North Carolina General Assembly Week in Review

August 7, 2020

Pardon Our Dust

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This week, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced that the state would continue to operate under Phase 2, Safer at Home, measuresExecutive Order 155 extends Phase 2 for five more weeks, with the order set to expire September 11 at 5:00PM. The governor and his team believe keeping the state in Phase 2 will help control the virus and ensure that the goal of getting students back in school this fall becomes a reality. However, since the announcement that schools may open under “Plan B” guidance this fall, two out of three schools across the state have opted to begin the year with remote learning, at least for the time being. 

As of Thursday morning, in the state of North Carolina, there were 131,267 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, 1,904,750 completed tests, 2,092 deaths, and 1,147 current hospitalizations. As we all continue to feel the effects of the global pandemic and adjust to a new normal, we want to highlight a few ways our clients across North Carolina have worked to support residents and make this time a little easier for those throughout the state. Read more about what our clients are doing to help by clicking here.

For more information on COVID-19 in North Carolina, click here to visit the Department of Health and Human Services website, and be sure to stay up to date on the latest federal guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) by clicking here.

Election Roundup

There are less than 100 days to go before voters across the country cast their ballots for who they would like to serve as their elected officials, from President to Congress and Governor to state legislators. Over the next few weeks, our team will be highlighting races happening in November from around the state, along with other election resources to keep everyone informed not just on what’s happening in Raleigh, but all over North Carolina, region by region. For more information on how to register or how to vote in North Carolina, click here or here for national registration and voting information.

For an overview of North Carolina’s US Senate race also happening this year, check out last week’s edition of Week In Review by clicking here.

US House Races

North Carolina currently has 13 congressional districts, all of which will be up for reelection this November. With newly drawn district maps for the 2020 election, Democrats are hoping to weaken the 9-3 Republican advantage by flipping at least two of the congressional seats.

nc house districts

North Carolina’s First Congressional District

Incumbent US Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D), who has served as North Carolina’s first congressional district representative since 2004, will face Republican challenger Sandy Smith, a business executive and farmer.

The first district is made up of Bertie, Durham, Edgecombe, Gates, Granville, Halifax, Hertford, Martin, Northampton, Pitt, Vance, Warren, Washington, and Wilson counties.

North Carolina’s Second Congressional District

Incumbent US Rep. George Holding (R) announced that he would not be seeking reelection in 2020 late last year after newly drawn district maps looked to be more favorable for Democrats. Deborah Ross (D), a former state representative and nominee for US Senate, will go head-to-head with Alan Swain (R), an attorney, in the general election.

The second district is made up of Wake County.

North Carolina’s Third Congressional District

Former state representative turned incumbent US Rep. Greg Murphy (R) will go up against Trenton, North Carolina native, Daryl Farrow (D) in November.

The third district is made up of Duplin, Onslow, Jones, Lenoir, Craven, Pitt, Beaufort, Pamlico, Carteret, Hyde, Dare, Tyrrell, Chowan, Perquimans, Pasquotank, Camden, and Currituck counties

North Carolina’s Fourth Congressional District

Incumbent US Rep. David Price (D) will face challenger Robert Thomas (R), an attorney, in what is considered to be a safe seat for Democrats this general election.

The fourth district is made up of parts of Granville, Franklin, Chatham, Orange, Durham, and Wake counties.

North Carolina’s Fifth Congressional District

Incumbent US Rep. Virginia Foxx (R) will face challenger David Brown (D), an IT consultant and former nominee for the 10th congressional district, in November. Even after redistricting moved around portions of the fifth district, it is still considered to be a safe seat for Republicans this year.

The fifth district is made up of Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Catawba, Forsyth, Stokes, Surry, Watauga, Wilkes, and Yadkin counties.

North Carolina’s Sixth Congressional District

Incumbent US Rep. Mark Walker (R) announced he would not be seeking reelection in 2020 late last year after his district was redrawn. The recently redrawn map now includes all of Guilford County and the City of Winston-Salem. Lee Haywood (R), the chair of the sixth district North Carolina Republican Party, will go head-to-head with Kathy Manning (D), a lawyer, in November.

