CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Friday morning was the first and only expected time this campaign cycle that Democratic incumbent Mayor Anthony Foxx and Republican challenger Scott Stone will face each other directly.
During the hour long League of Women Voters debate held at WTVI, Foxx and Stone traded barbs on issues like taxes and public safety, but the central issue to this year's election is the economy.
Stone is concerned with local job losses.
"When we have 35 thousand in the city of Charlotte, and 51 thousand people across the county without jobs, that's exasperating,"he said.
Stone criticized Foxx for a loss of jobs during his first term, but was the mayor was quick to point out that he's been an avid supporter of putting more boots on the ground when it comes to hiring more CMPD officers.
Foxx said, "In 2006, we knew one of the greatest needs was to add police officers and standing up with several other council members, I stood up to put those additional officers on the street. "
Public safety is a critical campaign concern, but in Center City where early voting is underway the one issue on the minds of voters is the economy.
Mayor Foxx says that Charlotte has had a net gain of jobs, but there is unfinished business.
"We're not where we want to be. Clearly we have some work to do to get everyone who wants a job into employment", he said." We are far and away better than we were two years ago."
Stone says the incumbents efforts are going far enough.
"I would love to see him present his plan so we can compare plan to plan." The election will be held on November 8th.