National Dems target North Carolina House, Senate to break supermajorities

The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC) has chosen “Spotlight Candidates” in targeted North Carolina races as they seek to break supermajorities in the state House and Senate.

The DLCC hopes to tamp down GOP power in the Legislature to restore veto power to the Governor’s Office, assuming the party’s nominee, current state Attorney General Josh Stein, is victorious in succeeding term-limited incumbent Gov. Roy Cooper.

Its Spotlight Candidates include nine House candidates and five Democrats running for Senate.

“Breaking the Republican supermajority in North Carolina and defending a Democratic Governor’s veto is a priority for the DLCC in 2024, and Democrats only need to flip a single seat in either the Senate or House to break the supermajority,” the group wrote in its announcement.

“In North Carolina, Democrats are competitive statewide, but Republicans in the state legislature have used gerrymandering to ruthlessly protect their own power.”

The group also offered a reminder.

Republicans only gained a supermajority in the House when a Democrat went against the will of voters and switched parties,” they wrote, referring to Rep. Tricia Cotham, who announced she was switching parties last April.

The DLCC notes that since “that betrayal,” Republicans have passed “an unpopular abortion ban,” enacted voter suppression measures, attacked the LBGTQ+ community and created “new, gerrymandered maps to ruthlessly protect their own power.”

“The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee is proud to announce our Spotlight candidates to break the supermajorities in the North Carolina General Assembly and restore the veto power for the next Governor of North Carolina, Democrat Josh Stein,” DLCC President Heather Williams said.

“North Carolina Republicans are the extreme of the extreme who used backroom deals and political favors to achieve a supermajority against the will of North Carolina voters and roll back fundamental freedoms in the state.”

The North Carolina Legislature last May passed a ban on nearly all abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy. Cooper, a Democrat, vetoed it but his veto was overridden.

On voter suppression, GOP lawmakers were able to pass a new voter ID law, which was delayed by lawsuits but implemented for the recent Primary Election. Lawmakers also passed legislation eliminating the three-day grace period for mail ballots postmarked by Election Day.

And GOP lawmakers ushered through its own version of the controversial “Don’t Say Gay” law previously approved in Florida that limits classroom discussion on LGBTQ+ topics.

“North Carolina shows how one seat can change the balance of power in the state for millions of lives,” Williams added.

“With one-seat supermajorities in the House of Representatives and the Senate, Republicans have used their power to push through an unpopular abortion ban, enact voter suppression measures, and pass bills attacking the LGBTQ+ community. North Carolina Republicans then doubled down and used their power to draw themselves more favorable maps. To restore balance in the state and ensure that every North Carolinian has their voice heard, the DLCC is gearing up to flip as many seats as possible and end the gerrymandered supermajority once and for all.”

The Spotlight Candidates include:

David Hill in Senate District 7.

James Mercer in Senate District 11.

— Sen. Lisa Grafstein for re-election to Senate District 13.

— Rep. Terence Everitt in Senate District 18.

Woodson Bradley in Senate District 42.

Dante Pittman in House District 24.

Lorenza Wilkins in House District 25.

Bryan Cohn in House District 32.

Evonne Hopkins in House District 35.

Safiyah Jackson in House District 37.

— Rep. Diamond Stanton-Williams for re-election to House District 73.

Beth Helfrich in House District 98.

Nicole Sidman in House District 105.

— Rep. Lindsey Prather for re-election to House District 115.

“Our 14 Spotlight candidates and expansive target map means that there are multiple pathways to breaking the undemocratic control that legislative Republicans currently have,” Williams said.

“These candidates represent the best that North Carolina has to offer. The DLCC has invested early in both chambers and is looking forward to working alongside these incredible candidates, House Democratic Leader Robert Reives, Senate Democratic Leader Dan Blue, and other partners on the ground to create and sustain competitive, winning campaigns in November.”

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. In early 2022, she left the business to serve as Communications Director for St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch. After leaving the administration, Janelle briefly worked as a communications consultant for candidates, businesses and non-profits, before accepting her position as Publisher for Southeast Politics, a homecoming of sorts to her Florida Politics roots, where she served as a reporter and editor for several years. Janelle has also held roles covering the intersection of politics and business for the Tampa Bay Business Journal and general assignment news with an emphasis on social justice and climate change for WMNF Community Radio, where she also hosted a political call-in show under several names, including Last Call, Midpoint and The Scoop. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected]

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