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Decision 2013Charlotte Mayor

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Peacock looks to general election

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    Edwin Peacock III

    Age: 43.

    Hometown: Charlotte.

    Family: Wife, Amy; two children.

    Occupation: Financial representative, Northwestern Mutual.

    Education: Bachelor’s degree, University of Georgia.

    Politics: At-large member, Charlotte City Council, 2007-2011.

    Community involvement: Arts & Science Council cultural task force; Blumenthal Performing Arts trustee.

    Worth knowing: He’s a member of F3, a hard-core fitness group that meets for early morning runs and boot camp-style workouts. His nickname: “Owlbait.”

    David Michael Rice

    Age: 64.

    Hometown: Henderson.

    Family: Single, three sons.

    Occupation: Retired warehouse worker.

    Education: Associate degree, Central Piedmont Community College; attended UNC Charlotte.

    Politics: In 2010 ran for county commissioner and for Soil and Water Conservation District supervisor; ran for City Council in 2011.

    Community involvement: Hosts weekly religious show on cable access television.

    Worth knowing: He has a cable-access TV ministry.


  • More information

    Early voting starts Thursday

    Early voting for the Sept. 10 primary starts at 8 a.m. Thursday at the Hal Marshall Annex, 618 N. College St. Other locations open Sept. 3.



Republican Edwin Peacock wants to be mayor of Charlotte. David Michael Rice wants to be mayor of “Ricetown,” a city in northern Mecklenburg County that so far exists only in his dreams.

That’s one reason Peacock is looking past the Sept. 10 primary against Rice to a general election matchup with a former Democratic colleague on the City Council.

“We’ve been campaigning for the general from the beginning,” says Peacock, 43.

The winner of the GOP primary will face the Democratic nominee in the city’s first open-seat mayoral race since 2009 and only the second since 1995. Two council incumbents – Patrick Cannon and James Mitchell – lead a field that includes Gary Dunn and Lucille Puckett.

Early voting starts Thursday.

Peacock is a former two-term member of the Charlotte City Council who ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 2012. So far, he’s raised nearly $158,000, more than any mayoral candidate of any party.

Peacock was the last Republican to win at-large on City Council. He lost a re-election bid in 2011 when Democrats swept the four seats.

His father, Ed Peacock, was a former City Council member and Mecklenburg County commissioner, who ran unsuccessfully for mayor 30 years ago.

Peacock’s primary opponent is a 64-year-old retiree who has a cable-access TV ministry. Rice has run for office before, most recently in 2011. He calls his political committee “Ricetown Royal Republic.”

Rice says his ultimate goal is to be mayor of a town that bears his name.

“Ricetown is going to be a new municipality,” he says. “We’re going to be trying to incorporate it in unincorporated areas.”

The Charlotte election, he adds, is “almost like having an election to elect a mayor of Ricetown.”

The TV minister filed Chapter 13 bankruptcy in 2000. He also had a string of liens against his Grier Heights property, though all were paid when he ran for council in 2011.

In 2006, Rice registered a political action committee called “The HRC (Holy Royal Crown)” PAC. The state board of elections had repeated questions about the PAC and eventually shut it down in 2009.

Peacock is running on a platform that includes job creation, “streamlining” government and improving what he calls the city’s partnership with education. He also wants to overcome the “partisanship and divisiveness” he sees among current leaders.

He has voted against the proposed crosstown streetcar project and sides with current officials in opposing the General Assembly’s efforts to transfer control of Charlotte Douglas International Airport from the city to a new commission.

That issue is now in the hands of a court and the Federal Aviation Administration.

Peacock is a moderate Republican who doesn’t mind the label.

During last year’s Republican primary in the 9th Congressional District, he was the only one of 10 candidates to publicly oppose the so-called marriage amendment, which bans gay marriage in North Carolina.

As chairman of the council’s Environment Committee, he voted to strengthen the city’s tree ordinance and require developers to keep more green space.

In 2011 he angered some conservative Republicans when he joined Democrats to narrowly pass a pay raise for the city manager.

“Everybody wants to bash the guy in the middle,” he said last year. “The approach that I’ve had has been to work to solve problems, and part of that means working with those of the other party to find solutions.”

Morrill: 704-358-5059
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