Vi Lyles and Kenny Smith gear up for November election

CHARLOTTE -- This year's mayoral election could be historic. If elected, Vi Lyles would be Charlotte's first African-American woman mayor.

"I’m honored that the city would be willing to be put that kind of confidence in my leadership,” said Lyles, Democratic candidate for mayor.

But right now, she's gearing up for a competitive match up against Republican challenger Kenny Smith.

"People are ready for change and they're ready for steady, steady decisive leadership and we think we'll deliver that,” said Smith, Republican candidate for mayor.

They may be different political parties, but the two have some similarities. They've been on city council since 2013, and they both want better jobs, public safety, and infrastructure.

But Smith said the difference between them is clear. He believes Lyles has the same voting record, and supported the same policies as mayor jennifer roberts.     

"My record is not one of flip flop or being indecisive, my record is one of working collaboratively to find consensus and then standing up for what I believe in moving forward,” said Smith.        

But Lyles said its unfair to compare her record to Roberts when technically the mayor doesn't vote that often.

"I think a more appropriate comparison is how did he and I vote together,” said Lyles. “I voted to bring the east and west side with the street car. I voted to support to the non-discrimination ordinance because I believe discrimination by government is wrong."

Another big factor in this election will be money. Right now, Smith has more than $325,000 cash on hand, compared to Lyles who has closer to $43,000. ​