Mayor Foxx makes first appearance since re-election announcement - | WBTV Charlotte

Mayor Foxx makes first appearance since re-election announcement


Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx made his first appearance at City Council Monday since announcing his decision to not run for re-election. 

Sources told WBTV Friday that Foxx is currently preparing for senate hearings, as a potential nominee for U.S. Secretary of Transportation.

At the council meeting Monday, the Mayor would not confirm or deny that the Secret Service was running background checks, which would be standard procedure for anyone accepting a Cabinet position.

Foxx did say he plans on staying in office until his term is up in December, and that there are still other issues to deal with in regards to running the city.

Friday morning Foxx announced that he would not seek re-election for a third term as mayor of Charlotte. Sources say Foxx is being coached as he prepares for senate hearings in Washington.

On Thursday, WBTV's Dedrick Russell asked Foxx about his political future and if he was interested in the Washington gig.

"There's a lot going on in the city and I'm enjoying myself what I'm doing and I actually have to spend a little time trying to figure out whether I'm going to run for re-election so we'll figure that out soon" Foxx told WBTV on Thursday.

WBTV obtained an email the Foxx campaign committee sent to supporters Thursday evening in which Mayor Foxx said "I have some important news to share with the Charlotte community but I want you to be the first to hear it." There was a 9pm call for supporters who RSVP'd.

On Friday WBTV talked to some council members say the Mayor didn't personally tell them he made the decision.

"We had no direct conversation about it" says Mayor Pro Tem Patrick Cannon. "I don't know that any member of council had direct conversation with the Mayor about what he announced. But of course we respect his decision."

Council member David Howard says "he confirmed it for me yesterday."

The mayor quoted his grandfather in the statement, and the book of Ecclesiastes from the Bible, in the announcement saying "there is a season for everything under the sun."

Foxx outlined many accomplishments in his announcement, from job growth during the recession, landing the 2012 Democratic National Convention for the city to securing funding to extend the light rail from uptown Charlotte to University City, but he reminded people there is still more work to be done.

Who controls the airport to finding money to help the Carolina Panthers pay for their stadium upgrades are several of the items the mayor wants to tackle in the next three months.

He also cited the recently strained relationship with lawmakers in Raleigh as a threat to continuing Charlotte's progress.

"Over the next 60 to 90 days, we face critical decisions that, for good or ill, will mark our future for many years to come," Foxx says in the statement.

But will the Mayor's decision distract from the work?

Council member Howard says "I don't think so at all. I think it will give some urgency to get these things take care of."

And Mayor Pro Tem Cannon agrees.

"People have said in the past whether or not they were going to run for office - whether it be Mayor or City Council or something and it hadn't been a distraction" says Cannon. "I think we all still will remain focused on top priorities and move the city forward in ways the city can be proud of."

Foxx was elected mayor in 2009 following now-NC Gov. Pat McCrory. He was reelected to a second term in 2011.

The city's mayor is elected to a two-year term by popular vote.

Foxx thanked his family, friends and "the larger Charlotte community for your tremendous help."

"I am grateful for the privilege of serving, knowing that this season will soon come to an end," he said in his announcement. "That said, my work is not done. For the rest of my time as mayor, I will work, as I always have, for the long-term interests of our community. I am deeply grateful to the citizens of Charlotte for investing your confidence in me."

WBTV spoke with City Attorney Bob Hageman last month to find out what would happen with the mayor's office if Mayor Foxx vacated his seat early.

Hageman says Mayor Pro Tem Patrick Cannon would not automatically become mayor.

He says the Charlotte City Council would have to choose a new mayor, although there's no formal selection process.

The new mayor would have to be a Democrat, since that is the party Foxx is affiliated with.

If Foxx is chosen by President Obama for the USDOT position, he would still need to be confirmed by the U. S. Senate.

A leader for the USDOT is one of four remaining Cabinet posts that the President has yet to fill.

Foxx has been a staunch supporter for the region's 2030 Transit Plan.

Foxx recently created a working group made up of leaders from the public and private sectors to explore means of alternative funding for the plan since the half-cent county transit tax is not growing fast enough.

Foxx was also a member of President Obama's reelection campaign.

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