Republican Edwin Peacock lost November’s Charlotte mayoral race to Democrat Patrick Cannon, but it wasn’t because he was outgunned financially.
Peacock raised $392,568 for the entire election, compared with $268,992 for Cannon.
Cannon defeated Peacock 53-47 percent to win his first term as mayor.
The campaign finance reports, which covered the final days of the election, were due to the Mecklenburg Board of Elections on Jan. 31. The elections office website shows that Cannon’s report was filed before the deadline, but it only recently was posted to the website.
Both candidates’ fundraising was far short of what Democrat Anthony Foxx and Republican John Lassiter raised in 2009, the last time there was no incumbent running for mayor. In that race, which Foxx narrowly won, the two men raised more than $1.2 million combined.
Peacock’s loss in spite of his edge in money suggests citywide elections are increasingly challenging for Republicans.
The percentage of city voters who are registered as Republicans has been declining for several years and now stands at 23.1 percent. Democrats make up just under half of Charlotte voters.
“I was surprised he didn’t raise more money,” Peacock said. “We thought we needed to have a half a million. That was the number we had in our head. But people weren’t as engaged in the race as much as we hoped.”
Peacock’s campaign focused on presenting the Republican candidate as a bipartisan leader who could end fighting between the city and the GOP-controlled General Assembly in Raleigh. Peacock also opposed the city’s plan to build a streetcar and criticized last year’s City Council decision to raise property taxes to support a capital spending program.