Joel Ford says he may challenge Jennifer Roberts for Charlotte mayor

Ford, a three-term state senator, said he would take the next 60 days to meet with community leaders and prepare a campaign.
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.

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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