Who is Vi Lyles, a Democratic candidate for Charlotte mayor?

Name: Vi Lyles

Political party: Democrat

Age as of Nov. 7, 2023: 70

Campaign website: In development

Occupation: Mayor, Charlotte


Bachelor of Arts, Political Science, Queens University

Master of Public Administration, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Have you run for elected office before? (Please list previous offices sought):

Charlotte City Council (2013 - 2017)

Charlotte Mayor Pro Tem (2015 - 2017)

Charlotte Mayor (2017 – present)

Please list your highlights of civic involvement.

Retired from the City of Charlotte where I was the Budget Director and Assistant City Manager. I created the city’s first capital budget. In 2004, I became the consulting director for the Lee Institute and then for Flynn Heath Holt Leadership. Served as the community outreach director for the 2012 DNC. Following the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott in 2016, I created a 7-point plan to reduce racial and class divisions. I have served on multiple non profit boards during my time in Charlotte.

Describe the leadership that Charlotte’s mayor needs to provide for the City Council and the city at large over the next two years.

Charlotte’s mayor needs to continue to provide the City Council and the city at large opportunity to take on the issues that provide residents quality of life - housing; safety; mobility; and jobs.

What do you see as the most important issues the mayor needs to cultivate solutions for in order to drive Charlotte forward?

While we’ve done a lot of work to make Charlotte a more equitable city, we are still working to finish what we started. Continuing to bring quality jobs that provide a living wage while tackling affordable housing and transportation continues to be the key to economic mobility in the Queen City.

What’s the minimum and the maximum commitment Charlotte should give to the Carolina Panthers for stadium renovations?

While not necessarily a minimum or maximum financial commitment, the stadium needs to be kept up to standard and have improvements made that could make the stadium more competitive. With top of the line facilities, we can be considered for opportunities like hosting a Super Bowl – which would be a major changemaker for our local economy.

Is there an area where you disagree with your party on local or state issues? Why?

As a Democrat, we value healthcare, equitable resources and sustainability – which are all issues that are important and valuable to Charlotte. It’s how we go about the challenges that make the difference.

What one professional or political accomplishment are you most proud of?

While I focused on jobs, affordable housing and transportation to make Charlotte a more equitable city, the creation of the Mayor’s Racial equity initiative is – in many ways – the hallmark of that work. Through the investment, we not only help to transform Johnson C. Smith University – a notable HBCU – but we also cultivate talent to serve our city for years to come.