Politics & Government

Vi Lyles explores a bid for Charlotte mayor

Vi Alexander Lyles
Vi Alexander Lyles jsimmons@charlotteobserver.com

Charlotte Mayor Pro Tem Vi Lyles Monday became the second Democrat to announce plans for a possible challenge to Mayor Jennifer Roberts.

Lyles announced formation of an exploratory committee for next fall’s mayoral contest.

“Charlotte needs steadier leadership to build trust with the community and get the things done that will make our city better for everyone,” Lyles said in a statement. “Charlotte needs a mayor who is focused on working for the people of this city.”

Lyles, a former city budget director, was first elected to city council in 2013. She chairs the Transportation & Planning Committee.

Her announcement follows a similar one last week by state Sen. Joel Ford, a former county Democratic chairman.

Roberts officially launched her campaign for a second term last week with a fundraiser, whose hosts included council members Al Austin and James Mitchell, former Charlotte Motor Speedway President Humpy Wheeler and businessman Tim Belk.