The November 2017 elections in Mecklenburg County saw major changes in the leadership of the town of Davidson. Then incumbent mayor, John Woods, who had been at the helm of Davidson since 2007, lost the seat to Rusty Knox, with Knox garnering 56.63% of the vote and Woods, 26.14%.
Rusty Knox was not the only newcomer to Davidson’s town hall. Four new town commissioners were also voted into office, leaving only one incumbent who retained his seat.
About Mayor Rusty Knox
The new mayor is the son of former Davidson mayor, Russell Knox, who served the town from 1985 to 1995. In addition to his father, the present Mayor Knox has other relatives who have held office in Mecklenburg County, including his cousin, former Cornelius mayor Gary Knox, and uncles Eddie and Joe, who were mayors of Charlotte and Mooresville, respectively.
The present Mayor Knox is a Davidson native, and a well-known local Realtor and musician. He has been in real estate since 1994, and has recorded two CDs and performed in local venues and events.
He graduated from Pfeiffer College with a B.A. in Health and Parks and Recreation. He’s married to Danielle and has five children and two grandchildren.
Knox is a popular local figure and a lifetime Davidson resident. He has been involved in several nonprofits, including Angels of ’97, Joe Martin ALS Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, Davidson Farmers Market and more.
Defining the future of Davidson
Historic Davidson is well-known for its small-town vibe and tranquil lakeside lifestyle. The direction of the town’s development was one of the most contentious issues during the elections, as citizens weighed the effects that unchecked development would have to its well-loved bucolic appeal.
Knox campaigned against a downtown development proposal supported by then Mayor John Woods, arguing that this would ruin Davidson’s small town values. Many Davidson residents rallied against a “fast development” path for the town, citing repercussions on traffic volume, density, and overall lifestyle.
Another defining issue was Davidson’s involvement in the MI-Connection/Continuum project – a joint undertaking with the towns of Mooresville and Cornelius. Under the project, the area’s Adelphia operations were purchased by the member towns to provide cable and internet systems to residents. The project has been losing money and over the years has cost Davidson millions of dollars to subsidize. During the campaign, Knox vowed to create an exit strategy for the project.
In Davidson’s Winter Newsletter, the new mayor delivered his first Mayor’s Musings post, where he called for unity after the elections. He also announced plans for a pet project dubbed Dinner on the Lawn, where he will seek to connect with residents through community dinners to be held in different neighborhoods. The mayor expressed his hope that these dinners will encourage everyone’s participation in town events and in planning Davidson’s future.
As he puts it, “I am a firm believer in the fellowship of breaking bread together. Food can be a great peace maker and relationship builder. We all want the same thing, we all share the same beliefs, and I believe that we can all find common ground.”