Autry, Maddalon fight to replace Tricia Cotham in N.C. House

The incumbent

The seat had been held by Democrat Tricia Cotham, who is not running for re-election.

Who is running

Two Democrats are running, John Autry and Billy Maddalon. There is no Republican in the race, so the winner of the March 15 primary will take the seat.

About the office

House District 100 covers much of east Charlotte, and runs along the Independence Boulevard corridor from uptown to Matthews.

Serving on council

In his five years on the City Council, Autry has advocated for east Charlotte, including the city’s purchase of the Eastland Mall. He also is a strong supporter of transit.

Maddalon also served on the council, when he was appointed to fill the remainder of Patsy Kinsey’s term in 2013 after Kinsey was appointed mayor. He narrowly lost a council at-large seat in November.

Part of Maddalon’s campaign is based on his work as a small-business owner. He also said his experience with more than 15 foster children and adopted children gives him a unique experience into how people struggle.

“I think I could go to Raleigh and be a person with empathy,” he said.

Maddalon, who is gay, downplayed that last year in his campaign for the council at-large seat. At a WTVI debate that taped Tuesday, Maddalon said his sexual orientation would bring a unique perspective to the General Assembly.

Power to cities

Both candidates want to return more power to cities and towns and believe the Republican-controlled legislature hasn’t given municipalities enough local control.

Autry has been adamant that there aren’t enough people in the General Assembly with city experience.

Part of Autry’s campaign focuses on transportation. He said he wants to find new ways to build highway and transit infrastructure. “We can’t keep widening roads in urban areas,” he said.

Both candidates want to increase funding for education and social services.

John Autry

Age: 63

Education: Cal State Fullerton

Professional experience: Chief technology officer, emitigate.com

Political resume: Charlotte City Council member, first elected in 2011

Family: Married, father of four

Website: www.johnautry.com

Billy Maddalon

Age: 47

Education: Graduate, N.C. State University

Professional experience: Owner of The Morehead Inn and VanLandingham Estate

Political resume: Appointed to Charlotte City Council District 1 seat in 2013

Family: Married, has three adopted children and has raised 15 foster children

Website: www.billymaddalon.com