CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Charlotte Mayor Pro Tem Patrick Cannon announced Tuesday that he’s running for mayor, a move that had been widely anticipated in local political circles. Cannon was first elected to city council in 1993 at the age of 26, making him the youngest councilman in the city’s history.
“I know that people have suggested that we're the frontrunner in the race. I don't look at it that way. I see us as being the underdog,” he said.
Still, Cannon is the first Democrat to enter the race officially, while others have hinted at running. Voter registration numbers indicate Democrats clearly have the advantage in Charlotte. Fifty percent of registered voters are Democrats, with about 27 percent unaffiliated, and only 23 percent Republican.
One Republican strategist who watched Cannon’s campaign announcement acknowledged his strengths.
“I think it was very well done,” said consultant Larry Shaheen. “What worries me most about Patrick is that Patrick is a very moderate Democrat. He's someone who's going to be able to appeal to the small businessman. He's someone who will be able to get crossover votes.”
Republican Edwin Peacock is the only other contender to announce his candidacy for mayor. Peacock is a former city councilman. Candidates must first win their party’s September primary before going onto the November general election.