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Cannon leads Mitchell in early voting

After polls closed Tuesday, Democrat Patrick Cannon was leading in his party’s mayoral primary based on returns from early voting.

Cannon had earned 60 percent of early votes. James (Smuggie) Mitchell followed with 34 percent, according to the county’s election website.

They were trailed by Lucille Puckett and Gary Dunn.

The winner will likely face Republican Edwin Peacock, who had 92 percent of early votes in the GOP primary. David Michael Rice had about 8 percent of the vote.

Early votes do not include any ballots cast Tuesday. Polls closed at 7:30 p.m. Returns typically take more than an hour to be posted.

Director of Elections Michael Dickerson said he hoped turnout would hit 10 percent, but that 6 percent was more likely.

There also are primary races for several City Council seats.

Four at-large seats are at stake, and seven Democrats are competing. Incumbent council members Claire Fallon, David Howard and Beth Pickering face opposition from District 4 incumbent Michael Barnes and newcomers Scott Jenkins, Vi Alexander Lyles and Nancy Wiggins.

With early results, the leading candidates were Barnes, Lyles, Howard and Fallon.

The four winners Tuesday face four Republicans and a Libertarian candidate in the November general election.

The City Council district elections today essentially serve as general elections, since the two major parties have virtual locks on all seven districts.

Those races:

District 1: Mayor Patsy Kinsey, appointed to replace former Mayor Anthony Foxx, faces newcomer Art Cardenas in the central Charlotte district. No Republican is running.

In early voting, Kinsey had 92 percent.

District 2: Five Democrats are on the ballot to replace Mitchell in the heavily Democratic northwest district: Al Austin, Rocky Bailey, Brenda Stevenson, Justin Stewart and John White. The winner faces Republican Darryl Broome.

Austin led with 36 percent, followed by White with 32 percent.

District 4: Four Democrats meet in the northwest district. With no Republican on the ballot, the next council member will be Levester Flowers, Greg Phipps, Leonard Richardson III or Wil Russell.

Phipps led with 42 percent followed by Russell with 24 percent and Flowers with 18 percent after early voting.

District 5: Incumbent John Autry faces Mitchell (Aerobo Cop) Smith-Bey in the Democratic primary in the eastside district. No Republican is running.

Autry led with 66 percent after early voting.

District 6: Four Republican newcomers are vying in the southeast district represented by Andy Dulin, who’s not running again. They are Ken Lindholm, Kate Payerle, James Peterson and Kenny Smith. No Democrat is running.

Smith led with about 55 percent of the vote followed by Payerle with 39 percent in early voting.

District 7: Three Republicans are running in the southeast district: Ed Driggs, Jay Privette and Duncan Wilson. The winner faces Democrat Bakari Burton in the heavily Republican district. 

Driggs led with 50 percent followed by Privette with 43 percent after early voting.

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