From protests to politics: Braxton Winston wins Charlotte City Council at-large bid

From protests to politics: Braxton Winston wins Charlotte City Council at-large bid
Updated: Nov. 8, 2017 at 6:14 AM EST
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - There will be several new faces on the Charlotte City Council this year, but Braxton Winston may be one of the most recognizable of the newly-elected council members.

Many Charlotte residents became familiar with Winston during the unrest that followed the Keith Lamont Scott shooting in September 2016. At the time, crowds of people flocked to the streets to protest police injustice. Winston was among those crowds, but now he's turned his attention to politics.

Winston, a democrat, garnered the second-most votes among those vying for at-large bids on the council Tuesday night. A crowd of his supporters gathered at the VBGB restaurant to await election results.

As it became clear that Winston would be elected to the council, his supporters started to congratulate him.

"We're excited. We feel like we ran the campaign that we set out to do," Winston said. "We were very intentional about it from day one. We wanted to go to every part of Charlotte with a clear and consistent message of a more accessible, equitable and interconnected city."

Winston will be one of a few different millennials who were elected to the council this year. He has high hopes for the new leaders.

"It's all good to bring 'new,' but we have to create a continuum between the past, the present and to the future to know has worked and what hasn't and build on it," said Winston.

He said his main priority is still making a Charlotte a city where more people can be economically mobile.

"I'm a working person. I work for wages. I don't make a lot of money, so the system is not set up for me to run for office," said Winston. He hopes to create more opportunities for more citizens in the city.

Among those supporting Winston Tuesday evening was current Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts.

"I just was kind of chuckling. I'm here supporting Braxton. About a year ago he was calling for my resignation," the mayor said jokingly.

As Roberts prepares to leave political office, Winston will do the opposite. Roberts is happy with the new crop of council members that have been elected to serve the city.

"I'm really proud to see the council that's gonna continue to carry forward the values that I brought to the city as well," said Roberts.

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