Under the Dome

What is the Queen City Curse?


A long-running losing streak for Charlotte mayors who seek statewide office.

Every person who's held the office since 1979 has lost a state campaign for governor or U.S. Senate in either the primary or general election.

The first was Eddie Knox, who lost to Rufus Edmisten in the Democratic gubernatorial primary in 1984. In 1990 and 1996, Harvey Gantt lost to U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms in the general election.

In 1992, Sue Myrick lost to Lauch Faircloth in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate. 

In 1996, Richard Vinroot lost to Robin Hayes in the Republican gubernatorial primary. He won the nomination in 2000, but then lost to Gov. Mike Easley. In 2004, he again lost the gubernatorial primary. 

In fact, the last candidate from Charlotte to win a statewide election for either senator or governor was Gov. Cameron Morrison in 1920. Some also point to Gov. Jim Martin, a former head of the Mecklenburg County commissioners who listed his address as Lake Norman in Iredell County.

The phrase "Queen City curse" has been in use since at least the mid-1990s. 

In 2008, the curse was mentioned when longtime mayor Pat McCrory kicked off a bid for the Republican gubernatorial primary.

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