The sixth district is made up of all of Guildford County and part of Forsyth County.

North Carolina’s Seventh Congressional District

Incumbent US Rep. David Rouzer (R), an former state legislator, will face pharmaceutical sales executive Chris Ward (D, in the general election. This is considered to be a safe seat for Republicans in the fall.

The seventh district is made up of New Hanover, Brunswick, Columbus, Bladen, Pender, Sampson, Johnston, and part of Harnett counties.

North Carolina’s Eighth Congressional District

Seven-year incumbent US Rep. Richard Hudson (R) will face challenger Patricia Timmons-Goodson (D), former Associate Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, in November.

The eighth district is made up of Cabarrus, Stanly, Montgomery, Moore, Lee, Harnett, and Cumberland counties.  

North Carolina’s Ninth Congressional District

Former state legislator and incumbent US Rep. Dan Bishop (R) will go head-to-head against Cynthia Wallace (D), a financial services professional and chair of the ninth district of the North Carolina Democratic Party. While not guaranteed, it is likely this will be a safe seat for Republicans in November.

The ninth district is made up of Union, Anson, Richmond, Scotland, Robeson, Hoke, and parts of Moore and Mecklenburg counties.

North Carolina’s Tenth Congressional District

Incumbent US Rep. Patrick McHenry (R) will face challenger David Parker (D), an attorney and former North Carolina Democratic Party chair, in the general election. This is considered to be a safe Republican seat for 2020.

The tenth district is made up of Lincoln, Catawba, Iredell, Yadkin, Surry, Stokes, Rockingham, and part of Forsyth counties.

North Carolina’s Eleventh Congressional District

The most recent incumbent of the eleventh district was current White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. Meadows announced late last year that he would not be seeking reelection in 2020. Meadows was then appointed to his current role within the administration in March. With the field left wide open, a handful of Republican candidates threw their name into the hat to seek the nomination, leading to a runoff election in June. With the runoff complete, Madison Cawthorn (R), a motivational speaker and businessman, will go head-to-head against Moe Davis (D), a former member of the US Air Force and Chief Prosecutor in the military commission, in the general election.

The eleventh district is made up of Avery, Mitchell, McDowell, Yancey, Rutherford, Polk, Madison, Buncombe, Henderson, Transylvania, Haywood, Jackson, Swain, Macon, Graham, Clay, and Cherokee counties.

North Carolina’s Twelfth Congressional District

Incumbent US Rep. Alma Adams (D), a former state legislator, will run unopposed in November.

The twelfth district is made up of Mecklenburg County.

North Carolina’s Thirteenth Congressional District

Incumbent US Rep. Ted Budd (R) will go up against challenger Scott Huffman (D), a businessman, in what is considered to be a safe Republican seat this November.

The thirteenth district is made up of Davie, Rowan, Davidson, Randolph, Chatham, Alamance, Caswell, and Person counties.

Eastern North Carolina Senate Races

nc regions

When voters cast their ballots on November 3, North Carolinians will also be voting for who will represent them in the state legislature. North Carolina’s state Senate races continue to gain more and more attention as Democrats work to flip control of the chamber. In November, voters in the eastern part of the state will decide the winners of the following races:

District 1 (Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Dare, Gates, Hertford, Hyde, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Tyrrell, Washington)

Current Sen. Bob Steinburg (R) will be up against Tess Judge (D), a businesswoman who surprised many by how well she did in her 2018 state House race, despite not winning her bid. 

District 2 (Carteret, Craven, Pamlico)

Retired small business owner, current joint caucus leader, and incumbent Sen. Norman Sanderson (R) will face off against small business owner and political activist Libbie Griffin (D) in November.

