CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Questions of truthfulness and transparency in dealing with the Carolina Panthers fly between Charlotte mayoral candidates on Election Day Eve.
Republican Edwin Peacock says Democrat Patrick Cannon lied about his role in private meetings with the Panthers and the team's request for millions in taxpayer dollars for renovations.
Cannon, currently Mayor Pro Tem, says Peacock, a former council member, is splitting procedural hairs in a desperate attempt to get more votes.
During a noon news conference, Peacock took Cannon to task over words in a recent debate, during which Cannon said he didn't take part in at least three closed door sessions involving the Carolina Panthers, and if Cannon would seek public input for public money in future negotiations.
The Panthers ended up with nearly $90 million dollars in public money for improvements.
"I find it very disturbing that my opponent attended these closed-door sessions when by his own admission, he had a very blatant conflict of interest," Peacock said.
That conflict is Cannon owns an uptown parking business which could benefit by the Panthers staying here.
Shortly after Peacock started talking, Cannon walked into local Republican headquarters, stood there as Peacock finished, walked outside and defended himself.
Cannon says Peacock is splitting hairs because he took part in closed door meetings with the Panthers only long enough to be recused.
"We were recused from voting and/or negotiating any terms regarding the Panthers and that's what you're supposed to do as a government official and that's what I did accordingly," Cannon said.
Cameras went back and forth to the candidates as they took turns talking.
"Now we're having battling press conferences," Peacock laughed.
Both candidates said this is politics, not personal.
"He's acting as though he wasn't somehow involved here, that is why he pointed out he wasn't in some closed door meeting, he was," said Peacock.
But it didn't feel that way.
"I think we all know what today is," Cannon said. "It's a desperate attempt to try to do what one can to try to come up from where you are."
Peacock acknowledged he is behind in early voting.
"I thought we had a better working relationship, or a better relationship period," said Cannon.
Both candidates are spending Election Day eve energizing their bases and urging supporters to vote.