22 things I learned in 49 minutes with mayoral candidate Edwin Peacock

22 things I learned in 49 minutes with mayoral candidate Edwin Peacock
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On Friday, I went over the Edwin Peacock’s office at 11 am to chat with him about Charlotte’s mayoral race. We sat in a comfortable conference room and chit chatted for 49 minutes.

For those of you that know nothing about local politics, primaries take place on September 15th and the actual election is on November 3rd. If you want to get nerdy, view the 5 Democratic and 2 Republicans in the race on Wikipedia and read the Observer’s story on the 5 key issues.

My meeting with Edwin started off with him bringing out two large scrapbooks of Red Sox baseball star Ted Williams. Like a good politician, he made me like him before I started asking questions.

edwin peacock ted williams charlotte

Here are the 22 things I learned about Edwin.

(1) Edwin has an old school putter and putter machine in the corner of his office. 

I arrived 3 minutes early and took this photo before Edwin walked into the conference room. I’m very surprised that he doesn’t have a more updated putter (Scotty Cameron or something of that nature). This looks like he stole it from mini golf in Myrtle Beach, just saying…

edwin peacock putter charlotte

(2) Edwin can get into the policy weeds because he’s been there.

First question I asked him was “Tell me about Charlotte’s $22 million budget deficit and how we should handle it?” His answer lasted about 8 minutes and I didn’t really have the heart to tell him that I had no clue what he was talking about. He was intense. He was passionate. He knew details on policy that would put you to sleep in 90 seconds. My point…he knew his stuff, cold. And, he knew all the Charlotte players. I’ll leave it up to my man-crush Spanberg (CBJ) or tall/handsome Batten (Observer) or pro Morrill (Observer) or F3er Dunn (Observer) to guide you through the policy discussion.

(3) Edwin loves pepper, the baseball type.

On pepper, “It’s the #1 drill in baseball.” I also appreciate how much he loved his former Charlotte Country Day high school baseball coach, Ed Walton. He referenced Coach Walton several times.

(4) Edwin is into transit.

Edwin’s main transit message is — multimodal and flexible to take advantage of technology. Did I have to google multimodal after the interview? I’m not telling.

(5) Edwin respects Uber

“Uber totally changed the formula…” I wonder if he’s ever grabbed a cup of coffee with Sherrell Dorsey, our Charlotte Uber Marketing Manager? He should. He seemed to love the intersection of transportation and technology.

(6) Edwin eats a crazy healthy breakfast.

I asked him the Agenda go-to question for all interviewees, “What did you eat for breakfast this morning?” Edwin’s response: “Kashi GOLEAN and fruit.” What?! This dude is running for mayor and eating a perfectly balanced breakfast? That’s nuts.

(7) Edwin is NOT into the streetcar, at all.

Let’s just say he will NOT be putting this shirt on Etsy as a campaign fundraiser.

edwin-peacock-streetcar

(8) Edwin has some serious romantic skillz.

For Valentine’s Day, Edwin took his wife Amy to Fenwick’s and after dinner they went to see Still Alice at the Manor Theatre. “As we left, we said that Julianne Moore is going to win best actress and she did.” Well done Edwin, well done. “I married way above my pay grade.”

(9) Edwin’s not that into Atlanta, but I couldn’t get him to hate it on the record.

Edwin: “We have to address our transit issue or we’re going to look like Atlanta.”
Ted: “Our company has a strong anti-Atlanta stance and purposefully hates Atlanta. We talk about it frequently.”
Edwin: “I’m not anti-Atlanta, but I grew up with Atlanta envy on my shoulder because they had pro sports, restaurant and culture.”
Ted: “I’m outwardly anti-Atlanta.”
Edwin: “I went to the University of Georgia…I can’t do that. And, I’m a Dale Murphy fan.”

(10) Edwin believes the city plays a role in supporting the LGBT community.

I asked Edwin what role the city should play as it relates to the LGBT community. He responded: The city has “6,000 employees, you set the standard.” Edwin was against Amendment 1. “That is a socially, moderate stance within the Rebuplican party.”

