While McCrory could be elected governor this year, other mayors like Gantt have failed to win statewide. Charlotte City Council member David Howard said Foxx could be different because he has crossover appeal to non-Democrats: "He's very pragmatic. He's not totally left or totally right."
Unsurprisingly, Republicans aren't as enamored with Foxx, who has closely aligned himself with Obama's policies. He recently supported a proposed property-tax increase to pay for city capital projects, but the plan fizzled.
"I don't know if Mayor Foxx has ever met a tax increase that he didn't like, which does make him a rising star in the North Carolina Democratic Party," state Republican Party spokesman Rob Lockwood said Monday in an email.
Susan Roberts, a political science professor at Davidson, said Foxx needs to gain more experience and avoid setbacks to position himself for higher office. How he performs and the perception of how smoothly things go this week at the convention are key to how voters will view him.
"His face is the face of Charlotte," Roberts said. "The stakes are very high. ... He will be the one who takes the heat."
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