News

Charlotte City Council Selects Dan Clodfelter ’72 as Mayor

by Bill Giduz
Dan Clodfelter ’72
Dan Clodfelter ’72

N.C. State Senator Dan Clodfelter '72 has been named Mayor of Charlotte.

Clodfelter was elected by the members of the Charlotte City Council on which he once served, following the resignation of former Mayor Patrick Cannon, who has been arrested on corruption and bribery charges. Clodfelter, a State Senator since 1999, will complete Cannon's unfinished term, serving until 2015.

On April 1, the Charlotte Observer published an editorial titled, "Dan Clodfelter has what Charlotte needs."

"Clodfelter would be the best pick..." the editorial board wrote. "He was among the most influential senators when Democrats controlled that chamber and even today remains respected in the capital-a valuable trait for a Charlotte leader these days. He has the leadership ability to help Charlotte navigate this unprecedented rebuilding job. And importantly: His integrity has never been questioned."

Davidson President Carol Quillen said, "Congratulations to Dan on his election to Mayor of Charlotte. Dan is a remarkable and dedicated leader and has been an incredible asset to the Davidson College community for more than 40 years. We look forward to the great impact Dan will have on the Charlotte region. It's a great day to be a Wildcat!"

Clodfelter is an attorney with Moore & Van Allen, PLLC, who served on Charlotte City Council 1987-1993. He was a philosophy major at Davidson and earned his law degree from Yale.

At Davidson, Clodfelter was active in student government, and served as SGA President his senior year. He was on the debate team, and served as the student representative on several trustee and faculty committees. He was once featured on national television as one of Ralph Nader's "Raiders" because of his advocacy for better working conditions in the textile mills of Kannapolis. He graduated cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa as Davidson's 17th Rhodes Scholar. His hometown of Thomasville, N.C., celebrated the honor with a Daniel G. Clodfelter Day.

Davidson awarded him its Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2007. The citation accompanying the award praised him for a distinguished career in which he brought tenacity and open-mindedness to legal and political tasks; for the high standard of ethics he brought to his twin professions; for the recognition by his peers, and for the distinction he reflects upon Davidson through his achievements.

After two years at Oxford and at Yale, Clodfelter and his wife Elizabeth Bevan returned to North Carolina, where he clerked for U.S. District Court Judge James B. McMillan in Charlotte. He joined Moore & Van Allen in 1978. His practice there emphasizes counseling and litigation involving federal and state antitrust and unfair trade practices, including mergers and acquisitions, and litigation and advice relating to zoning, land use, and planning law.

Since 1982 he has served as a trustee of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, Inc., and on numerous community and statewide non-profit boards and advisory bodies. His past service includes the Charlotte Planning Board, the Chief Justice's Commission on the Future of the Courts in North Carolina, the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Center for Public Policy Research, and the Board of Directors of Legal Services of Southern Piedmont.

Clodfelter and Elizabeth Bevan have two daughters who graduated from Davidson, Julia Clodfelter '05 and Catherine Clodfelter '09.

He is the 12th Davidson alumnus to serve as Charlotte mayor since 1879. Most recently, Anthony Foxx '93 served in that office before being tapped by President Barack Obama in 2013 as Secretary of Transportation. The full roster is:

  • Francis Irwin Osborne (class of 1872) - mayor, 1879 to 1880
  • William C. Maxwell (class of 1873) - mayor, 1883 to 1884
  • Franklin Brevard McDowell (class of 1869) - mayor, 1887 to 1891
  • Robert Joseph Brevard (class of 1867 but did not graduate) - mayor, 1891 to 1895
  • Peter Marshall Brown (class of 1880) - mayor, 1901 to 1905
  • James Oscar Walker (class of 1901) - mayor, 1921 to 1924
  • Harvey W. Moore (class of 1905) - mayor, 1924 to 1926
  • George E. Wilson Jr. (class of 1910 but didn't graduate here) - mayor, 1929 to 1931
  • Ernest M. Currie (class of 1916) - mayor, 1941 to 1943
  • John M. Belk (class of 1943) - mayor, 1969 to 1977
  • Anthony Foxx (class of 1993) - mayor, 2009 to 2013