Who will lead Mecklenburg County? The answer is as uncertain as at any time in recent memory, so expect a scramble in the next day or two.
With Republican Neil Cooksey stepping down in south Charlotte's District 5 and Republican Bill James, the board's longest-serving member, facing a potentially tough primary challenge in southern Mecklenburg's District 6, five or more of the nine seats may be filled by new faces in November.
District 1 Republican Karen Bentley is running again, along with incumbent Democrats Vilma Leake, George Dunlap and Dumont Clarke. That's likely to give that part of the board a decidedly liberal bent.
Potential candidates and those with an interest in the board of commissioners (including CMS, the Charlotte Chamber and others) are surely scrambling today. With only two more days before filing closes, both parties will see an opportunity to win two of the at-large seats and control of the board. The outcome will help shape the future of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and Mecklenburg residents' taxes.
Each party can field three candidates in the general election. So far, each party has just two people running at-large, and none of the four has much name recognition. Expect more candidates to jump in in the next 48 hours, including perhaps some well-known names.
-- Taylor Batten