Jennifer Roberts (politician)

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Jennifer Roberts
Mayor Jennifer Roberts Jan 2016.jpg
58th Mayor of Charlotte
In office
December 7, 2015 – December 4, 2017
Preceded by Dan Clodfelter
Succeeded by Vi Lyles
Personal details
Born Jennifer Watson
(1960-04-18) April 18, 1960 (age 58)
Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Manley Roberts
Children 2
Education University of North Carolina,
Chapel Hill
University of Toronto (MA)
Johns Hopkins University (MA)
Website Campaign website

Jennifer Watson Roberts (born April 18, 1960) is an American politician, businesswoman and former diplomat who served as the 58th mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina. She was elected on November 3, 2015[1] having previously served four terms on the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners. In 2012, she was the Democratic nominee for the United States House of Representatives in North Carolina's 9th congressional district.


Roberts was raised in Charlotte, North Carolina. She graduated from East Mecklenburg High School in 1978, and from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which she attended on a Morehead Scholarship. Roberts earned two master's degrees in international affairs from Johns Hopkins University and from the University of Toronto.[citation needed]

She worked as a diplomat for four years with the United States Department of State, serving in the Dominican Republic as a consular officer and then as a political officer on the Mexico desk before returning to Charlotte.[citation needed]

During her years in Charlotte, Roberts has been director of the Mayor’s International Cabinet, a lending officer in international corporate banking at First Union, and executive director of the Charlotte World Affairs Council.[citation needed]

Roberts has served on the boards of ArtsTeach, the Centralina Council of Governments, the Charlotte Chamber, the Girls Scouts Hornets Nest Council, Keep Mecklenburg Beautiful, and the Women’s Commission. She is a recipient of the Maya Angelou Women Who Lead award.[2]

Roberts is a volunteer on children’s issues, alleviating poverty and homelessness, and environmental protection.[3]

2012 Congressional campaign[edit]

In 2012, Roberts ran for election to the U.S. House of Representatives to represent North Carolina's 9th congressional district. Roberts won the nomination on the Democratic ticket after running unopposed in the primary. Roberts was looking to replace incumbent Republican Sue Myrick, who retired in 2012. Roberts was defeated by former state senator Robert Pittenger on November 6, 2012.[4][5] Despite her loss, the race was the most competitive that the 9th district had seen in over a quarter-century. The 9th had been one of the first districts in North Carolina to turn Republican; it and its predecessors have been in GOP hands since 1953.

North Carolina 9th Congressional District 2012 [6]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Robert Pittenger 194,537 51.78
Democratic Jennifer Roberts 171,503 45.65
Libertarian Curtis Campbell 9,650 2.57
Total votes 375,690 100.0

Charlotte mayoral election, 2015[edit]

The 2015 biennial Charlotte mayoral election took place on November 3, 2015. Primary elections were held on September 15, 2015, with primary runoffs held on October 6, as no candidate cleared the 40% threshold. Roberts defeated incumbent Dan Clodfelter in the primary and faced Republican Edwin Peacock III in the general election. Roberts defeated Peacock with just over 52% of the vote.[7] She took office in December 2015.

Charlotte mayoral election, 2017[edit]

Roberts lost in the September 12, 2017 Democratic primary to Vi Lyles.[8] Lyles went on to win the general election against Republican Kenny Smith.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Dan Clodfelter
Mayor of Charlotte
Succeeded by
Vi Lyles