Election results: Bokhari leads Democratic opponent by about 350 votes, other incumbents take easy wins

Election results: Bokhari leads Democratic opponent by about 350 votes, other incumbents take easy wins

Photo: Ashley Mahoney/Axios

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Outspoken council member Tariq Bokhari appears to have reclaimed his seat in a tight rematch with Democrat Stephanie Hand.

Why it matters: Based on unofficial totals, Bokhari is in the lead to serve a fourth term and continue representing the GOP as one of only two Republicans on council.

  • Hand would be the first Democrat to hold the District 6 seat in its history. She had not conceded as of late Tuesday night and is awaiting final results from provisional ballots.

By the numbers: Bokhari is 352 votes ahead of Hand. In the July 2022 election, Hand came just 357 votes shy of defeating Bokhari as a first-time candidate.

  • By the end of early voting, about 1,000 more registered Democrats had cast ballots than registered Republicans. That was a substantial contrast from the 2022 election, when the difference was about 400 votes.
  • Throughout election night, though, Hand’s lead dwindled as results from precincts rolled in.

The big picture: There will probably only be one new face on Charlotte City Council. Newcomer Tiawana Brown was elected to the seat Victoria Watlington is vacating. Watlington, District 3’s current representative, was elected to an at-large seat.

Let’s take a closer look at the results in other Charlotte City Council races.

Mayor: Vi Lyles, a Democrat, will serve a fourth term. She overwhelmingly defeated her Republican and Libertarian challengers with 74% of votes.

At-Large: Democrats Dimple Ajmera, James “Smuggie” Mitchell and LaWana Slack-Mayfield reclaimed their seats. Watlington will replace outgoing member Braxton Winston, who is running for North Carolina Commissioner of Labor.

  • The top vote-getter was Watlington with 65,580 votes, followed by Ajmera’s 65,337. Traditionally, the top vote-getter is elected mayor pro tem. But last year, council passed over Ajmera in favor of Winston.

District 3: Brown defeated the Republican candidate, James H. Bowers, with 79% of the votes. Brown had the advantage. Only 13% of registered voters in District 3 are Republican.

The majority of council did not face opponents in the general election. Incumbents who will serve again are Dante Anderson (District 1), Malcolm Graham (District 2), Renee Perkins Johnson (District 3), Marjorie Molina (District 5) and Ed Driggs (District 7).

Here are the unofficial results for other local races as of late Tuesday night.


  • Mayor: Woody Washam is in the lead with 13 votes over Denis Bilodeau.
  • Commissioners: Scott Higgins, Susan Johnson, Michael Osborne, Todd Sansbury and Robert Carney


  • Mayor: Rusty Knox
  • Commissioners: Autumn Rierson Michael, Tracy Mattison Brandon, Matthew Dellinger, Ryan Fay and Steve Justus


  • Mayor: Christy Clark
  • Commissioners: Jennifer Hunt, Nick Walsh, Edwin Quarles, Alisia Bergsman, Amanda Dumas and LaToya Rivers


  • Mayor: John Higdon
  • Commissioners: Gina Hoover, Mark Tofano, Renee Garner, Ken McCool, Leon Threatt and John Urban

Mint Hill

  • Mayor: Brad Simmons
  • Commissioners: Dale Dalton, Tony Long, Twanna Henderson and Patrick Holton


  • Mayor: David Phillips is in the lead with 28 votes over Ed Samaha.
  • Council: Amelia Stinson-Wesley
    • Eric Fransen and Danielle A. Moore are tied at 624 votes each as of late Tuesday.
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