Look at the picture above. See anything peculiar?
Look closer. Tall guy, second from left, funny-colored neck ware.
That’s Republican mayoral candidate John Lassiter.
The venue: The Wednesday evening “Jazz on the Roof” event sponsored by the Charlotte Chamber’s Black Professionals Network.
If you haven’t gotten my point you probably aren’t paying attention.
It’s not often you see a white Republican courting black voters in Charlotte. We certainly didn’t see much of it during the seven successful campaigns of Mayor Pat McCrory.
Lassiter is no dummy. He knows that Charlotte has grown increasingly Democratic. He knows that, unlike McCrory, he can’t ride the generous coattails of the city’s once-booming-but-now-stalled economy. And he also knows that, to win, he must pull sufficient black votes from Anthony Foxx, a Democrat seeking to become only the second African American in history elected to lead the Qcity.
A tall order, indeed.
Still, I give Lassiter credit. So far he hasn’t simply written off the black community as so many other Republicans have done. And Wednesday’s event certainly wasn’t the first time he’s been seen in recent weeks pressing the flesh in an African American crowd.
It’s a smart move, because in a tight race, a few stolen votes can make all the difference.