CHARLOTTE — A local candidate for city council has received a national endorsement from a group formed to support the candidacies of out LGBT citizens.

LaWana Mayfield, who is challenging incumbent Warren Turner, has received the national Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund's endorsement.

The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, based in Washington, D.C., this week endorsed LaWana Mayfield, an out lesbian candidate running to unseat incumbent District 3 Charlotte City Councilmember Warren Turner. Mayfield is the fourth openly gay or lesbian person to run for office in Charlotte. If successful, she’d become the city’s first and only openly LGBT elected official.

Mayfield’s campaign is particularly important in Charlotte, which has no city ordinances banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund President Chuck Wolfe says candidates like Mayfield help put a face on otherwise controversial issues.

“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,” Wolfe said in a release posted at the group’s blog.

Mayfield and Turner, who both officially filed their campaigns this week, will face off in their Democratic primary on Sept. 13.

Last year, Turner was accused of both sexist and homophobic behavior and sexual harassment. Though he denied the allegations, a later independent investigation found the complaints consistent and credible. Turner later lost his job as a probation officer with the North Carolina Department of Corrections, though the official reason for his firing stemmed from unrelated activities.

A Republican challenger, Ed Toney, also filed in the District 3 race. : :

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

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