Joel Ford
Joel Ford

Democratic State Sen. Joel Ford is forming an exploratory committee to consider challenging Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts in 2017.

“We need a Mayor who will focus on the real issues facing our city,” Ford said Tuesday in a statement. “That starts with creating new jobs and economic opportunities for the city; protecting our neighborhoods, supporting our schools, and investing in our community.”

Ford is a three-term state senator and former chairman of the Mecklenburg County Democratic Party. He said Charlotte needs a “bold, decisive and visionary” mayor who can unify the city.

He said he would take the next 60 days to meet with community leaders and prepare a campaign.

Roberts, halfway through her first term as mayor, on Dec. 1 formally announced her plans to seek reelection. She faced criticism from some voters for her leadership in the aftermath of the Keith Scott killing by a CMPD officer on Sept. 20, an event that sparked protests and riots in parts of the city.

Our city has faced challenges this year, but through continued hard work and by sticking together we will emerge stronger than ever,” she said in an email announcing her candidacy

Founder and publisher of Qcitymetro, Glenn has worked at newspapers including the Los Angeles Times, St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, Wall Street Journal and The Charlotte Observer.