Richard Vinroot

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Richard Vinroot
52nd Mayor of the City of Charlotte
In office
1991–1995
Preceded by Sue Myrick
Succeeded by Pat McCrory
Charlotte City Council At Large
In office
1983–1989
Personal details
Born (1941-04-14) April 14, 1941 (age 73)
Political party Republican
Residence Charlotte, North Carolina
Alma mater University of North Carolina

Richard A. Vinroot (born 14 April 1941) is a Republican political figure and attorney from Charlotte, North Carolina. He served as the 52nd Mayor of the City of Charlotte from 1991–1995, and ran unsuccessfully for Governor of North Carolina in 1996, 2000, and 2004.

Early life[edit]

The son of a Swedish immigrant, Richard Vinroot flourished in Mecklenburg County schools becoming student body president at East Mecklenburg High School and selected as Teenager of the year. Vinroot became a high school all-star athlete in three sports and captained the basketball and football teams. Vinroot won a Morehead Scholarship to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He served as class president in his junior and senior years. Vinroot's height is billed at 6'7", and he is well known for having played college basketball for legendary coach Dean Smith at the University of North Carolina, where he earned a bachelor's degree and a law degree in 1963 and 1966, respectively.

Vinroot married his wife Judy (Allen) Vinroot, whom he met while both were students at UNC. They have three children, Dr. Richard Vinroot Jr., Laura Vinroot Poole, and Katy Vinroot O’Brien, all of whom graduated from UNC.

Military[edit]

After law school Vinroot, volunteered for duty in the U.S. Army and became a combat veteran of the Vietnam War. He was awarded a Bronze Star Medal.

Political career[edit]

Vinroot was a member of the Charlotte City Council from 1983 to 1991 and served as mayor of Charlotte from 1991 to 1995. As mayor, Vinroot was successful in establishing a Taxpayer Protection Act, limiting growth of the city’s budget. He created the state’s first “drug court” to speed prosecutions. A national magazine named him Municipal Leader of the Year. Vinroot decided against running for a third term in order to focus full-time on his first run for North Carolina governor in 1996. Vinroot lost in a close primary to then-state representative Robin Hayes of Kannapolis. Hayes went on to lose the general election to incumbent governor Jim Hunt.

Vinroot ran again for governor in 2000, and secured the Republican nomination over state representative N. Leo Daughtry. He faced North Carolina's attorney general, Mike Easley, in a bitterly contested election. Despite a favorable national Republican tide that won North Carolina for George W. Bush, Democrat Mike Easley won by 52% to 46%, and succeeded fellow Democrat Jim Hunt as Governor. In the closing weeks of the race, actor Andy Griffith filmed an ad endorsing Easley, which some observers believe led to Easley's victory, called the "Mayberry Miracle".[1]

In 2004, Vinroot attempted a third run for governor, but never made it past the Republican primary. He conceded the race to Wilmington State Senator Patrick J. Ballantine, who lost to Easley in November, 55.62% to 42.88%.

Since his retirement from politics, Vinroot has served on the boards of Martin-Marietta Materials, Inc. and the North Carolina Institute for Emerging Issues. He also was appointed to the search committee for the next chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2012.[2]

Legal practice[edit]

Vinroot's legal practice at the Charlotte-based firm of Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson concentrates in the areas of civil litigation including construction, labor, employment discrimination, and commercial disputes and controversies.[3]

Notes[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Sue Myrick (R)
Mayor of Charlotte, NC
1991 - 1995
Succeeded by
Pat McCrory (R)