Four file for Senate seat left vacant by new Charlotte mayor

by: Scott Wickersham Updated:

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CHARLOTTE —

It’s been two weeks since Charlotte Mayor Dan Clodfelter stepped down as state senator for District 37.

Channel 9 learned that position, which represents parts of uptown Charlotte, South End and Steele Creek, will not be filled for another two weeks.

Mecklenburg County’s Democratic Executive Committee will host a forum Monday night with all candidates for the seat.

The committee is made up of 49 Democrats who live in the district and each will get a vote on Clodfelter’s replacement at a meeting May 3.

So far four people are running to replace Clodfelter.

Channel 9’s Scott Wickersham spoke with two of those candidates Monday and a former county commissioner who will help shape the committee’s decision.

The person selected will fill Clodfelter’s term through the November election and serve two additional years because Clodfelter was already running unopposed for another term.

Gaston County Assistant District Attorney Jeff Jackson and former Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools board member Amelia Stinson-Wesley are in the running for Clodfelter’s position. Neither could be reached for comment Monday.

Former Charlotte City Councilman Billy Maddalon is also running.

“I’ve been involved for a number of years, I’m as invested in outcomes in District 37 as anybody can be,” Maddalon said.

Community and Democratic Party organizer Darrell Bonapart knows it’s an uphill battle for any Democrat in Republican-controlled Raleigh.

“Reach across the aisle. Even though it’s been somewhat toxic the past few years, that something can be accomplished,” Bonapart said.

Jennifer Roberts, a member of the executive committee, says she’s one of 49 people who will decide on his replacement.

“It has to be someone who can collaborate, who can find common ground and is used to having to swim upstream,” said Roberts.

The field could grow at any time. County Democratic leaders say more people could announce their candidacy or be nominated the day of the vote.

The candidate who gets more than 50 percent of the vote May 3 will win. If no one wins in the first vote, they will pick up the top vote getters and recast the ballots.

The Monday night meeting where candidates can meet the executive committee is at the Reeder Memorial Baptist Church on Beatties Ford Road at 7 p.m.