For James “Smuggie” Mitchell, it’s about unfinished business.
Expanding job opportunities. Moving forward with the streetcar. Advancing minority- and women-owned businesses.
“I’ll hit the ground running,” says Mitchell, 53.
Mitchell served 14 years on Charlotte’s City Council before running for mayor in 2013. He lost the Democratic primary to Patrick Cannon, who went on to be elected mayor.
Mitchell, who represented northeast District 2, is now one of seven candidates running for four at-large seats. He finished second in last month’s Democratic primary. He also served as president of the National League of Cities in 2011.
In his last term, Mitchell chaired the economic development committee and helped bring public money to help renovate Bank of America Stadium and to build the Charlotte Knights’ new BB&T Stadium.
For the past year, he has been director of business development for Barton Malow, the primary construction contractor on the Knights stadium. The firm is now building a ballpark near downtown Columbia.
Mitchell created a workforce development program for the company that trains former inmates and public housing residents in the skills they need to get and keep jobs on the project.
“I’m passionate about bringing that model back to Charlotte,” he says.
James “Smuggie” Mitchell
Family: Married, two daughters
Education: N.C. Central University, degree in business administration
Occupation: Barton Malow construction, director of business development
Political experience: Charlotte City Council, 1999-2013; President of National League of Cities 2011.
Community work: Former vice chair of Black Political Caucus; board member of Police Activities League; board member of Men Who Care Global; former president of Save the Seed.