A Great Day for Democrats in North Carolina – 2018 Election Results

Democrats Broke Supermajorities in the North Carolina General Assembly and Won Statewide Judicial Elections

Yesterday, voters from across our state came together to elect dynamic new leadership to the NC General Assembly that will break the Republican supermajorities in both the State House and the State Senate. Based upon vote totals at this time, 6 new members were elected to the State Senate, and 8 new members have been elected to the State House.

The new members of the Senate will be Natasha Marcus, who defeated Jeff Tarte by 11,680 votes, Sam Searcy, who defeated Tamara Barringer by 3,798 votes, Michael Garret, who defeated Trudy Wade by 763 votes, Harper Peterson, who defeated Michael Lee by 36 votes, Kirk DeViere, who defeated Wesley Meredith by 306 votes, and of course Wiley Nickel was elected to a new seat in Wake County. These vote totals are preliminary since provisional ballots as well as absentee ballots will still need to be counted and it could potentially change the outcome in some of these close races. It really speaks to why when we say that every vote counts — we mean it.

In the State House, the victories went to Sydney Batch, Terence Everitt, Brandon Lofton, Ray Russel, Christy Clarke, Joe Sam Queen, and Julie von Haefen. The race of Rachel Hunt remains too close to call since she is only 52 votes down at this time. I’d like to congratulate all of the statewide candidates for judgeships who won, and, in particular, I would like to congratulate the newest member of our State Supreme Court, Anita Earls. Those winning seats on the Court of Appeals were John Arrowood, Toby Hampson, and Allegra Collins.

Unfortunately, four of the proposed constitutional amendments were approved by voters including the one which will require voter I.D.’s in the future. Voters soundly defeated the amendments that would change the way judges are appointed in our state as well as the one which would have changed the makeup of our State Board of Elections and Ethics.

I spent yesterday visiting many of Durham’s voting precincts, and, as the evening went on, I was up until 2:00 am watching vote totals come in in contested General Assembly races and celebrating with those who won statewide judgeships. It was a great and exciting day for NC, and particularly for the Democrats who offered themselves for the consideration of voters.

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Discussing US Politics and Elections with Visiting Group from Australia

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of meeting with a group of visitors from Australia. This impressive group was composed of persons who work with the Australian Government or political groups affiliated with the government. They were spending time here in NC to obtain a better understanding of our overall political climate and the issues facing our state as we approach the upcoming General Election. I was able to provide this group with an overview of how our General Assembly is elected and how we function and operate on a day-to-day basis. I also provided them with an overview of the changes that have occurred in NC over the past decade and of the critical issues facing our state at this time. They asked very thoughtful and intriguing questions which provided them with an opportunity to learn and contrast how we operate here in NC as opposed to how they operate in Australia. I enjoyed meeting this group and I hope that they will stay in touch in the years to come.

This group was part of a program which is sponsored by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and they were a part of the International Visitor Leadership Program. This group included Ms. Claire Angela Bradley, Ms. Julia Elizabeth Dixon, Ms. Carina Mary Lindsay Garland, Ms. Emeline Melissa Gaske, Mr. Jeffrey Alexander McCormack, Mr. Richard Roy Kilpatrick Newton, Mr. Jonathan Persley, Mr. Bryce Maurice Roney, Mr. Brodie Thompson, and Ms. Malwina Wyra. I’d like to thank Mr. Sam Lasris who invited me to meet with this group and who assisted with their visit in NC.

 

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The Cancellation of McKissick For NC Senate Fundraiser Due To Hurricane Florence

In light of the impending and unknown impact of Hurricane Florence, I regretfully inform you that the fundraiser which was scheduled for September 13th at 6:30 pm at the Carolina Theater in Durham in support of McKissick for NC Senate has been canceled. If you would still like to make a donation you can use this link https://goo.gl/sRjio3

This event will be rescheduled once the aftermath of this storm is behind us, and Governor Cooper is available. I will advise you at that time of a new date for the fundraiser. In the interim, I hope and trust that each of you will prepare for the storm, and please help those in need of assistance who may not be fortunate enough to have the resources which each of us possesses to prepare for whatever this hurricane may bring.

