Former governor raises diversity concerns, questions influence of Black Political Caucus

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A large number of key positions in local leadership across Charlotte and Mecklenburg County are now held by African-Americans.

The Queen City has an African American mayor, and the heads of the county commission and school boards are also black. For some of those positions, it is the first time someone who is black has held that job, but there is a new level of scrutiny coming from former North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory.

"All primaries are then determined by the Black Political Caucus, a small group of individuals," McCrory said on his morning talk show on News Talk 1110 WBT Radio.

That analysis comes one day after Spencer Merriweather was elected to District Attorney and Garry McFadden won the sheriff's race. It is the first time two African Americans have been elected to those offices in Mecklenburg County.

"Within that party, we now see that the Black Political Caucus is the major influencer in who wins the Democratic primary," McCrory told WBTV.

"I like Pat McCrory as a person, but McCrory just does not know Charlotte's history," said former school board chair Arthur Griffin, who heads up the caucus. "I think it's a political dog whistle to say, let's engage in this racial politics thing, when in fact the evidence is absolutely clear that the Black Political Caucus engaged in public policy that's good for all citizens."

McCrory says he's looking for balance.

"I'm worried about the segregated aspects of Charlotte-Mecklenburg politics, and lack of diversity we might have," McCrory said.

Griffin is quick to point out that voters are reminded that the caucus has reached out to both sides of the aisle in making endorsements.

"Our organization is non-partisan," he said. "Non-partisan."

To listen to McCrory's Wednesday show, click here.

Copyright 2018 WBTV. All rights reserved.