Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx has been basking in a flattering spotlight since last week's announcement that the 2012 Democratic National Convention is coming to town. But before he settles in as the official host, he's got a little matter to deal with -- getting re-elected.
Foxx, a Democrat, plans to kick off his re-election bid March 10. He sent out a fund-raising letter last week, the same day the convention was announced.
So far the only Republican talking about a challenge is businessman Scott Stone, former chair of the city's Business Advisory Committee. He's also founder of the North Carolina Heroes Fund, a non-profit dedicated to supporting military families suffering financial hardships.
"Officially, I'm considering it," Stone said of a possible run. "But understanding it's going to take a lot of time energy and money to win the race. So If I'm going to run, I'm going to have to make a decision soon."
The cost of mayoral races has climbed. In 2009, Foxx raised $642,000 in his race against Republican John Lassiter. That was second only to former Republican Mayor Pat McCrory, who raised more than $800,000, most of which he transferred to his gubernatorial campaign the next year.
Stone is a relative unknown who would need money to change that. Higher profile Republicans are reluctant to take on an incumbent riding the wave of a national convention.
“I’m always keeping my options open," says city council member Edwin Peacock . "(But) you see the writing on the wall. Basically what I see now is the mayor's firmly in the lead."
Stone acknowledges that the convention "changes the dynamics."
"I don’t think it dissuades me from running," he says. "I'm concerned with the Democratic National Convention coming here there are a lot of potential costs, and someone with a business background should make sure it doesn’t bankrupt the city. Having the (convention) here is a great opportunity for the city as long as we manage the cost."