Voters in District 5 are going back to the polls for a run-off election in the Democratic primary between Darrell Bonapart and Matt Newton.
Early voting has already started. Election day is Oct. 10.
In the Democratic primary, Bonapart finished first in the six-person race, with 1,466 votes or 34.5 percent. Newton was second with 1,208 votes or 28.4 percent. To avoid a run-off, the winner needed at least 40 percent.
There are no other candidates in the race, which means the run-off winner is almost guaranteed to be the new council member, barring a write-in candidate overtaking them.
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District 5 covers much of east Charlotte, including the roughly 80-acre site that used to be home to Eastland Mall. Redeveloping Eastland is one of the most pressing issues for candidates and voters.
Darrell Bonapart, a life insurance broker, narrowly lost a District 5 race six years ago, as well as an at-large attempt in the Democratic primary two years ago. Bonapart, 48, is a retired military veteran.
He said one way to improve east Charlotte is to have a special taxing district, like Center City Partners or University City Partners. Residents in those areas pay higher property taxes, but that extra money is used to help those areas.
He also said the city needs to better protect businesses impacted by the Independence Boulevard widening.
Before the primary, Bonapart’s campaign had not filed a campaign finance report in two years, as required by state law. His campaign was fined by the N.C. Board of Elections. Bonapart has since filed reports. He wrote on Facebook that his treasurer had made the mistake.
“As the candidate, I take full responsibility for what the treasurer missed,” he wrote.
Matt Newton, 38, an attorney, worked four years ago for changes to the Citizens Review Board, which hears complaints from residents unhappy with police disciplinary decisions. Critics say the board has failed to provide effective oversight.
Newton said the city needs to make developing Eastland a priority. He said bringing high-quality development to the site would “reduce crime, improve schools and create jobs.” He also said it would make it easier to fund the streetcar to the site.
He also said the city could create a link from Eastland to the Campbell Creek Greenway and work to improve infrastructure on neglected parts of Albemarle Road.
“There are immigrant communities down Albemarle Road that have little infrastructure,” he said. “They have potholes, no streetlights. it sounds unimaginable, but it does exist.”