Candidate Filing Wraps for 2024 Elections in North Carolina
Friday marked the end of the candidate filing period for the 2024 North Carolina General Assembly elections, giving us a final look at who’s running and where next year.
One of the biggest surprises came Friday morning when Republican Krista Bokhari filed to run in NC House District 104, which covers areas in south Charlotte including Barclay Downs, Beverly Woods, Carmel, Foxcroft, Oakhurst, Olde Providence, Sharon Woods, SouthPark, Stonehaven and Quail Hollow.
Bokhari is a political newcomer, though she’s a familiar name in Charlotte as she is married to current Republican Charlotte City Council District 6 rep Tariq Bokhari. She’ll face an uphill battle in her race against Democratic incumbent Brandon Loftin, however, as the district has leaned heavily Democratic in the most recent state and federal elections. Lofton has represented the 104th district since 2019.
Also facing an uphill battle, though as an incumbent, is Diamond Staton-Williams, whose NC House District 73 in Cabarrus County has been redrawn by conservative lawmakers to now lean heavily right. While some representatives have shifted districts or even races in response to the gerrymandered redrawing, Staton-Williams proudly filed for reelection on Friday.
“The new reality of these gerrymandered districts may be discouraging … but I see nothing but opportunity,” she wrote in a tweet on Friday. “The people of Cabarrus County and my redrawn HD-73 deserve someone who is going to fight for them.”
The end of filing on Friday also meant that Charlotte will have two new Democratic reps, as neither Aisha O. Dew in House District 107 nor Jordan Lopez in House District 112 will face any opposition. Dew is a longtime arts advocate and political activist in Charlotte, while Lopez is an east Charlotte native who will replace Tricia Cotham in District 112.
Sandwich Max Set to Reopen in HUB 933
Having closed its South End location in April after 30 years in business, beloved sub shop Sandwich Max is returning with a new location in the former Paper Plane space, part of HUB 933 on Louise Avenue in the Belmont neighborhood.
Management at the restaurant told us on Friday that they are waiting on one more piece of paperwork from the city and they are ready to open as soon as they get it signed, possibly as early as Monday, Dec. 18.
The sandwich shop has been family-owned-and-operated since opening in 1993, but has been operating solely as a ghost kitchen out of South End Eats since the closing of their last remaining location in April.
“Compared to the 20,000 Subway locations across the US, Sandwich Max made deceptively simple sandwiches with great ingredients at reasonable prices,” wrote QC Nerve contributor Sam Spencer in our recent Best in the Nest issue’s Obituaries section. “In hip neighborhoods where it seems like every restaurant is striving for James Beard awards and hundred-dollar covers, spots that provide good food at fair prices should be protected at all costs.”
LISC Announces New Housing Investment Fund
Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Charlotte announced Thursday the second iteration of the Charlotte Housing Opportunity Investment Fund, set to invest in projects that will bring more affordable housing to the city.
Charlotte Housing Opportunity Investment Fund II aims to preserve existing affordable housing and build more to support residents earning up to 120% of the area median income, building on a $5-million investment from new partner First Citizens Bank, which joins commitments from existing partners Ally, Duke Energy, and Fifth Third Bank, according to a release on Thursday.
The initial fund, which raised $53 million, has supported the development of 1,500 affordable housing units across Charlotte, with 95% of those apartments available to those earning 80% or less of the area median income. The new fund will prioritize mixed-income, multi-family rental developments.
Gantt Center Announces New CEO
Bonita Buford has been named as the next president and CEO of the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture in Charlotte, N.C., the museum announced Friday.
Chief operating officer at the Gantt Center since February 2015, Buford began work as a consultant with what was then the Afro-American Cultural Center in 2005 and in July 2011 was named director of communications and operations.
She will replace the outgoing president and CEO David Taylor, who announced in November that he would be stepping down at the end of the year. He served 14 years in the position.
“The Gantt is a beacon for showcasing Black excellence and I am excited to become the next President & CEO,” Buford said in a release on Friday. “I look forward to honoring our founders’ mission, providing exceptional arts, cultural, and educational experiences that have been transformational in the community for the past 50 years.
“The Gantt serves as ‘brave space’ telling African American and African diaspora stories through exhibitions and programs; and a ‘safe space’ where the community can explore and engage with African American culture,” she continued. “I am honored to lead our team towards that future and to continue to work alongside the staff, board, partners, supporters, and the community-at-large.”
Teen Faces Charges in Deadly Garinger Wreck
A 17-year-old Garinger student is now facing charges related to a wreck that killed a 15-year-old classmate last week. At approximately 9:25 a.m. on Dec. 7, first responders were called to a single-vehicle crash on Shamrock Drive just east of Eastway Drive, where they located a 2010 Mazda 3 with extensive damage on its side off the roadway. Four juveniles were located outside of the vehicle with injuries. MEDIC transported three with serious injuries and one with life-threatening injuries to Atrium Health Main.
The preliminary investigation indicated that the driver of the Mazda was traveling westbound on Shamrock Drive when the vehicle veered off the left side of the roadway, went airborne and flipped. The three unrestrained passengers were ejected from the vehicle, while the driver, who was wearing a seatbelt, remained in the car until it came to rest. All four of the kids are students at Garinger High School.
On Sunday, at approximately 4:45 p.m., one of the passengers, 15-year-old Allisson Mejia, was pronounced dead at Atrium Health Main due to the injuries she sustained in the crash. On Friday, CMPD announced that the 17-year-old driver has been charged with speeding, driving with no operators license, and misdemeanor death by motor vehicle.
Mejia was the 64th person killed in a vehicle-related incident on Charlotte streets this year, surpassing last year’s total of 61.
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