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David Howard launches mayoral campaign

Democratic mayoral candidate David Howard speaks during a mayoral forum at UNC Charlotte featuring three of the four Democratic candidates running for mayor on April 9, 2015. Howard officially launched his campaign Thursday.
Democratic mayoral candidate David Howard speaks during a mayoral forum at UNC Charlotte featuring three of the four Democratic candidates running for mayor on April 9, 2015. Howard officially launched his campaign Thursday. dlaird@charlotteobserver.com

Charlotte City Council member David Howard formally announced he is running for mayor Thursday with a rally at his new campaign office on West Morehead Street.

Howard, a Democrat, has been an at-large member since 2009. He has said for several months that he is running, but he held the event to officially start his campaign before the September primary.

Howard is running against at least three Democrats: Mayor Dan Clodfelter, at-large council member and Mayor Pro Tem Michael Barnes; and former County Commissioner Jennifer Roberts.

Howard’s speech, a likely preview of his campaign, played up his roots as having been born and raised in Charlotte.

“This city helped shape who I am, because it provided opportunities to this child of a single mom, and to countless other kids like me,” Howard said.

He said he led an effort on council to pass new ethics rules after former Mayor Patrick Cannon was arrested in March 2014.

His speech touched on his desire to increase employment, especially in east and west Charlotte. As mayor, he said he would set a “tone” for improvement with public schools.

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