Charlotte Observer At-Large City Council Endorsements

The Charlotte Observer editorial board endorsements are out for the Charlotte City Council and while I would have liked to see a 3-1 split for Dems, they didn't do a shabby job of picking strong candidates.

After winning for years without the CharO endorsement, Susan Burgess finds herself in the happy situation of having received the endorsement this year. I'm sure she will be eternally grateful, though I imagine she would easily win without it.

David Howard, a newcomer to politics is an excellent choice. I had a chance to get to know David on the primary campaign trail. He is smart and has experience in an area where Charlotte needs to show improvement - affordable housing. From the CharO:

Among potential newcomers, David Howard stands out for several reasons. He has shown impressive civic leadership, including serving on the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Commission, two years as chair. He's a vice president with the nonprofit Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership, which is a well-respected affordable housing developer. He brings a sophisticated and much-needed grounding in the complexities of low-income housing. He understands, for instance, that just building subdivisions more cheaply is not a smart affordable housing strategy (despite arguments being pushed by some developers who want to gut key city policies).

They split their list of endorsements between Republicans and Democrats. The two Republicans are Edwin Peacock III and Tariq Scott Bokhari. Edwin is a moderate and a good choice. My only complaint about the endorsement is one negative the Observer uses against Peacock. (They used the same against my mother.) The Observer continues to claim that Peacock (and my mother) voted against the city's bike ordinance. That's not true. They both voted to defer it for one month. The ordinance was very thick. The Council members had received it on a Wednesday for a Monday vote. They simply wanted more time to review it and make sure it worked with the city's other efforts to narrow roads, add speed bumps/humps and those cute little ride-arounds. The minutes of the Council meeting are very clear. The vote was either for the ordinance or for a one month deferral.

The final member endorsed is Republican Tariq Bokhari. I actually like Tariq. He's young. I think he has a lot to learn, but I think he has a lot to offer as well. He ran against my mother a couple of years ago. I don't recall that he ever said anything negative. I could be wrong, but I think he ran a clean, issue-oriented campaign. He likes to throw tea parties, but he also participates in other efforts to educate voters that are more non-partisan.

More later. Headed into Charlotte for Operation Free!