Charlotte mayor casts tie-breaking vote for city council replacement

FILE - In this Nov. 1, 2017, file photo, Charlotte Mayor Pro Tem Vi Lyles answers a question during a mayoral debate. Lyles is opposed by Charlotte City Councilman Kenny Smith in the general election. Lyles claimed victory Tuesday night, Nov. 7, in the race to become the next mayor of North Carolina's largest city. (AP Photo/Skip Foreman, File)

CHARLOTTE — Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles broke a 5-5 deadlock to appoint former District 4 Councilman Greg Phipps to an at-large position on the Charlotte City Council Monday.

The appointment process, preceded by the departure of James “Smuggie” Mitchell to construction firm RJ Leeper, was criticized by other council members.

WBTV reported that Councilman Braxton Winston would not support any of the candidates, saying the merits of the candidates did not receive full discussion.

Phipps was nominated by Councilman Malcolm Graham, who previously served in the General Assembly. Other council members backed Jessica Davis, who Graham defeated in the city’s 2019 Democratic primary for his current seat.

Lyles said after the vote, “To the 143 people who took the time to apply and contact us, I remind you that filing opens in July and I encourage your continued participation in the electoral process.”