By Collin Cunningham
(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) Good morning, Charlotte! Today's Roundup is a decisive one as we list candidates who won Tuesday's primary elections in Charlotte, Mecklenburg County and North Carolina. Rep. Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina's 11th District conceded against fellow Republican Chuck Edwards following controversies. Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden will remain top cop despite jail issues and former Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon won't have a shot at an at-large City Council seat.
Also receiving a nod are the Charlotte Hornets, who will have the 13th and 15th selections in the upcoming NBA draft as the team continues searching for a coach. The Charlotte Symphony Orchestra will also have to look around for a new head conductor as the maestro who has led the ensemble for 12 years prepares to step out.
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1. Candidates chosen: Who will be on the November ballot in Charlotte, Meck. Co. and NC?
As the North Carolina State Board of Elections works to determine if the turnout at Tuesday's statewide primary election superseded the 31% of voters who cast over 2.1 million ballots in 2020's primary, initial results show both upsets and safe bets locally and across the state. Here are a few outcomes that will pave the way for key races in November's general election:
Per WFAE, Charlotte saw roughly 14% of its registered voters hit the polls on Tuesday as over 109,000 of more than 781,000 constituents tendered decisions.
- Mayor: Challenging the second term attempt of Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles, a Democrat, is Stephanie de Sarachega-Bilbao, a first-time candidate who has experience in media and business in the private sector. To get there, Lyles soaked up 84% of the vote with 48,252 ballots cast in her name.
- City Council: A total of eight Republicans and Democrats are looking to capture four at-large seats on Charlotte City Council this fall. Batting for the GOP will be David Merrill, Charlie Mulligan, Carrie Olinksi and Kyle J. Luebke while Braxton Winston, Dimple Ajmera, LaWana Slack-Mayfield and James "Smuggie" Mitchell make up the Democratic ballot. Both Winston and Ajmera currently serve on the governing body. Notably absent from the list of Democratic winners is Patrick Cannon, a former Charlotte mayor who left the office to serve jail time for bribery in 2014. Find more on City Council candidates hoping to win other districts right here.
- Sheriff: Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden (35,369 votes) will continue his 4-year tenure helming the county's main law enforcement agency after defeating former deputies Aujiena "Gina" Hicks and Marquis Robinson, who had 26,362 and 7,208 votes, respectively. The news comes amid ongoing issues at Mecklenburg County's jail, ranging from state scrutiny to inmate deaths.
- Board of Commissioners: The politicians vying for Mecklenburg's three at-large commissioner chairs in November are Democrats Patricia Cotham, Leigh Altman and Arthur Griffin Jr. along with Republican Tatyana Thulien. Other races will see Elaine Powell duke it out against Gary Leone for District 1, Democrat George Dunlap against Republican Dianna Benson in the third district and Democrat Mark Jerrell versus GOP member Ray Fuentes in the fourth. Check Ballotpedia's municipal elections results for more.
- U.S. Senate: Either Democrat Cheri Beasley or Republican Rep. Ted Budd of North Carolina's 13th Congressional District will replace outgoing U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, a Republican. Beasley looks to bring eight years of experience from the state Supreme Court to the upper chamber, while Budd took office in 2017 and carried an endorsement from former President Donald Trump.
- Congressional districts: North Carolina's most contentious district race ended with incumbent GOP Rep. Madison Cawthorn unable to appear on November's ballot for the state's 11th district. Serving in his wake will be Republican Sen. Chuck Edwards, who oversees District 48, or political newcomer Jasmine Beach-Ferrara. For more on North Carolina House of Representatives hopefuls, check this Ballotpedia page.
2. Lucky number 13: Hornets granted 13th and 15th NBA draft selections as team canvases league for coach
What happened: When the 2022 NBA draft rolls around on Thursday, June 23, the Charlotte Hornets will have to watch as a dozen teams select rookie players from a collegiate pool before they can pick. Tuesday's draft lottery delivered on a 92.8% chance of the 'Nets sliding into the unlucky spot and also granted the North Carolina team the 15th FIRST-ROUND pick, potentially setting up an interesting trio of rounds in next month's draft.
The team will have to wait until the 45th slot swings by in the second round for a subsequent pick, which will likely include some sort of center as the team looks to round out its roster of tall men.
Why it matters: The Charlotte basketball team's three picks in the June selection could help the squad improve after a 43-39 season that ended with the Hornets ranked 11th in the NBA's Eastern Conference. The current lineup was enough to get the team to the league's Play-In Tournament, where they faltered 132-103 against the Atlanta Hawks on April 13.
But the performance of former head coach James Borrego apparently was not sufficient to keep him around as administrators fired him last month. Since then, team leaders have installed at least seven names from across the league on their radar, per The Charlotte Observer, including former NBA Coach of the Year Mike D'Antoni and Brooklyn Nets assistant coach David Vanterpool.
3. Baton dropped: Charlotte orchestra conductor to retire after 12 seasons
After putting a dozen seasons on his belt, Charlotte Symphony Orchestra Music Director Christopher Warren-Green will pack up his baton for the last time in the Queen City after conducting the classical band in Beethoven's Ninth Symphony at Charlotte's Belk Theatre on May 22. The epic, rolling piece is a fitting backdrop for the concerto maestro, as it was the last complete work written by the legendary German composer before his 1827 death.
Though Warren-Green will be removing himself from the limelight, he will continue working with the SCO as a conductor laureate and artistic adviser. Previous positions placed the conductor at the head of ensembles in Philadelphia, Minnesota, Detroit, Houston, St. Louis, Toronto, Milwaukee, Seattle and Vancouver. According to another story in The Charlotte Observer, the guests listed as part of the current symphonic season — the CSO's 90th — could provide hints as to who may be Warren-Green's successor.
More news concerning Charlotte on May 18:
- Pat McCrory says his political career is over — and asks what happened to the Republican Party
- A 9-year-old was among three shooting victims at a Charlotte apartment complex, police say
- Man in custody for allegedly assaulting woman at Meck courthouse, sheriff says
- Meck DA Spencer Merriweather wins 2nd four-year term; says he’ll work for a safer county
- Legacy Commission renames Stonewall Street
- Fort Mill’s Local Dish set to close after a decade of serving Southern cuisine