Matt Newton wins runoff for Charlotte City Council seat in District 5

Democrat Matt Newton effectively won a seat on Charlotte City Council by defeating Darrell Bonapart in Tuesday’s low-turnout runoff in eastside District 5.

With all precincts reporting, Newton won 57.68 percent of the vote to Bonapart’s 42.32 percent. The runoff drew only a 3 percent turnout..

Bonapart, 48, led the field of six Democrats in the Sept. 12 primary. Newton, 38, was second, about 260 votes behind.

The runoff attracted relatively few voters in the district that covers much of east Charlotte, including the roughly 80-acre site that used to be home to Eastland Mall. Redeveloping Eastland has been one of the most pressing issues in the district.

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 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.

An attorney, Newton is a former chair of the Mecklenburg Democratic Party. Four years ago he fought 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.

Jim Morrill: 704-358-5059, @jimmorrill