Liberal activists pledged to make Charlotte Democrats pay for supporting the bid for the 2020 Republican National Convention last year. That campaign appears to quietly be starting in two of Charlotte’s most liberal neighborhoods.

Stickers criticizing Mayor Vi Lyles and City Councilman Larken Egleston have appeared across NoDa and Plaza Midwood.

Both are up for re-election in 2019 and will face their only true test in September’s Democratic primary.

Though she did not have a formal vote on the matter, Lyles was a major leader of the effort to land the RNC. That earned her praise from Republican leaders.

Egleston was considered a swing vote heading into the July meeting where the City Council was asked to consider approving a contract to support hosting the RNC. The council splits 9-2 in favor of Democrats. They ultimately approved the RNC contracts by a vote of 6-5.

The two Republicans on the board voted to support the RNC. Besides Egleston, Democrats James “Smuggie” Mitchell, mayor pro tem Julie Eiselt and Greg Phipps also voted to support hosting the convention.

Immediately, liberal activists on Twitter pledged to run a primary opponent against Egleston, who narrowly unseated long-time councilwoman Patsy Kinsey to win his seat in 2017. Lyles appears to be in a stronger position to repel a primary challenger.

Economics vs. politics

Charlotte hosted the 2012 Democratic National Convention with bipartisan support, and the convention brought millions of dollars worth of business and exposure to the city.

Top Democrats flocked to Charlotte for the 2012 Democratic National Convention. Photo by Steve Bott via Flickr (Creative Commons).

Democrats who supported the RNC cited this economic bump as the reason why they wanted to host the opposition party.

But they voted to support hosting the convention knowing that they’d all be up for re-election before the RNC was actually held. Their vote is expected to be a major issue in the Democratic primary.


  1. The City of Charlotte wants to be a convention destination because it brings millions of $$$ to the city and its local businesses. So here is its greatest test. Will the democrats, and the local businesses they represent, relish in the economic boom and hold off their political vitriol until after the convention or will they seek to destroy it? The convention will happen either way but the democrats will determine if the local businesses will benefit or if the conventioneers will remain cooped up in the hotels in that immediate area and not be able to safely explore the local Charlotte establishments? I predict not but hope that I am wrong.


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