Tasty mix of pork and politics plays to big crowds at Mallard Creek Presbyterian Church

(Source: David Whisenant-WBTV)
(Source: David Whisenant-WBTV)
Updated: Oct. 25, 2018 at 5:37 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - It’s one of the biggest events of any election year, even though it takes place every year. The annual BBQ at the Mallard Creek Presbyterian Church draws thousands with its flavorful mix of pork and politics.

Several dozen candidates, ranging from local races to the US House turned out to meet voters at the Mallard Creek Barbecue on Thursday.

“Whether you’re a political candidate or just hear for the good food, it’s a great time," said NC Senate candidate Nora Trotman.

“Good food, good fellowship, and good friends, you can’t beat that," added Khalif Rhodes, Chief Magistrate in Mecklenburg County. "I talked to a couple, they didn’t talk about politics, they talked about the temperature.”

For many this is a family tradition, and it’s now in its 89th year. Being so close to Election Day made it a must stop for candidates over the years.

It gives candidates a chance to speak with voters in an informal environment.

“I am a big advocate for public education because our state has not been getting education right for too many years," said NC Senate candidate Natasha Marcus.

“I think a lot of things are going to be decided in this election about who we are as a people and we are going as a country," added Mecklenburg County Commissioner Trevor Fuller.

“I think that at the Court of Appeals we need folks with wide experience to be on the court," said John Arrowood, the only judge from Mecklenburg County currently serving on the NC Court of Appeals.

“Sometimes I wonder if it’s insanity to run for office, but in this day and time it’s almost insanity not to step out and do something to make a difference," said Bobbie Shields, a first time candidate for the NC Senate.

SOT (Karen McCallum, Candidate for District Court Judge)

“I’m running because there is a movement in this country where people of color and women particularly are not being heard," said Karen McCallum, a candidate for District Court Judge.

“Biggest issues on the ballot are those six amendments and people wanting to know exactly what they are," added Mary Belk, running for reelection for district 88 in the NC House.

The highest profile race is for the 9th congressional seat with democrat Dan McCready facing republican Mark Harris. Both admit it’s a close race.

“This has emerged as one of the toughest, toughest battles in the whole country and there’s a big difference on the ballot," McCready said.

“People can sometimes fall asleep," said Harris. "I think that when people watched the debacle that was the confirmation hearing for Brett Kavanaugh, it awakened a sleeping giant.”

Crowds were steady all day and the drive through was particularly busy. Volunteers with the church planned on staying on Thursday night to clean everything up.

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