A few months ago, in the heat of the Nick Mackey controversy, some black Democrats vowed to punish Mecklenburg commissioners chairman Jennifer Roberts at the polls.
Roberts, after party activists chose Mackey as sheriff in a disputed -- and later overturned -- party election, was among those who voted to make his erstwhile rival Chipp Bailey sheriff. "There will be some awfully angry African Americans in this community," predicted one black Democrat.
But at Sunday night's closed Black Political Caucus meeting, Roberts ended up with one of the group's three endorsements for at-large seats. Democratic Party chair Joel Ford said this morning that there was spirited debate. One of the people pushing the endorsement of Roberts and Dan Murrey, both white Democrats, was Harold Cogdell, the only black at-large Democrat.
"By joining with all three and by unifying the ticket .... it's a no-brainer, it's a slam dunk," said Ford. "It's the dream team."
Without strong African American support for Roberts, or for that matter Murrey, both could lose. It also would threaten continued Democratic control of the county board.
Republican commissioner Dan Ramirez wasn't impressed by the caucus vote. Virtually every candidate endorsed is a Democrat.
"They lost all credibility as a caucus," he said. They should call themselves the black Democratic caucus."