Democrat Jennifer Roberts is getting a head start on next year’s mayoral race – and on her neighbor – with a Wednesday night fundraiser.
Roberts is the former Mecklenburg commissioners’ chair who announced for mayor in May. She lobbied City Council members for the job unsuccessfully after the resignation of Patrick Cannon, who last month entered federal prison for corruption.
Roberts lost out to fellow Democrat Dan Clodfelter, who happens to live two doors from her on Clement Avenue.
Roberts raised more than $59,000 through June. Her Wednesday night fundraiser at Chima Brazlian Steakhouse is attracting some prominent Democratic donors, and at least one Republican.
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Names on the invitation include longtime donor Sarah Belk Gambrell, former Charlotte Motor Speedway President Humpy Wheeler, businessman Bertram Scott, restaurateur Stefan Latorre and lawyer Bill Diehl. There’s also attorney Scott Syfert, a Republican.
Dan McCorkle, Clodfelter’s longtime campaign manager, said he expects the mayor to file papers this week for a new committee. That would allow him to raise money for an expected run for a full term as mayor.
A former state senator, Clodfelter could transfer $42,000 from his state account to a local committee.
Clodfelter and Roberts could be joined in a race by one or more City Council Democrats.
“I think the party’s pretty split at this point,” says Liz Johnson, a former county Democratic Party chair and a Roberts supporter. “But I think Jennifer maybe has shown proven leadership for a longer period of time and has a style a good number of people are comfortable with.”