Charlotte City Council
Members of the Charlotte City Council listen to a speaker during the Citizens Forum section of the meeting on Monday, May 23, 2016. The City Council decided to take the discussion of the repeal of the city's anti-discrimination ordinance off the agenda for the meeting. David T. Foster III

By Jim Morrill, The Charlotte Observer

Incumbent City Council member Claire Fallon, who’s leaving the council after losing last month’s primary, also plans to leave the Democratic Party.

Fallon, 82, said she plans to change her registration to unaffiliated when her term expires in December. She was first elected at-large in 2011.

“My party left me a long time ago,” she told the Observer. “The party never wanted me. Never supported me really.… They’ve been trying for six years to get rid of me. I’m not a rubber stamp, nor do I intend to be.”

Fallon claimed the party “worked against” her in last month’s primaries. She finished sixth in the race for four at-large nominations. Mecklenburg Democratic Chair Jane Whitley said that’s not because the party opposed her.

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“That absolutely is not true,” Whitley said. “The voters made their choice and they chose other people.”

A Democratic Women’s group gave Fallon $1,700 in 2015.

Fallon has often taken positions at odds with those of other Democrats on council. She has been a critic of Mayor Jennifer Roberts as well as Mayor Pro Tem Vi Lyles, the Democratic nominee for mayor.

Fallon said she supports Republican council member Kenny Smith for mayor.

Democratic consultant Dan McCorkle, who worked for Fallon, said he’s not surprised. Voting records show Fallon voted in GOP primaries at least from 2002 to 2008. Last year she gave $200 to GOP Rep. Bill Brawley of Matthews.

“Claire did not represent my Democratic values anymore,” McCorkle said.

Jim Morrill: 704-358-5059@jimmorrill

This article was originally published by The Charlotte Observer.

Editor’s note: Claire Fallon voted last year against expanding Charlotte’s non-discrimination ordinance to protect LGBTQ citizens. 

She falsely claimed that the public forum only heard from the side in favor, despite a sizable number of citizens voicing opposition to expanding the ordinance.

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