadvantage. Mitchell joined the field in December while established candidates Alma Adams, Marcus Brandon and Malcolm Graham had been campaigning for months.

“There are several reasons for my decision to end this campaign. The crowded field in the Democratic primary made it difficult to raise the necessary funds to run a competitive campaign,” Mitchell wrote. “Our campaign’s financial report tomorrow will reflect disappointing financial results in the past quarter. It became clear that it was not possible to be competitive, let alone win this race.”

Another complication was Mitchell’s lobbying to succeed Cannon upon Cannon’s resignation last month following his arrest on federal corruption charges. City Council picked former N.C. senator Dan Clodfelter as mayor, rebuffing their former colleague.

“It was an honor to be considered for these leadership roles,” Mitchell wrote. “I wish we had done better, but I certainly do not regret trying. My motivation began and ended with serving the citizens of this community, regardless of how things turned out.” 

 

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