District 3 (Beaufort, Bertie, Martin, Northampton, Vance, Warren)

Current Sen. Erica Smith (D) will not be on the ballot in November after falling short in her attempt to become the Democratic nominee for the state’s US Senate race. Ernestine (Byrd) Bazemore (D), a former educator and Bertie County Commissioner, will be up against Thomas Hester, Jr. (R), Commissioner on the Vance County Board of Commissioners, for the seat.

District 4 (Edgecombe, Halifax, Wilson)

Incumbent Sen. Toby Fitch (D), an attorney and retired Senior Resident Superior Court Judge, will face challenger Sammy Davis Webb (R), also an attorney, in the general.

District 5 (Greene, Pitt)

Sen. Don Davis (D), a former educator, will face another former educator, challenger Karen Kozel (R), in the election this November.

District 6 (Jones, Onslow)

Powerful majority leader and Rules Committee Vice Chair Sen. Harry Brown (R) will not be seeking reelection this November. In this heavily Republican district, Ike Johnson (D), a retired US Marine Corps officer and corporate executive, will go up against Michael Lazzara (R), Jacksonville Mayor Pro-Tem, to fill the seat.

District 7 (Lenoir, Wayne)

Incumbent Sen. Jim Perry (R), an aviation industry executive, will face challenger Donna Lake (D) in the general election this November. Lake is a registered nurse and a professor at the East Carolina University College of Nursing.

District 8 (Bladen, Brunswick, New Hanover, Pender)

The powerful incumbent Sen. Bill Rabon (R), a veterinarian, will face general election challenger, David Sink (D), an educator, in November.

District 9 (New Hanover)

Incumbent Sen. Harper Peterson (D), a former member of the Wilmington City Council and former Wilmington Mayor, will face a competitive race against challenger Michael Lee (R), the former state Senator that Peterson narrowly unseated back in 2018.

District 10 (Duplin, Johnston, Sampson)

Incumbent Sen. Brent Jackson (R), a farmer, will face challenger Vernon Moore (D), a retired member of the US Air Force and political volunteer from Warsaw.

District 11 (Johnston, Nash)

Current Sen. Rick Horner (R) will be retiring at the end of this term, leaving the seat vacant in November. Current state Rep. Lisa Stone Barnes (R) will go up against Allen Wellons (D) is the general election. Wellons also has experience in the General Assembly where he previously served as a state senator.

District 12 (Harnett, Johnston, Lee)

Sen. Jim Burgin (R), president and owner of C&D insurance, will go up against Lee County Democratic Party Chair John Kirkman (D) in the general election.

District 13 (Columbus, Robeson)

Incumbent Sen. Danny Britt (R), an attorney, and Barbara Yates-Lockamy (D), an educator, will go head-to-head in November.

District 19 (Cumberland)

Current Sen. Kirk deViere (D), owner of a marketing, advertising, and PR agency, will face challenger Wesley Meredith (R) in the general. Meredith represented D19 in the state Senate for four terms until Sen. deViere unseated him with less than 500 votes in 2018.

District 21 (Cumberland, Hoke)

Sen. Ben Clark (D), former member of the US Air Force and assistant professor of aerospace studies at North Carolina A&T State University, will face challenger Sev Palacios (R), a retired member of the US Marine Corps.

Eastern North Carolina House Races

nc house districts

In addition to US House races, state House candidates will also be on the ballot in November. Races in the eastern part of the state include: 

District 1 (Bertie, Camden, Chowan, Perquimans, Tyrrell, Washington)

Incumbent Rep. Edward Goodwin (R) will face challenger Emily Bunch Nicholson (D), a former educator and assistant director for the Northeastern Workforce Development Board, in November.

District 3 (Craven)

Current Rep. Michael Speciale (R), a retired member of the US Marine Corps, will not be seeking reelection in November. Steve Tyson (R), a retired member of the US Army, will face Dorothea Downing White (D), a former superintendent, to fill the seat.

District 4 (Duplin, Onslow)

Incumbent Rep. Jimmy Dixon (R) will face challenger Christopher Schulte (D), a community college professor, in the general.

