NC Republican Redistricting Deters Legislative Opponents

Mar 20, 2014

If you don’t like what your elected leaders are doing, you have recourse in the next election. You can kick ’em out of office.

But that’s hardly a reality in 2014 when it comes to the North Carolina General Assembly. More than half of the 170 House and Senate seats will be decided in the May primary because they have no opposition in the general election. So, we are pretty much assured there being no significant changes in the Republicans’ veto-proof majority.

Tom Bullock/WFAE News

In seven weeks, North Carolinians will go to the polls for the state  primary elections.  This means candidates for all kinds of offices are out wooing voters and raising money. For those trying to become elected judges - the process is a bit strange.  And even the candidates worry it may hurt the credibility of the state’s highest courts. 

My previous post looked at what has become one of the key competitive races for a U.S. Senate seat, following the closing of the filing period. But it won’t be just the U.S. Senate seat that will be up for grabs in May and November, but also all 170 seats in the North Carolina General Assembly. Or so one would think.

In looking at the candidate filing and the past voting patterns of the district lines under the new maps, the overall contest for North Carolina’s state legislature really won’t be as competitive as most would expect. 

New leadership and a surprise merger of sorts. No we’re not talking about the latest on Chiquita banana.  In this installment of our Thursday political conversation Morning Edition host Kevin Kniestedt and WFAE's Tom Bullock talk about a week of good and bad news for the North Carolina Democratic Party. 

The eight Republican U.S. Senate candidates who hope to take on Sen. Kay Hagan in the fall can be divided into three tiers.

Typically, we would consider “top tier” candidates who have run and held public office before, meaning they have financial resources, campaign organization, and some name recognition.

Tom Bullock/WFAE News

Later this year North Carolina voters will have a chance to do something rare – elect four of the seven justices on the State Supreme Court.  There will likely be record amounts of money poured into those races.  So much so that some are worried that justice may seem for sale.

Like many other states, registering as a Republican or Democrat in North Carolina isn’t as appealing as it used to be.  The number of unaffiliated voters continues to rise.  They now account for 26 percent of the state’s electorate. 


A recount at the Mecklenburg Board of Elections Thursday confirmed that Huntersville Mayor Jill Swain was re-elected on Nov. 5, defeating challenger and former Mecklenburg County Commissioner Jim Puckett by a slightly wider margin than shown in election night results.

In the final official tally, Swain had 2,475 to Puckett’s 2,443 – a difference of 32 votes.

Puckett had requested a recount after the unofficial results on Nov. 5 show him losing by just 26 votes – 2,467 to 2,441.

Michael Tomsic / WFAE

Charlotte has a new mayor. Democrat Patrick Cannon won 53 percent of the vote last night, defeating Republican Edwin Peacock.

Michael Tomsic

The Charlotte Mecklenburg School board will soon have two new people with the last name of Bailey. Matthews Mayor Pro-Tem Paul Bailey swept district six, which covers southern Mecklenburg county, receiving 60 percent of the vote.  He said voters wanted someone who is a good collaborator.