√ ENDORSE = MeckPAC strongly encourages you to vote for this candidate.
Receptive = This candidate expresses some level of support for LGBT equality.
WARNING = MeckPAC strongly discourages support for this candidate.
No Response = Candidate did not respond to MeckPAC’s questionnaire.
No Contact Info – No email contact information for the candidate was found on the Board of Elections site.

The Mecklenburg LGBT Political Action Committee (MeckPAC) has published its slate of endorsements and other voter information for the May 8, 2012, primary election of at-large and district Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioner races. Eleven candidates received endorsements and several across party lines were noted as “receptive” on LGBT issues. Several candidates also opted not to return MeckPAC’s questionnaire, which ranks candidates positions on several LGBT issues at the county level.

Endorsed candidates include at-large Democratic competitors Paul Brown, Pat Cothan, Jyoti Friedland, Marc Gustufson and Gregory Hunt. Jason Bateman, an at-large Libertarian candidate, was also endorsed. In district races, MeckPAC endorsed Democrats Vilma Leake (District 2), George Dunlap (District 3), Dumont Clarke (District 4), Paula Harvey (District 5) and Connie Green-Johnson (District 6).

Two candidates received warnings from the local political action group. MeckPAC strongly encouraged voters not to vote for incumbent Republican Commissioners Karen Bentley (District 1) and Bill James (District 6). Bentley and James both have a lengthy and outspoken anti-gay record. Bentley is running unopposed in her District 1 GOP primary. For the first time in a decade, James faces competition from inside his own party; challenger Ed Driggs did not return a MeckPAC questionnaire.

MeckPAC is a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization. MeckPAC evaluates candidates in city and county elections and evaluates them on their responses to questionnaires, in-person interviews, and other criteria including past performance when applicable. The group’s ratings do not take into account where candidates might stand on issues other than those directly related to LGBT equality.

MeckPAC is registered with the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections and therefore involves itself only in political advocacy with city and county government in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. Specifically the organization focuses on Charlotte City Council and Mayor, Mecklenburg County Commission and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education. In the May 8 Primary Election, Mecklenburg County Commission is the only one of these local governing bodies on the ballot.

To find out which County Commission district you live in, go to meckboe.gov.

Learn more about MeckPAC and download its 2012 primary election voter guide at meckpac.org. : :