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Charlotte Could Elect First LGBT Councilmember

Charlotte Could Elect First LGBT Councilmember


LaWana Mayfield, an out lesbian, is running in the Democratic primary to become the first openly LGBT member of the City Council in Charlotte, N.C.

Mayfield, a community organizer, is challenging four-term incumbent Warren Turner in the primary scheduled for September 13 for District 3, which encompasses southwest Charlotte. The winner could face a Republican in the general election, although Turner ran unopposed in his last two bids.

Mayfield would be the first openly LGBT person elected to the Charlotte City Council, something only a handful of candidates have tried to accomplish. Reports indicate that she raised $6,000, a considerable sum for the contest, between April and early July. She lists stable property values, economic development, and community safety as key points of her platform.

According to a biography on her website, Mayfield has worked as a supervisor at Red Cross Disaster Services for disasters including Hurricanes Rita and Katrina in 2005. Her community service activities include a board of advisers position for the Charlotte Lesbian and Gay Fund and formerly serving as an executive board member for the Human Rights Campaign.

Mayfield recently joined the roster of out LGBT candidates endorsed by the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund.

"Charlotte deserves an experienced community leader like LaWana Mayfield -- someone who won't be afraid to speak authentically about what it means to be part of the LGBT community there," said Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Victory Fund.

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