Bill James

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Charlotte Observer this week endorsed anti-gay Republican Mecklenburg County Commissioner Bill James in his race to keep his seat on the governing board. The endorsement came as news focused on a variety of local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) political matters.

Bill James
In their endorsement, The Charlotte Observer said they had “noticed a recent absence of the inflammatory rhetoric on gays and blacks that’s embarrassed his district and county through the years.”

Members of a local LGBT rights group are taking issue with the endorsement and the newspaper’s thoughts on James’ rhetoric. A statement from the Mecklenburg LGBT Political Action Committee, or MeckPAC, earlier this week called the endorsement into question.

The Observer must have a selective memory and not recall that immediately following the Amendment One vote in May, Mr. James wasted no time in calling for a review of the county’s offering of Domestic Partner Benefits to its gay and lesbian employees,” the statement reads. “A request he renewed as recently as late July. Make no mistake, Bill James does not and has never represented the LGBT constituents in his district. A district that, according to voting records from the May primary was not necessarily entirely in support of Amendment One. MeckPAC encourages the LGBT and straight ally voters in District 6 who voted against Amendment One to also once and for all vote out this embarrassment to Mecklenburg County.”

MeckPAC released their own endorsements this week, tapping James’ challenger, Democrat Connie Green-Johnson, at an event on Wednesday.

Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.