• Expert says power of redistricting helped Republicans

    By: Scott Wickersham


    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - McCrory's win means that Republicans will control the governor's mansion, state House and state Senate for the first time since 1898. However, Charlotte's mayor, City Council and Mecklenburg County Commission are all Democratic.

    While the political division can make things harder in Charlotte, there are a lot of high -ranking allies in the Republican

    Party in Raleigh and on Wednesday both sides are already talking about coming together to get things done.

    "The power of redistricting certainly helped Republicans and solidified their control," said political expert Dr. Michael Bitzer. Bizter says (that means) control over money for things like roads and transportation.

    Whether conservatives will withhold it from liberal Mecklenburg County is a question that is on the mind of Pat Cotham, newly elected county commissioner and likely new chairwoman.

    "No matter who is in charge in Raleigh, the economy is not where we want it to be," said Cotham.

    Cotham hopes the new blood on the County Commission, which is mostly blue blood, with a six -to-three majority, will be ready to compromise when needed to get things done.

    "We have to get to know each other and make our case," said Cotham.

    Andy Dulin, Republican city councilman, hopes economics will prevent any political squabbling with Raleigh.

    "We need to figure out a way to work with Raleigh. And they need to figure out a way to work with us because we are still going to be an economic engine for the state," said Dulin.

    Charlotte has two aces in the hole, said Bitzer. Governor -elect McCrory and Speaker of the House Tom Tillis are both from Charlotte. They can fight for Charlotte residents, but they are not the only decision makers.

    The biggest issue for Mecklenburg County's new commissioners is a local one.

    Next week the current members will get results from a consulting firm on whether the 2011 tax revaluation was fair. That could have ramifications that last well into the newly elected members' terms.

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