The Party Line

The Party Line is dedicated to examining regional issues and policies through the figures who give shape to them. These are critical, complex, and even downright confusing times we live in. There’s a lot to navigate nationally and in the Carolinas; whether it’s elections, debates on gay marriage, public school closings, or tax incentives for economic development. The Party Line’s goal is to offer a provocative, intelligent look at the issues and players behind the action; a view that ultimately offers the necessary insight for Carolina voters to hold public servants more accountable.

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It wasn't much of a secret around Cornelius, but commissioner Woody Washam made it official Monday: He's running for mayor.

The Cornelius native and longtime local banker is the first to announce for the job. Current Mayor Chuck Travis hasn't said whether he'll seek another term.

The above headline is not ours – it’s from an article in Slate written by Richard Hasen, an election law expert and professor at UC Irvine School of Law. Hasen also writes the Election Law Blog.  

Scholars and analysts have much to research about the 2016 election, but some early analysis is confirming what we have seen for some time among the electorate, particularly in two key areas.

NCGA

With Republican super-majorities in both chambers the Democrats in the General Assembly can seem an afterthought. But their cooperation can still be key.

In the annual press conference laying out their legislative priorities the minority leaders touched on some expected themes. They called for tax cuts for the middle class, the expansion of Medicaid to help rural hospitals and the full, unconditional repeal of House Bill 2, which would require their votes in order to pass.

Then came a twist.

President Donald Trump has issued a lot of orders in his first week, and he's already putting his mark on the office. It's mostly big-picture policy statements. But some orders are creating confusion for government employees and citizens, especially when it comes to science and the environment.

 The Charlotte City Council Monday night voted unanimously to appoint Dimple Ajmera to represent District 5 in east Charlotte. She replaces John Autry, who was elected to the state House of Representatives in November. 

Six Democrats have applied to replace Charlotte City Council member John Autry, who won election Nov. 8 to the state House of Representatives.

The longtime town manager in Huntersville resigned unexpectedly Monday night. Greg Ferguson had been Huntersville's manager for 10 years, and a town employee since 2000.  

Ferguson's resignation came after a specially-called closed session of the Huntersville Town Board.  No reason was given for his departure, which was effective immediately.

For most of us who study North Carolina politics, 2008’s election was the great demarcation in terms of the state being a “strong Republican” presidential state (George W. Bush won by 13 percentage points) to a competitive battleground. 2008’s election saw a notable difference from 2004’s election in that registered Democrats matched registered Republicans in their turnout.

Davie Hinshaw / Charlotte Observer

It’s been another day of surprises with House Bill 2, Charlotte, and the city’s non-discrimination ordinance. The Charlotte City Council met again Wednesday morning to take action aimed at convincing state lawmakers to repeal House Bill 2.

That’s what council did Monday, too. Whether it’ll work still isn’t clear.

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