Several of Charlotte’s local LGBTQ community organizations came together March 29 to present the Charlotte LGBT+ Community Candidate Fair, among them Carolinas LGBT+ Chamber, Charlotte Black Pride, Charlotte Pride, Equality NC, the Freedom Center for Social Justice, LGBT Democrats of Mecklenburg County, Log Cabin Republicans of NC, and Qnotes

Over 50 candidates running for local, state and federal offices attended the event, including candidates running for Charlotte City Council, Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners, judicial races, General Assembly races, and candidates for the 12th and 14th Congressional Districts. 

“I’ve got a lot of friends that are running for office here at the event,” says community member Jenny-James Gunn. “Being part of the LGBT+ Chamber, I love the fact that this is an LGBT-centered event and also the political community – both sides of the aisle – are here and making themselves available. I say this all the time, ‘if you ignore democracy, it can go away.’ This engagement, [this] civic engagement, is what we always need to keep democracy thriving in Charlotte, North Carolina.” 

Kendrick Cunningham

If elected, Democrat Kendrick Cunningham would be the city’s first non-binary elected official. Cunningham is running for the city’s second district.

LaWanna Mayfield

LaWanna Mayfield, a Democrat, was the first openly LGBTQ+ woman elected to the Charlotte City Council representing District 3. Mayfield originally assumed office in 2011 and held the position for two terms (eight years), remaining in office until 2019.  This time around she’s running with an impressive history of experience for an at-large council position in an effort to better serve all Charlotteans. 

Billy Maddalon

Billy Maddalon is a Democratic candidate who previously served as the city’s first openly gay councilman in 2013. Previously appointed to fill the space vacated by Patsy Kinsey when she took over the mayor’s position from Anthony Foxx, who was appointed as then Secretary Of Transportation, this time Maddalon is actually running for the office in District One, with the experience of having served in the role previously under his belt.

Kyle Luebke

Kyle Luebke, an at-large city council candidate and a Log Cabin Republican, is the first openly gay Republican to run for Charlotte City Council. 

Danté Anderson

Danté Anderson, also a Democrat and a member of Charlotte’s LGBTQ community, she is running for District One. 

President & CEO of the Carolinas LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce Chad Turner  addressed the candidates directly about the importance of the event, and offered appreciation for their involvement. 

“The reason why we do this event like this is that most of you sit in forums on stages and answer the same questions the same way all the way through the forum,” Turner offered. “We don’t learn who you are. We don’t learn what you are going to do, [unless] we allow our community to ask you questions about what concerns them, their households, their businesses, their families [and] their workplaces. So, [we’re] grateful that you’re here today.”

PHOTO GALLERY:

Kourtnee Pope-Kollins, Ms. Gay East Coast USofA Newcomer, performed for the crowded room of candidates and community members. Photo by Chris Rudisill, QnotesCarolinas.com
Kourtnee Pope-Kollins, Ms. Gay East Coast USofA Newcomer, performed for the crowded room of candidates and community members. Photo by Chris Rudisill, QnotesCarolinas.com
Sen. Jeff Jackson (D) and Charlotte City Councilman Tariq Bokhari (R) pose for a photo at Charlotte’s LGBT+ Community Candidate Fair, March 29, 2022 . Photo by Chris Rudisill, QnotesCarolinas.com
Chad Turner, president and CEO of the Carolina LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce, speaks to the crowd at Charlotte’s LGBT+ Community Candidate Fair, March 29, 2022. Tuesday’s event was a collaboration of eight local LGBTQ organizations . Photo by Chris Rudisill, QnotesCarolinas.com
Singer and performer Malachi emceed the LGBT+ Community Candidate Fair at Carolina ESports Hub in Charlotte, March 29, 2022 . Photo by Chris Rudisill, QnotesCarolinas.com
Singer and performer Malachi emceed the LGBT+ Community Candidate Fair at Carolina ESports Hub in Charlotte, March 29, 2022 . Photo by Chris Rudisill, QnotesCarolinas.com
Attendees speak with LaWana Mayfield at the LGBT+ Community Candidate Fair in Charlotte, March 29, 2022. Mayfield was the first LGBTQ+ woman elected to Charlotte City Council. Photo by Chris Rudisill, QnotesCarolinas.com
A voter speaks with Sen. Jeff Jackson on Tuesday at the LGBT+ Community Candidate Fair. Jackson is running for the U.S. House of Representatives in North Carolina’s new 14th congressional district . Photo by Chris Rudisill, QnotesCarolinas.com
Candidates and attendees at Charlotte’s LGBT+ Community Candidate Fair, March 29, 2022. Photo by Chris Rudisill, QnotesCarolinas.com
Voters had the chance to have one on one conversations with candidates at Charlotte’s LGBT+ Community Candidate Fair, March 29, 2022. Photo by Chris Rudisill, QnotesCarolinas.com
Voters had the chance to have one on one conversations with candidates at Charlotte’s LGBT+ Community Candidate Fair, March 29, 2022. Photo by Chris Rudisill, QnotesCarolinas.com
Voters had the chance to have one on one conversations with candidates at Charlotte’s LGBT+ Community Candidate Fair, March 29, 2022. Photo by Chris Rudisill, QnotesCarolinas.com
Over 50 candidates vying for local, state and federal offices attended the LGBT+ Community Candidate Fair in Charlotte, March 29, 2022. Photo by Chris Rudisill, QnotesCarolinas.com
Over 50 candidates vying for local, state and federal offices attended the LGBT+ Community Candidate Fair in Charlotte, March 29, 2022. Photo by Chris Rudisill, QnotesCarolinas.com
Tables were adorned in rainbows during Tuesday’s LGBT+ Community Candidate Fair in Charlotte, March 29, 2022. Photo by Chris Rudisill, QnotesCarolinas.com
Voters had the chance to have one on one conversations with candidates at Charlotte’s LGBT+ Community Candidate Fair, March 29, 2022. Photo by Chris Rudisill, QnotesCarolinas.com
Local activist Jenny-Jaymes Gunn speaks with Board of Education member and candidate for Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners, Jennifer de la Jara at Charlotte’s LGBT+ Community Candidate Fair, March 29, 2022. Photo by Chris Rudisill, QnotesCarolinas.com
Over 50 candidates vying for local, state and federal offices attended the LGBT+ Community Candidate Fair in Charlotte, March 29, 2022. Photo by Chris Rudisill, QnotesCarolinas.com
Over 50 candidates vying for local, state and federal offices attended the LGBT+ Community Candidate Fair in Charlotte, March 29, 2022. Photo by Chris Rudisill, QnotesCarolinas.com

Photos by Chris Rudisill for Qnotes

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