foxx streetcar

Lately, most of the posts on this blog have been about either Mel Watt or Anthony Foxx. Here’s one more. In addition to rumors that Watt is being considered for a post at Fannie Mae, there are reports that Mayor Foxx is Obama’s choice to be Secretary of Transportation. This shouldn’t be too surprising. Foxx is very good friends with Obama and has made transportation a major issue during his mayoralty in Charlotte.

Assuming that both Watt and Foxx are appointed to their new posts, what are the political effects? First, there will be a vacancy in the Charlotte mayor’s office. An election will be held for a two-year term on November 5, 2013. Next, there will be a special election held for the 12th District congressional seat. With Foxx presumably out of the race, prospective candidates include Sen. Malcolm Graham and Rep. Marcus Brandon. Both parties will hold primaries, followed by a special general election, followed by the regular general election in November 2014. In the case of the 12th District, a win in the Democratic primary will be tantamount to election.

This potential ‘Charlotte shakeup’ should be seen as evidence of the clout that Charlotte has accrued in the past couple of years. North Carolina is becoming a state increasingly defined by its urban areas, in this case Charotte and the Research Triangle, but Charlotte in particular. Charlotte has provided us not only with our current governor, but our current lieutenant governor and the incumbent Speaker of the House, who has Senate ambitions in 2014. Right now the Queen City is at the height of its influence, and there is nothing to suggest that this influence will diminish in the coming years.

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