CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Mayor Vi Lyles filed to run for a second term as mayor of Charlotte on Thursday.

She was surrounded by family members who traveled to the Queen City to surprise her and cheer her on.

“I’m so grateful to once again ask the citizens of this great community to support me for my second term for reelection as mayor of this great city," Lyles said.

After signing the paperwork to run, Lyles talked with reporters about her priorities that include affordable housing.

“In the next month we are going to approve construction of over 950 affordable units in this community,” she said, adding rents would be as low as $337 a month.

She talked about the crime rate in the city and the ever-rising number of homicides.

“We can’t afford to have the losses that we have without impacting the people in the community and the confidence in what’s being done," Lyles said.

Lyles was asked about the criticism she has received from some quarters for pushing to bring President Trump and the Republican National Convention to Charlotte next year.

She defended her decision but said again that she would not offer a welcoming speech the night the convention opens.

“It's OK to have the GOP come here because what we are going to work on are the Democratic values of housing, jobs, and transportation. That’s why it's OK to have the GOP. They don’t run our city, they are visiting our city,” she said.

Earlier Thursday, perennial Republican candidate David Michael Rice filed to run against Lyles but political experts give him little chance of prevailing against the first African American woman elected as mayor of Charlotte.

Democrat Joel Odum, 20, has also filed to run against Lyles, even though he won’t turn 21, the legal age to serve until October 8.

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