District 5 (Gates, Hertford, Pasquotank)

Incumbent Rep. Howard Hunter (D), owner of Hunter’s Funeral Home, Inc., will be up against challenger Donald Kirkland (R), a US Army veteran.

District 6 (Currituck, Dare, Hyde, Pamlico)

Rep. Bobby Hanig (R), a business owner, will face challenger Tommy Fulcher (R), who previously worked for Carolina Power & Light/Progress Energy Company.

District 7 (Franklin, Nash)

Current Rep. Lisa Stone Barnes (R) will not be seeking reelection to her House seat as she makes a run for the state Senate. Matthew Winslow (R), a homebuilder and developer, and Phil Stover (D) are up against each other to fill the seat in November. Stover is a primary care physician in Franklin and Nash counties.

District 8 (Pitt)

Incumbent Rep. Kandie Smith (D), a training consultant, will face former state senator Tony Moore (R) this November.

District 9 (Pitt)

Incumbent Rep. Perrin Jones (R), an anesthesiologist appointed to the seat after former state Rep. Greg Murphy won his race to fill a US House seat, will face Brian Farkas (D), who works at an architecture firm, this November. This district is considered to be one of the more flipable districts for House Democrats.

District 10 (Greene, Johnston, Wayne)

Incumbent majority leader, Rep. John Bell, who also works as a manager in sales and business development, will face challenger Carl Martin (D), who currently serves as the Chair of the Wayne County Democratic Party.

District 12 (Lenoir, Pitt)

Insurance agent and incumbent Rep. Chris Humphrey (R) will face challenger Virginia Cox-Daugherty (D), a retired educator, in the general election. District 12, while more Republican-leaning, is one Democrats are keeping their eye on, especially if they can boost turnout of newly-registered voters in the area.

District 13 (Carteret, Jones)

Incumbent Rep. Pat McElraft (R), a real estate broker, will face challenger Buck Bayliff (D), Director of Auxiliary Services and College Stores at Elon College, this November.

District 14 (Onslow)

Current Rep. George Cleveland (R) will face Marcy Wofford (D), a public education and Exceptional Children advocate, in the general election. Wofford currently serves as the First Vice Chair of the Onslow County Democratic Party.

District 15 (Onslow)

Current Rep. Phil Shepard (R), a retired minister, will face challenger Carolyn Gomaa (D) in the general. Gomaa previously served as the Chair of the Onslow County Democratic Party and President of the Onslow County Political Action Committee.

District 16 (Columbus, Pender)

Current Rep. Carson Smith (R), a retired sheriff, will go up against Debbi Fintak (D), a retired educator and community volunteer, in November.  

District 17 (Brunswick)

Incumbent Rep. Frank Iler (R), a former chair of the Brunswick County Republican Party, will face educator Tom Simmons (D) in the general election.

District 18 (Brunswick, New Hanover)

Current Rep. Deb Butler (D), an attorney, who has gained national attention on social media after her reaction to the surprise budget veto override vote last year, will face challenger Warren Kennedy (R), a retired sergeant at the Wilmington Police Department, in the general.

District 19 (New Hanover)

Newly drawn House district lines leave this district open in 2020. Charlie Miller (R), a chief deputy with the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office, will face Marcia Morgan (D), a former member of the US Army and educator, in the general election this November.

District 20 (New Hanover)

Current Rep. Holly Grange (R) will not be returning to the legislature next year after her attempt to become the Republican nominee for Lieutenant Governor fell short. Current district 19 Rep. Ted Davis (R), who was moved into district 20 after new lines were drawn last year, will go up against Adam Ericson (D) to fill the seat. Ericson, a teacher and coach at New Hanover High School, hopes to boost left-leaning voter turnout in this district, giving Democrats a chance at taking control of the House.

District 21 (Sampson, Wayne)

Former Vice Chairman of Board of Education, incumbent Rep. Raymond Smith (D) will face challenger Brent Heath (R) who currently serves as a regional director at the North Carolina Department of Insurance.

