After a bruising mayoral primary, prominent Democrats held a Unity Rally on Wednesday morning in support of mayoral candidate Patrick Cannon and Democratic City Council candidates.
James Mitchell, whom Cannon defeated in the mayoral primary, said in a statement he would support Cannon. Mitchell did not attend the event, held at the Mecklenburg Board of Elections.
Mitchells statement, read by Charlotte attorney James Ferguson, said: Charlotte has an excellent opportunity to keep our city a blue city by electing a Democratic mayor in November. I call on all Charlotte voters to join me and rally behind Democratic mayoral candidate Patrick Cannon ... (and the at-large candidates).
It wasnt clear why Mitchell didnt attend. He could not be reached for comment.
During the September primary, Mitchell attacked Cannon with numerous mailers that criticized Cannons position on the streetcar and the airport. Cannon said some of the mailers were a total misrepresentation of his position.
The rally attracted some high-profile names of state and local Democratic politics, including U.S. Rep. Mel Watt and Erskine Bowles, a former White House chief of staff.
Watt said its important to vote for Cannon and other Democrats so Republicans dont take control of local government. We have seen in just nine months what has happened to our state, Watt said, referring to the GOP controlling the governor's office and General Assembly.
He added the Republican Party wont let a moderate be a moderate.
Cannons opponent in the November election, former council member Edwin Peacock, is trying to position himself as a middle-of-the-road Republican.
Bowles praised Cannon as someone who can work with people on both sides of the aisle.
Democratic council members LaWana Mayfield, Claire Fallon and David Howard attended the event.
Mayfield and Howard often voted differently than Cannon on some important issues, such as the Capital Improvement Program and the streetcar in 2012.
Im here to support the entire Democratic Party, Mayfield said.
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