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Charlotte mayoral race heats up

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CHARLOTTE -- Pat McCrory has served an unprecedented six terms as mayor of Charlotte, but in order to achieve a seventh, he will now have to win two elections.

On Friday, the deadline to file for municipal elections, school board member Ken Gjertsen, a Republican, announced his candidacy, forcing a primary election against McCrory.

“It’s time for a change in Charlotte,” Gjertsen said. “We’ve got some real problems but I’m the kind of guy who solves problems and we’re going to get them fixed.”

The Republican primary will be held in early September, but another challenge awaits whomever wins. State Rep. Beverly Earle was surrounded by Democratic supporters Friday as she announced that she will run for mayor.

"This is a joyous day. It’s also an important day,” she said. “Charlotte is at a crossroads and is poised for change."

Earle is a seven-term representative from North Carolina District 101. She did not elaborate on her platform but said she is looking to build community support.

“I pray that the good people of Charlotte will open their hearts and their homes to my vision of a great and unified city,” she said.

There will not be a Democratic primary in the mayoral race as the other Democrat, hypnotherapist Andy Silver, dropped out of the race upon hearing that Earle would be in the running.

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