CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Local businessman and Charlotte City Councilman Kenny Smith announced his candidacy for the Queen City's next mayor.

"Charlotte deserves better," Smith said surrounded by family and friends. "As Mayor, I will ensure our city's brightest days are still ahead of us by implementing my Blueprint for Charlotte to create safer streets, smarter infrastructure, more jobs and higher wages."

Smith went on to discuss sharp divisions within the Charlotte community, saying we need to move past "the destructive identity politics."

Smith was born in Charlotte and has raised three children in the Queen City. The commercial real estate broker attended Billingsville and Selwyn Elementary Schools, AG Middle School and Myers Park High School. He graduated from University of North Carolina Chapel Hill in 1996.