Charlotte Magazine
The Money Follows Image Credit: Charlotte Magazine
The Money Follows Image Credit: Charlotte Magazine

The Money Follows

Outside contributions reflect Charlotte’s growing political profile

Greg Lacour

DAN MCCORKLE, a veteran Democratic political consultant in Charlotte, was working on a pair of City Council campaigns over the summer when he learned of an unexpected endorsement for one of them, at-large candidate Dimple Ajmera. “People For the American Way endorsed Dimple,” McCorkle says in September, a week a† er Ajmera survived a contentious Democratic primary. “I was like, ‘What? That’s Norman Lear’s group, isn’t it?’ ”

PFAW is a Washington-based liberal advocacy group, founded in 1981 by longtime television and film producer Lear and the late congresswoman Barbara Jordan as a counterweight to the Moral Majority. It donates millions to liberal candidates and causes, but isn’t known for involvement in local elections. That, like so much else in American politics, has changed this year—and in a way that highlights how politics in Charlotte and other cities increasingly carry consequences felt far outside city limits. In May, PFAW launched a program,

Next Up Victory Fund, to “support young progressive candidates running for state and local office across the country by providing endorsements and direct contributions,” according to a news release. The organization had endorsed 23 candidates as of late September: six for New York City Council; 13 for Virginia legislature; one for Florida governor; and three, including Ajmera, for city council seats in North Caro


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