State senator named Charlotte mayor
Posted April 7, 2014
Updated April 8, 2014
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte's city council on Monday chose a lawyer and state senator as its new mayor to replace Patrick Cannon, who resigned last month in a public corruption scandal.
Members picked Sen. Dan Clodfelter, D-Mecklenburg, to finish the two-year term Cannon started in December.
Cannon resigned less than two weeks ago after being arrested on federal corruption charges. Federal prosecutors say Cannon accepted more than $48,000 in bribes from FBI agents posing as businessmen who wanted to work with North Carolina's largest city.
Members of the majority-Democrat council had been deadlocked for more than a week on who should be the city's next mayor. Clodfelter was on the city council before being elected to the General Assembly in 1998.
He wasn't present for the council meeting but went to the city government center after he was appointed.
"We will move on from this," Clodfelter said about the scandal surrounding Cannon.
Asked whether he would run for re-election when his term is up, he told a group of reporters: "I have said I don't have long-term plans to do this."
Gov. Pat McCrory, who was Charlotte's mayor from 1995 to 2009, released a statement Monday evening on Clodfelter's appointment.
“Charlotte is a city that I served and love. I look forward to working with Dan, who I served with on city council," McCrory said. "It's time to restore the public’s trust by serving the city with the highest of ethical standards.”
Clodfelter, 63, is a Davidson College graduate who went to the University of Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship and earned a law degree from Yale University.
His legal practice emphasizes advising companies on antitrust and unfair trade practices matters, including mergers and acquisitions, according to the website of Moore & Van Allen, the law and lobbying firm where McCrory, a Republican, worked until days before he was sworn in as governor.
Before 2011, when fellow Democrats controlled the state Senate, Clodfelter was chairman of the influential tax-writing committee and specialized in complicated tax and finance issues.
"Sen. Clodfelter's character has never been questioned, and his unblemished reputation will serve the city of Charlotte well during this difficult time," state Senate leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, said in a prepared statement Monday.
Clodfelter will resign his Senate seat Tuesday is expected to be sworn in as mayor Wednesday, becoming the city's fourth mayor within a year, a turnover sparked when Anthony Foxx resigned last summer to become U.S. transportation secretary. Patsy Kinsey was the city's interim mayor between Foxx and Cannon.
Mecklenburg County Democratic activists will meet to choose a replacement to fill out the remainder of his Senate term.
McCrory is obligated by law to appoint their choice.