Why Edwin Peacock Might Want To Think Twice About That Run For Mayor

He's setting himself up for a potential victory, sure — and a hell of a time trying to govern

Poor Edwin Peacock can win Charlotte’s mayoral race only by painting himself into a corner opposite his party brethren in Raleigh, which makes me wonder why on earth he wants the job.

OK, not really, I know why he wants it — positioning, pride, a chance to get the mayor’s office back in GOP hands and advance the family name. But the actual job would be somewhat hellish, for a reason we can infer from a line in Jim Morrill’s Observer story from the state GOP convention Friday: “For Peacock, any path to success involves capturing independents and moderate Democrats.”

And this is a problem — not electorally, but in terms of the line he’d have to toe to remain in the good graces of the Red Menace in Raleigh, which is going to be squatting in the Legislative Building for years to come. This is a body that has shown a willingness (if not outright desire) to punish Charlotte for being a blue island in the sea of red, and I don’t think that would change much with a nominal Republican back in the mayor’s office.

Because Peacock showed himself — in his two terms on the City Council and in his unsuccessful bid for the 9th District U.S. House seat that Bob Pittenger ended up winning — to be something less than a Tea Party purist. He publicly opposed Amendment One. As a council member, he chaired the Environment Committee and voted for an expanded green-space requirement for developers. (Environazi.) He’s a small businessman, sure, but also a pragmatic public servant from a long line of them, not a bomb-throwing Elmer Gantry with an MBA and power tie.

This might well win Peacock the election — he’s virtually even with Patrick Cannon in the polls, and he’s lassoed political veterans Jack Hawke, Russell Peck and Chance Lambeth to work on his campaign as they did last year on Pat McCrory’s.

But it won’t win him many friends in Raleigh. If he wins, he wouldn’t have a much easier time of it than Cannon. In all likelihood, he'd be another Mayor Pat, and sadly, Gov. Pat has rendered Mayor Pat obsolete.

Categories: Poking the Hornet’s Nest