Cotham earns first place – and gavel

Pat Cotham
Pat Cotham

Maybe it’s time for Mecklenburg County commissioners to listen to the voters.

Democrat Pat Cotham, her chairman’s gavel seized by fellow Democrats, was the leading vote-getter Tuesday night – again.

Cotham led all candidates in 2012 and, as is customary, was named chairman of the county board. After she led an effort to fire county manager Harry Jones, and after she cooperated with Republicans on other matters, the five other Democrats teamed up to oust her and replace her with Trevor Fuller.

Voters made clear Tuesday whom they prefer between the two. Cotham pulled in some 21,000 more votes than Fuller (and 17,000 more than second-place finisher Ella Scarborough).

Democratic board members Dumont Clarke, George Dunlap, Vilma Leake and Fuller have made clear how they felt about Cotham’s reign. We doubt they’re enthusiastic about her commandeering the center seat at the dais again.

Voters, though, clearly appreciate her brand of politics: forthright, bipartisan, beholden to no sacred cows. They like the fresh eyes she brings to the board and her persistence on issues like fixing the property revaluation.

Commissioners should acknowledge that and give Cotham back the gavel.