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Sep 15, 2015

TurnOUT Charlotte Campaign Claims Victory In Primary Election Results

The Coalition Has Been Campaigning for a Pro-Equality City Council

MEDIA CONTACT: Jonah Hermann, Equality NC, (920) 860-1416 -or- jonah@equalitync.org

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Tonight, TurnOUT Charlotte, the first of its kind coordinated campaign applauded the Charlotte municipal primary results. The campaign -- a partnership of Equality NC, MeckPAC, and the Human Rights Campaign -- is praising the victories of candidates who have pledged their support for an LGBT non-discrimination ordinance.

While some are expected to face challengers in the general election, all are widely expected to take seats on the Charlotte City Council. Together, these winning candidates will make up a pro-equality majority. Candidates endorsed by the campaign who won tonight include: Vi Lyles, James (Smuggie) Mitchell, Julie Eiselt, Al Austin, LaWana Mayfield, and John Autry.

While the results of the fourth seat for the at large race looks too close to call, we hope Billy Maddalon will pursue the possibility of a run-off election.

Chris Sgro, executive director of Equality NC said, “We are proud to stand with our partners at MeckPAC and HRC as we all celebrate this victory for Equality. Tonight, we brought home a strong win for the LGBT citizens of the Queen City. City Council now has the votes needed to pass necessary non-discrimination protections for gay and transgender Charlotteans. Although the election is over, we will continue to work with this group.”

Scott Bishop, board chair for MeckPAC added, “Tonight, I am a proud resident of the Queen City. Charlotte is the second largest city in the nation to not have protections in their city ordinances for LGBT citizens. With the results of tonight’s election, we look forward to taking our great city off that list and making Charlotte a place where everyone feels safe and welcomed.”

Marty Rouse, national field director of HRC said, “In March, the Charlotte community was devastated when the city council failed to pass basic LGBT non-discrimination protections. The residents of Charlotte today made their voices heard at the ballot box and voted for a majority of pro-equality candidates -- a victory that brings us one step closer to securing these critically important protections. We look forward to working with our local partners and the new city council to finally pass a city ordinance that protects LGBT Charlotteans from unjust discrimination."

Over the last 4 weeks, the campaign has been talking to voters in the Queen City on behalf of endorsed city council candidates on the phones and at their doors. The campaign was focused singularly on election of a pro-equality city council that will prioritize a vote for and pass non-discrimination protections that extend to LGBT citizens of Charlotte.

ABOUT EQUALITY NC: Equality NC is a statewide organization working to secure equal rights and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender North Carolinians. For more information, please visit w​ww.equalitync.org

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