District 22 (Bladen, Sampson)

Farmer and incumbent Rep. William Brisson (R) will go head-to-head with retired judge Albert Kirby, Jr. (D) in November.

District 23 (Edgecombe, Martin)

Real estate consultant and current Rep. Shelly Willingham (D) will be up against challenger Claiborne Holtzman (R), a former minister turned small business owner, in November.

District 24 (Wilson)

Newly appointed Rep. Linda Cooper-Suggs (D), a retired educator, filling the seat left vacant by Rep. Jean Farmer-Butterfield’s commission appointment, will face Mick Rankin (R), a retired member of the US Navy, in the general election this November.

District 25 (Nash)

Incumbent Rep. James Gailliard (D), a pastor, will go up against retired Methodist minister John Check (R) in the general.

District 26 (Johnston)

Incumbent Rep. Donna White (R), a registered nurse and aging specialist, will face Linda Bennett (D) in November. Bennett ran against White in 2018 as well, losing to the incumbent 59.8% to 40.2%.

District 27 (Halifax, Northampton)

Current Rep. Michael Wray (D), a small business owner, will face Warren Scott Nail (R), who ran for state Senate in 2010 and 2012.

District 28 (Harnett, Johnston)

Incumbent Rep. Larry Strickland, a real estate appraiser and farmer, will face challenger Corey Stephens (D).

District 42 (Cumberland)

Retired principal and incumbent Rep. Marvin Lucas (D) will face challenger Jon Blake (R), a special operations program director, in November.

District 43 (Cumberland)

Incumbent Rep. Elmer Floyd (D) will not be returning to the General Assembly next year after losing in the primary to Kimberly Hardy (D), an assistant professor of social work at Fayetteville State University. Hardy will go up against Diane Wheatley (R) who owns a small business with her husband and was previously a registered nurse.

District 44 (Cumberland)

Incumbent Rep. William Richardson (R), an attorney and business owner, will face challenger Heather Holmes (R).

District 45 (Cumberland)

Powerful Conference Chair and Finance Committee Senior Chair incumbent Rep. John Szoka (R) will face challenger Frances Vinell Jackson (D) in the general. Jackson is a government planner and professor at Fayetteville Technical Community College. While the incumbent representative is an influential voice in the legislature, Democrats are looking at potentially picking up this seat in November because of the new district maps.

District 46 (Columbus, Robeson)

Current Rep. Brenden Jones (R), a small business owner, will go up against teacher and coach, Tim Heath (D).

District 47 (Robeson)

Retired educator and incumbent Rep. Charles Graham (D) will face challenger Olivia Oxendine (R) in November. Oxendine currently serves as a member of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

District 48 (Hoke, Scotland)

Current Rep. Garland Pierce (D), a Baptist minister, will face challenger Johnny Boyles (R) in November.

District 51 (Harnett, Lee)

Incumbent Rep. John Sauls (R), a local minister, will go up against challenger Jason Cain (D), a 10-year army veteran, on election day.

District 53 (Harnett)

After a retirement announcement that came as a shock to many, the extremely powerful House Rules Chair Rep. David Lewis (R) will finish out his term but will not seek reelection in November. Howard Penny was nominated by the county Republican Party to replace Lewis on the ballot. Penny will face challenger Sally Weeks Benson (D), a retired US Navy Commander and volunteer, in November.

District 79 (Beaufort, Craven)

Incumbent Rep. Keith Kidwell (R) will go up against challenger Nick Blount (D), who served as the 2nd Vice Chair of the North Carolina Democratic Party and the Chocowinity Democratic Precinct Chair.

nc house districts

Upcoming Legislative Meetings

Monday, August 10

1:00PM General Statutes Commission, Trusts Drafting Committee

1:00PM Joint Legislative Program Evaluation Oversight Committee

Tuesday, August 11

10:00AM Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Health and Human Services

1:00PM Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Medicaid and NC Health Choice