Mr. Mackey won a special vote of Democratic Party activists to become Mecklenburg County Sheriff last year. But state party leaders threw out the results in February, saying precincts were improperly organized. Mecklenburg County commissioners then chose Mr. Mackey’s opponent Chipp Bailey for the job.
That didn’t set well with some folks who felt Mr. Mackey should have gotten the job, though his candidacy was wrapped in controversy because he filed for bankruptcy and left his job as a police officer under scrutiny for misrepresenting his work hours. Supporters said they’d remember the county commissioners who didn’t vote to give Mr. Mackey the sheriff’s office at the polls.
Thus District 2 commissioner Norman Mitchell found himself with a feisty opponent, Charlotte-Mecklenburg School Board member Vilma Leake. As of 8:30 p.m., she was leading Mr. Mitchell, 65 percent to his 35 percent.County commissioner’s chair Jennifer Roberts was criticized during the Mackey debacle and supporters said they’d push for votes against her in her at-large race. She’s leading the five candidates seeking the Democratic nomination.
The three winners will face GOP candidates for three seats in the fall. Mr. Mackey himself is running for the N.C. House against incumbent Drew Saunders in District 99. Rep. Saunders tried to make Mr. Mackey’s woes in the sheriff’s race an issue but as of this moment Mr. Mackey is ahead, 57 percent to 43 percent.Of course, this is all early voting. Few of the precincts’ votes have been posted yet. The Mackey factor so far is unknown. Stay tuned.