My Thoughts and Prayers Are With You,

Senator Floyd B. McKissick Jr.
Senior Deputy Democratic Leader

Senator McKissick Receives Endorsement from SEANC

I was recently part of a group of candidates running for election or re-election to the NC Senate who were interviewed by a regional group of SEANC members. SEANC is an organization which represents and lobbies on behalf of state employees here in North Carolina. I learned today that I have been endorsed by my Area EMPAC Committee for re-election to the NC Senate. I would like to thank SEANC and its 50,000 members for their confidence and support of my candidacy. Whenever I go before SEANC for an interview, I can expect to be asked a series of thoughtful and thorough questions about the issues which impact the lives, work conditions, and compensation of current state employees as well as those who retired from state employment, this year was no exception. I would like to thank SEANC for its support in the past, but more importantly, I would like to thank them for being an effective and articulate voice for our state’s employees.

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NC Policy Watch Forum on Proposed Constitutional Amendments

Today, I had the pleasure of participating in a forum sponsored by NC Policy Watch during which we discussed the far-reaching implications of the six proposed amendments to North Carolina’s Constitution that will be on the ballot this November. The other panelists for this event were former North Carolina General Assembly Special Counsel, Gerry Cohen and the community activist Karen Ziegler, who has led the Tuesdays with Tillis protests.
While all of the proposed constitutional amendments were thoroughly discussed, three constitutional amendments received the most attention. Those amendments were as follows:
– The constitutional amendment that would create a bipartisan Ethics and Election Board which would also strip the governor of the power to appoint members to over 400 boards and commissions, unfortunately the language in this amendment is deceptive and it does not disclose to the public that all future governors would lose this appointment authority. That is why this amendment is even opposed by former governors Jim Martin and Pat McCrory, both of whom are Republicans.
– Another amendment would remove from the governor existing authority which he has to appoint persons to fill judicial vacancies in our state. For those appointed to the Court of Appeals and State Supreme Court, that power would be vested in the future in a new commission which the governor would not control, and, in addition, the governor would only be able to appoint judges to District Court and Superior Court after they were approved by the General Assembly and the governor would be limited to appointing from a list submitted by the General Assembly of two persons per judgeship. The amendment would also prevent the governor from vetoing any bill that contained a nominee to fill a judgeship, which is a power that could be abused and misused in the future. For example, 98% of a bill might have absolutely nothing to do with a judicial appointment, and it would typically be subject to a governor’s veto, however, if a judicial appointment is added to the bill, then the governor in the future would be unable to veto it.
– The last amendment which received substantial discussion was the bill that would require a photo ID for voters to vote in future elections. Once again, this amendment does not provide any details for how it would be implemented, and it could result in limiting the ability of over 300,000 people who are lawfully registered to vote today from voting in the future only because they might not possess an appropriate government-issued voter ID.
I’d like to thank NC Policy Watch for hosting this forum, and I would encourage each of you to Nix All Six and just say no to all six of these proposed constitutional amendments.

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The People’s Alliance Judicial Candidate Mixer

I would like to thank the People’s Alliance for hosting an outstanding judicial candidate’s forum yesterday at Motorco. Judicial candidates or their representatives who are running for statewide offices as well as those running locally were allowed a few minutes to discuss their qualifications and perspective. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Attorney Nana Asante-Smith for doing an excellent job as the moderator of this event. Her approach was very even-handed and respectful; however, she did not hesitate to stop each candidate from exceeding the time they were given for remarks.

This may well be the only event this year where all of the judicial candidates running statewide and locally, regardless of whether they have opposition or are running unopposed, were assembled in one location for the public to hear and observe. There were also candidates running as Soil and Water Conservation Commissioners who were given time to speak at this event as well. 

There are many more pictures from this event over on our Facebook Page.

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