Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles endorses Mike Bloomberg in presidential race

Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles endorses Mike Bloomberg in presidential race
Mayor Vi Lyles speaks to the media after filing for re-election in July. (Source: DAVID T. FOSTER III | The Charlotte Observer)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (The Charlotte Observer) - Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles has become the latest leader to endorse Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg.

Lyles’ endorsement comes as Bloomberg barnstorms the state with visits Thursday to Winston-Salem, Greensboro and Raleigh.

Lyles helped introduce Bloomberg when he opened his Charlotte headquarters in December.

“I am a better mayor because of Mike Bloomberg,” Lyles told a packed crowd. “We’re a better city because of Mike Bloomberg. And I think this country can be a better country because of Mike Bloomberg.”

Bloomberg was in Charlotte in 2018 to announce that the city was a winner of his American Cities Climate Challenge, a designation that has brought the city more than $2 million.

Lyles is the latest in a parade of mayors to back the former New York City leader. The New York Times has reported that the billionaire businessman has benefited from ties to local leaders around the country helped by his philanthropy.

Columbia, S.C., Mayor Stephen Benjamin co-chairs Bloomberg’s national campaign.

Lyles is Bloomberg’s latest Charlotte connection.

Bloomberg hired city council member James Mitchell as state director of his campaign. LaToya Evans, Lyles former campaign spokeswoman, has the same job for Bloomberg’s North Carolina campaign.

Copyright 2020 The Charlotte Observer. All rights reserved.