Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts is one of the most interesting mayors in America, Politico says. David T. Foster III dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com
Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts is one of the most interesting mayors in America, Politico says. David T. Foster III dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

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Do you find Jennifer Roberts interesting? Politico does

By Taylor Batten

Editorial Page Editor

June 26, 2017 11:50 AM

To those of us in Charlotte, Jennifer Roberts is a familiar face – a mainstay on the political scene for well over a decade, a former chair of the Mecklenburg County commissioners, an unsuccessful candidate for Congress and now, of course, the mayor.

To Politico, perhaps the leading national political publication, she is one of “America’s 11 most interesting mayors.”

Go here and you’ll see our own Charlotte native in the most prominent spot of a photo mosaic of 11 mayors. Politico says “it’s easy to forget how much political energy – and important new thinking – emanates not from the nation’s capital but from city hall.”

The piece on Roberts details her support for the non-discrimination ordinance that led to HB2 and her handling of last fall’s Keith Scott shooting, largely seen as underwhelming.

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“If there’s an embodiment of a mayor whose political challenges have taken on national import, it’s Jennifer Roberts,” writes Greg Lacour, a contributing editor to Charlotte Magazine.

“She is struggling to manage HB2’s economic damage and a hostile legislature that blames her for it, and a perception among some in the black community that she will work for their votes but not their well-being.”

Many of the mayors featured in the piece are hailed for their accomplishments, including Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who’s possibly eyeing a run for president.

Roberts, on the other hand, is labeled as “embattled.” We doubt being featured in Politico will help or hurt Roberts in her re-election campaign this fall. But she’ll probably need to be seen as more than just “interesting.”