Opinion

Yes, Republicans are gloating about Jennifer Roberts’ loss

The Observer editorial board

Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts.
Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts. jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

It didn’t take long for N.C. Republicans to exult over Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts losing in Tuesday’s Democratic primary.

Roberts, of course, has been a target of Republicans since she championed Charlotte’s non-discrimination ordinance last year and took shots at Republican leaders over HB2.

Now, a bit of payback:

In a statement, NC Values spiked the ball:

“Elections indeed have consequences, and yesterday Charlotte Democratic primary voters soundly rejected the radical agenda of Mayor Jennifer Roberts,” said Tami Fitzgerald, NC Values executive director. “Her loss in the city’s primary election to Mayor Pro-Tem Vi Lyles indicates that voters have grown tired of Roberts’ championing of national issues that are divisive and her carrying the water for the Human Rights Campaign.”

The North Carolina GOP decided on a more forward looking diss: “Tonight’s results prove that the people of Charlotte are ready for a new direction,” said NCGOP chairman Robin Hayes in a statement. “However, as Mayor Pro Tem, Vi Lyles has been at Mayor Robert’s [sic] side as they worked together to pursue a failed and divisive agenda.”

We’re far from convinced that Roberts’ so-called “agenda” was her downfall in a Democratic primary. More likely, as we said late Tuesday, it was her unsteadiness in turbulent times.

But before Democrats frown at the GOP taking the low road, a reminder: Progressive groups were equally jubilant last December when N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory conceded his re-election loss. That included the North Carolina Democratic Party, which said: “Gov. Sore Loser was out-smarted.”

McCrory, for his part, was silent Tuesday about Roberts.

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