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Mecklenburg County Democrats elect new chairwoman

Community activist Robin Bradford was elected Saturday as the new chairwoman of the Mecklenburg County Democratic Party.

Bradford, 49, has served as the party captain of Precinct 134 in Huntersville for the past three years. She also ran unsuccessfully last fall for the state House of Representatives, and has been a candidate for the school board.

She was the only nominee for chair at the local party’s convention at Elizabeth Traditional Elementary School, which drew about 200 people. Bradford’s name was first pitched on the floor by her husband, Keith.

Two other party members stood to voice their support for Bradford’s candidacy. Ginger Walker described her as committed and passionate, and said Bradford will “do a great job for us as chair.”

Bradford succeeds Aisha Dew.

In an interview, Bradford said that although she is excited to be chairwoman, “I can’t lose focus with what’s at hand.”

Bradford wants to spend the next two years working to help area Democrats become more educated about issues and candidates, and empowering party precincts. She said it’s important for members of the party to vote every year, not just during the presidential election.

Bradford said she also wants to help ensure that people know about local or state issues before they come up for final votes. “We need to get ahead of the issues, not behind it,” said Bradford, a motivational speaker and retired operations director for an investment company.

Mecklenburg Democrats also elected other officers on Saturday, including Marc Friedland, first vice chairman; Cynthia Wallace, second vice chairwoman; Jeffrey Jackson, third vice chairman; Toria Boldware, secretary; and Paula Harvey, treasurer.

Thanks from the mayor

The party’s convention came a little more than a week after Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx announced he would not seek a third term.

On Saturday, Foxx thanked fellow Democrats for their support over the years and touted progress the city has made since he was elected mayor in 2009. For example, he cited the addition of 13,000 jobs and the acceleration of projects such as work to complete Interstate 485.

But Foxx said there is still work to be done.

He again voiced concern about pending state legislation to shift control of Charlotte Douglas International Airport to a regional authority. And he said the City Council still must consider a new capital improvement plan, which he said will pave the way for the city over the next eight years.

The council has split on a plan in recent months, partly because of a proposed streetcar expansion. Foxx says he believes the project will encourage economic development on the city’s east and west sides.

Foxx urged Democrats to stay active in the issues facing Charlotte, saying, “Let’s make sure that this city becomes the great city we know it can be.”

Bethea: 704-358-6013. On Twitter: @AprilBethea
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