Three Democratic district incumbents on Charlotte City Council beat back challengers in Tuesday’s primary, with two of them now facing Republican opposition in the November election.
Two-term District 3 incumbent LaWana Mayfield, a former community organizer, got the only serious challenge, from former council member Warren Turner and newcomer Rosa Hodge-Mustafa. But in the end, she comfortably won the right to face Republican Eric Netter in November.
With all precincts reporting, Mayfield had 2,425 votes, or 59.60 percent, to Turner’s 1,371 votes, or 33.69 percent. Rosa Hodge-Mustafa, received 273 votes, or 6.71 percent.
“I am extremely grateful and humbled that the people in my district paid attention to the work I’ve done the past four years,” Mayfield said. “I will continue to work on economic development and job creation in the district ... and making sure that everyone has equal access to opportunity.”
In other challenged district races, District 2 incumbent Al Austin easily beat challenger Steven Jones. Austin will face Republican newcomer Justin Dunn in a district where two-thirds of the voters are Democrats and 6 out of 10 are African-American. Austin received 3,914 votes, or 78.23 percent. Jones got 1,089 votes, or 21.77 percent.
Only District 5 incumbent John Autry faces no Republican opposition in November, with voters giving him a third term. Autry, who has been a strong advocate for the environment, raising the pay of low-wage city workers and redeveloping east Charlotte, handily defeated city employee Scott Derek Jenkins. With all 25 precincts reporting, Autry received 2,772 votes, or 74.50 percent, to Jenkins’ 949 votes, or 25.50 percent.
The primary’s most interesting race among district council members was Turner’s attempt to return to the seat he held for four terms until 2011, when Mayfield beat him. Voters turned Turner out of office after allegations that he’d made sexually inappropriate remarks to at least five female city staffers.
Mayfield ran on improvements that she said have been made in the west Charlotte district, such as opening of the Charlotte Premium Outlet in the Steele Creek community just off Interstate 485 and new business developments off Tyvola Road and Wilkinson Boulevard.
Tuesday, she said she’ll continue to work for more affordable housing in the district and city and “making sure we protect our neighborhoods from gentrification.”
Al Austin 78.23%
Steven Jones 21.77%
(19 of 19 precincts reporting)
Rosa Hodge-Mustafa 6.71%
Lawana Mayfield 59.60%
Warren F. Turner 33.69%
(22 of 22 precincts reporting)
John Autry 74.50%
Scott Derek Jenkins 25.50%
(25 of 25 precincts reporting)