Democrat Jennifer Roberts is getting a headstart on next year's mayoral race -- and on her neighbor -- with a Wednesday night fundraiser.
Roberts is the former Mecklenburg commissioners' chair who announced for mayor in May. She also lobbied city council members for the job after the resignation of Patrick Cannon, who last month entered federal prison for corruption.
Roberts lost out to fellow Democrat Dan Clodfelter, who happens to live two doors from her on Clement Avenue.
Roberts' had already raised more than $59,000 through June. Her Wednesday night fundraiser at Chima Brazlian Steakhouse is attracting some prominent Democratic donors, and at least one Republican.
Names on the invitation include longtime donor Sarah Belk Gambrell, former Charlotte Motor Speedway President Humpy Wheeler, businessman Bertram Scott, restaurateur Stefan Latorre and lawyer Bill Diehl. There's also attorney Scott Syfert, a Republican.
Dan McCorkle, Clodfelter's longtime campaign manager, said he expects the mayor to file papers this week for a new committee. That would allow him to raise money for an expected mayoral run. A former state senator, he could transfer $42,000 from his state account to a local committee.
Clodfelter and Roberts could be joined in a race by one or more City Council Democrats.
"I think the party’s pretty split at
this point," says Liz Johnson, a former county Democratic chair and a Roberts supporter. "But I think Jennifer maybe has shown proven leadership for a longer period
of time and has a style a good number of people are comfortable with.”