(11) Edwin respects Dan Clodfelter, but didn’t compliment his mustache.

“Dan has done a very good job in tamping down the concerns about the mayor’s office… He’s frankly made it boring… Dan was given a tough deck of cards and he’s done what I think his assignment was to do.”

I like Dan, I’ve heard him talk a few times and he’s a sharp guy (Davidson, Rhodes Scholar, Yale Law). Seems like Edwin and Dan get along.

(12) Edwin’s children must be questioning their father’s movie judgement and I don’t blame them. 

The last movie Edwin watched with his kids was Anchorman 2. “There shouldn’t be a second.”

(13) Edwin loves baseball, but I thought his high school batting average would be in the high .300’s.

His high school batting average was .343 and during his last year of American Legion, his pitching record was 7-2 (he’s a lefty and could throw mid 80’s). I think we need to test his arm at that mph machine during a Knights game.

(14) Edwin thinks he can win even though party stats say he’s crazy (Democrats: 49.2%, Unaffiliated: 27.4%, Republicans: 22.6%). 

Edwin hopes “party is less important to people when they go in” and that voters see him as “pragmatic, business minded and having taken an independent, critical thinking approach to board service.”

(15) Edwin is focused.

I threw Edwin a curveball while snapping his photo to see if he would bite. He’s a financial planner and registered with Northwestern Mutual. My grandfather purchases two Northwestern Mutual policies for me as an investment vehicle when I was born. They’re relatively complicated. I asked Edwin what I should do with them and he was nice, but didn’t take the sales lead. Focus.

(16) Edwin’s F3 name was altered because he was attacked by an owl.

If you don’t know about F3, read about my experience as a F3 newbie. If you do, this will make sense: “My name before was Mighty Mighty Chicken Hat because I wore a visor. MMCH were my initials. And then one morning running on the corner of Scotland and Providence, I was promptly attacked by a predatory barred owl. I have three talon marks in the back of my head. F3 nickname was altered and changed to Mighty Mighty Owl Bait.” It was kind of awkward because I started to laugh uncontrollably when he told this story. I think Edwin was laughing with me, but I’m not sure. C’mon, owl attacks are kind of funny, right?

(17) Edwin didn’t rule out the city supporting a Major League Soccer franchise.

In terms of the city financially support (referencing the Panthers and Knights)… “I think you’re going to have to see treatment given fairly and equally.” That said, getting an MLS franchise is far from his radar.

(18) Edwin respects Nashville, Dallas and Portland as cities. 

I didn’t ask him if he watches ABC’s TV show Nashville. I’d estimate the chance of him seeing at least one episode is 31%. Maybe he’ll tweet us the answer. (update 8:52 am: he has not seen an episode)

(19) Edwin is into education and the environment. “I believe the mayor should have a more involved role in education… Strong neighborhoods are anchored by strong schools and strong neighborhoods make strong cities.” Also, Edwin spent four years “working on environment policies as the chair of the environment committee… We’re known as a city of trees.”

(20) Edwin killed it with an incredible soup metaphor in regards to the Charlotte art scene. “When you make a great soup? You have meat and you have potatoes. But what makes a really great soup? Spice. And spice is art. Meat is safe. Potatoes, transportation… You want soup to taste like a great Bouillabaisse made in Provence… I want to see the arts be central to our economic development strategy.”


(21) Edwin drinks beer.
“Brewery scene is outstanding. I’m a huge advocate for micro-brews… Big fan of Copper at Olde Meck…brings that true German, authentic beer.” The last beer he had was the Hornet’s Nest from OMB.


(22) Edwin has some solid advice for young Charlotte to plug into their city.
“First and foremost get involved in your neighborhood, which includes your school.” He understands that young people are starting to have this perspective: “Life is not all about money. I want to move to a great city. I want to be part of something.”

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"It's good. I promise." - Ted   Ted Williams