2018 MIDTERMS ELECTIONS BRIEFS
DEMS DO WELL IN NC APPELLATE RACES
Beyond Anita Earls victory win for the state Supreme Court, there were other statewide judicial victories of note.
For the NC Court of Appeals, incumbent Appellate Judge John Arrowood, Raleigh attorney Toby Hampson and appellate attorney Allegra Collins all won. Once sworn-in, they will serve eight-year terms.
THREE NEW DEMOCRATS ELECTED TO SCHOOL BOARD; TWO TO COUNTY COMMISSION
On Tuesday night, voters elected three Democrats to the New Hanover County School Board – Nelson Beaulieu, Stephanie Adams and Judy Justice. A Republican, Bill Riverbark, was also elected to serve a four-year term.
Voters also elected two Democrats to the NH Board of County Commissioners – incumbent Rob Zapple and former state senator Julia Olson-Boseman. That board now has a Democrat majority, replacing the current Republican board majority.
PETERSON DEFEATS STATE SENATOR LEE BY JUST 38 VOTES
By one of the slimmest victories in local recent memory, Democrat Harper Peterson defeated Republican state Sen. Michael Lee in their Ninth District midterm contest Tuesday night, denying Lee his third term in the NC Senate. The top issue during that race was water quality and the GenX chemical pollution of the Cape Fear River.
In the NC House race, Rep. Deb. Butler , a Democrat, won another term representing District 18 by 62%.
ROUZER WINS THIRD TERM IN CONGRESS
Republican Congressman David Rouzer (R-NC-7)won a third term in Congress in Tuesday’s midterm elections, defeating Democratic challenger Dr. Kyle Horton. Rouzer, however, will serve the next two years in the Republican minority, as Democrats have now won 230 seats in the U.S. House, while the GOP could only muster 205.
DEMOCRATS MAKE GAINS
IN MIDTERM ELECTIONS
By Cash Michaels
The 2018 midterm elections will go down in the history books as the “comeback” contests for Democrats across North Carolina, and in Congress.
Buoyed by one of the largest midterm election voter turnouts in history, Democratic voters, in reaction to the change policies of President Donald Trump and his Republican Party, turned up, and turned out to “take their state and country back” at the polls, in preparation for the next presidential election in 2020 when Trump’s name is expected to be back on the ballot.
It wasn’t the massive “blue wave” that was originally predicted, but it was enough of a renouncement of GOP rule to give Democrats something to leverage for the next big election in two years.
While failing to win the two seats needed to take back the majority in the US Senate, Democrats were victorious in reclaiming the US House for the next two years, and are expected to go after the president with mounting investigations into his business dealings, taxes, and alleged 2016 campaign dealings with the Russians.
Here in North Carolina, the highest notable Democratic victory for a black candidate was for civil rights attorney Anita Earls, who is projected to win a seat on the state Supreme Court with 49%, defeating incumbent Republican Associate Justice Barbara Jackson with 34%, and controversial GOP challenger Chris Anglin at 16%.
“We have a president who believes he can, by executive order, erase the 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution,” atty Earls said during her victory speech. “And we have misguided partisans in our state who believe that they should impeach justices who don’t rule in their favor. By working together over the past year, we’ve shown that we can stand up for the importance of an independent judiciary. Stand up for the principle that no one is above the law. And stand up for the importance of people’s right to vote.”
Associate Justice-elect Earls will now solidify the state High Court’s Democratic majority, making it 5-2.
And the Republican supermajority grip on the NC General Assembly has now been broken, with Democrats picking up enough seats in the state legislature to sustain Gov. Roy Cooper’s vetoes now that the GOP can no longer muster a three-fifths majority in the state House to override.
However, with the good election news for Democrats, came the bad.
Even though two of the proposed six controversial Republican amendments to the state Constitution were defeated – one which would limit the governor’s power to fill judicial vacancies, another to make appointments to the NC Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement – four of them were passed by the voters, the most consequential for African-Americans being the voter ID amendment, which now will give the Republican-led legislature a literal blank check in establishing new laws requiring photo identification at the polls.
Constitutional amendments protecting hunting and fishing in North Carolina, strengthening crime victims’ rights, capping the state income tax at just 7% were also passed. Opponents charged that some of the amendments proposed were paper tigers used to draw more conservative voters to the polls to support the voter ID and capping the income tax amendments. Millions of dollars were spent to convince voters to “nix all six.”
While all three of North Carolina’s Democratic congresspeople – representatives G. K. Butterfield (NC-1); Alma Adams (NC-12) and David Price (NC- 4) – were reelected, Democratic candidate Linda Coleman, who fought a hard, tough race in the Second Congressional District, fell short in her quest to unseat conservative Republican incumbent George Holding.
Butterfield, Adams and Price will now return to Washington in the House majority when the next Congress convenes in January.
In Raleigh, Wake County once again has an African-American sheriff named “Baker.” Democrat Gerald Baker ousted former boss and longtime Sheriff Donnie Harrison to become the sheriff-elect, 55 to 45 percent.
It was Harrison, a Republican, who, over a decade ago, unseated then longtime popular Sheriff John Baker.
Gerald Baker, who just retired last May from the Wake Sheriff’s Department, vowed that if elected, he would hire more deputies of color.