On Tuesday, voters outed Mayor Jennifer Roberts, who ignored the State’s compromised repeal of a bathroom bill that basically let men go into women’s bathrooms and vice versa, lost her primary bid.
Roberts was beaten in the primary by Republican City Council member Kenny Smith and he will now face Democrat Vi Lyles in November for the position.
Joshua Paladino reports:
Mayor Jennifer Roberts tenure focused on divisive ideological issues, such as the state’s bathroom bill. In 2016, the Charlotte City Council passed an ordinance allowing people to use public rest rooms of the gender they “identify with,” and forced private businesses to adopt those policies also. North Carolina’s legislature passed House Bill 2 in March 2016, which nullified local government ordinances affecting bathroom use policy.
Roberts said Charlotte should not compromise on LGBTQ equality—meaning transgender individuals should be able to use any bathroom without restriction.
“When people talk about compromising on equality, I think how? Do you make them half equal? It doesn’t work with math, and it doesn’t work with people. Equality is equality,” she said at the time.
Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League of North Carolina, said Roberts lost due to her extremist stance on LGBTQ issues.
“Faithful Citizen Christians in Charlotte should now zealously endeavor to elect someone who will work for the restoration of moral restraint – preferably someone who takes the Bible seriously – someone who at the least rejects a politically correct culture where men use women’s restrooms, locker rooms, and showers,” he said.
Indeed, he is correct. While Charlotte is a liberal city, the push was too much for many in and around the Charlotte area.
The Charlotte Observer reports:
For more than a year, Republican City Council member Kenny Smith has planned to run against Mayor Jennifer Roberts, a polarizing figure whom Smith believed would be vulnerable, even in a heavily Democratic city.
He won’t get that chance.
In a surprise, Mayor Pro Tem Vi Lyles easily defeated Roberts in the Democratic mayoral primary Tuesday night, avoiding a run-off with a 46 to 36 percent victory. Even Lyles’ supporters had expected a run-off.
Lyles has a similar voting record as Roberts, and Lyles even said during the campaign that she and Roberts have similar positions. But many believe she will be a more elusive target for Smith and Republicans than Roberts.
Some believe that Smith will have a tougher time against Lyles than he would have against Roberts.
“I think Vi will be a much more difficult opponent for Kenny because she’s not a pure partisan,” said Michael Barnes, a former Democratic council member who served with Roberts, Lyles and Smith. “She works to build consensus, and whether you agree with her or not, she’s very collegial in how she gets along with council. He won’t be able to point to failed leadership on her part, the way he did with Jennifer.”
However, Smith is unphased at the fact he will stand off against Lyles rather than Roberts, and says they are basically the same.
“It’s the same issues in the race,” Smith said in an interview. “She has voted with Jennifer nearly 100 percent of the time. If you want to move away from the direction that Jennifer Roberts has led us, vote for me. If you want to bring balance back to the city, we are your candidate.”
The last Republican to win the mayor position was Pat McCrory.
While there are completely opposite points of view going into this race, there is a huge cash advantage for Smith over Lyles.
At the end of August, Smith had $322,714 on hand while Lyles had $43,000 left after the primary.
Smith also has not attempted to ride Donald Trump’s coattails while Lyles has mentioned his name in her emails and TV commercials in attempts to tie Smith to Trump.
As for Ms. Roberts, good riddance!
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