Vi Lyles outlines her vision for the city of Charlotte - | WBTV Charlotte

Vi Lyles outlines her vision for the city of Charlotte

(Jordan Sawyers | WBTV) (Jordan Sawyers | WBTV)
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

The Tuesday night primary victory celebration was short, and by Wednesday afternoon Mayor Pro Tem Vi Lyles shared her vision of Charlotte.

"I love this city and I want Charlotte to be its best," Lyles said. "So that means we have to focus on what's going on in our neighborhoods and our business community."

The Democratic nominee gets high marks from another former Mayor Pro Tem. Cyndee Patterson served on city council when Lyles worked in city government.

"I think we're very lucky she was willing to run," Patterson said. "Vi has been working in communities in this town since she went to Queens College."

Lyles' rise started in the finance department and led to her being Charlotte's budget director. She would retire as an assistant city manager.

"So jobs, housing - those are things I want to do," Lyles said.

Ron Leeper understands the political winds of change. Forty years ago, he was elected to the first of six terms as a council member and watched Lyles grow.

He thinks voters wanted to go in a different direction.

"It appears that across the board people were looking for a change of direction and a change in leadership," Leeper said.

And that may help Lyles crash a political glass ceiling.

"I believe Charlotte is built around inclusiveness," Lyles said. "It would be an honor to be an African woman representing this city."

She could be Charlotte’s first African American female to hold the office of mayor. It could be a tough hill to climb.

In the 1990s, Democrat Ella Scarborough got less than 40 percent of the vote against Pat McCrory. That was the same case when North Carolina Representative Beverly Earle ran against McCrory ten years ago.

Both were African American Women taking on an incumbent Republican Mayor.

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