The Latest: Lyles declares herself winner in Charlotte race
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Latest on mayoral races in North Carolina (all times local):
Vi Lyles has claimed victory in the race to become the next mayor of North Carolina’s largest city.
Charlotte’s mayor pro tem sent out a Twitter post Tuesday saying “We are victorious!”
With 155 of the city’s 168 precincts reporting, Lyles has 58 percent of the vote, compared to 41 percent for City Councilman Kenny Smith.
Lyles’ victory is a highlight in nearly 30 years of service, going back to her start as an analyst in Charlotte’s budget department before she became budget director. She was assistant city manager from 1996 to 2004. She was elected to the city council in 2013 and selected by her peers as mayor pro tem in December 2015.
Unaffiliated incumbent Nancy McFarlane has won a fourth term as mayor of North Carolina’s capital city.
With all but one of Raleigh’s 108 precincts reporting Tuesday, unofficial returns show McFarlane has 57 percent of the vote, while Democratic challenger Charles Francis has 42 percent of the vote.
The election was necessitated after neither candidate failed to capture a majority of the votes in October’s general election. Francis finished second and called for the runoff.
The News & Observer of Raleigh reported that McFarlane told her supporters that Raleigh “really appreciates and obviously embraces the message of unity and working on solutions, as opposed to partisan politics.”
The polls have closed in North Carolina’s major cities where voters turned out to select mayors.
Voting in those precincts ended Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. Many of those who turned out to cast ballots were greeted by cloudy skies and light rain.
Among the cities voting was Charlotte, where voters were choosing between Mayor Pro Tem Vi Lyles and City Councilman Kenny Smith. Raleigh voters were choosing between unaffiliated incumbent Nancy McFarlane and Democratic challenger Charles Francis.
Media outlets report two precincts in Greensboro lost power around 1 p.m. Duke Energy blamed the outage on vandalism at a substation, and generators were brought in to provide power for the precincts.
Mayoral incumbents also are seeking re-election in Asheville, Durham, Fayetteville, Greensboro and Wilmington.
Voters in North Carolina’s major cities are turning out Tuesday to select mayors, and for Charlotte, it will be the city’s sixth mayor since 2009.
The fifth mayor on the list was Jennifer Roberts, but her bid for re-election ended when she lost the Democratic primary after her term was beset by controversy over gay and transgender rights and her handling of violent protests following the shooting death of a black man by police in September 2016.
Set to succeed Roberts will be either Mayor Pro Tem Vi Lyles or City Councilman Kenny Smith. Lyles defeated Roberts in the Democratic primary, while Smith cruised to victory in the Republican primary.
Raleigh voters will choose between unaffiliated incumbent Nancy McFarlane and Democratic challenger Charles Francis.