Jan 3, 2014

Looking ahead to North Carolina politics in 2014

State legislators will go back into Session on May 14th, and many predictions about what will come out of it are already underway. Also, the 2014 election season is expected to be nothing short of lively- Speaker of the House Thom Tillis is running for US Senator Kay Hagan's seat, several state legislators are vying for former Congressman Mel Watt's seat, and NC House and Senate legislators will be competing for re-election to their districts.

Imagine waking up the morning after General Election Day 2014 with a Republican Governor, a Republican majority state Senate and House, a Republican majority state Supreme Court, a Republican majority Court of Appeals, a 10-3 Republican U.S. House Delegation and two Republican U.S. Senators joining Republican majorities in both the U.S. Senate and House in Washington, DC.
Lawmakers had long left town, and official Raleigh was winding down for the Christmas-to-New Year's stupor that annually settles over the city, but the Rev. William Barber's voice boomed over loud speakers Monday on the Halifax Mall behind the General Assembly building. 
For 2014, the four-decade N.C. political watcher expects to see more big headlines, even after a tumultuous 2013.
Congress gets back to the business of governing, or whatever it is our representatives have been doing, next week. The North Carolina legislature returns to work on May 14. So what will the new year bring?
North Carolina is the mirror image of Minnesota — a state where Republicans took control and governed with little regard for compromise.
Brandon is a young, openly gay African-American in a Southern, increasingly conservative state. Elected to the House in 2010 by beating a Democratic incumbent in a primary, he’s won praise from conservatives for his stance on education reform.
North Carolina will be a major battleground in the fight for the U.S. Senate this year, with an election already drawing millions of dollars in outside spending and a Republican primary that will test the strength of the tea party.
Democrats and Republicans are amassing enormous war chests for a midterm battle that will decide who controls the Senate for the remainder of President Obama’s term. Republicans need a net gain of six seats to reclaim the Senate majority, and are gunning for Democratic incumbents in conservative-leaning states like Arkansas, Alaska, North Carolina, West Virginia and Louisiana.
Watt’s departure from the district will kick off a frenzy among Tar Heel State Democrats looking to succeed him in the safe Democratic seat he has held for two decades.
A new North Carolina law will allow candidates in the 2014 elections to solicit more money from wealthy donors and limit some disclosure of outside spending.
More than 20 new laws taking effect Wednesday in North Carolina will lower income tax rates, relax some campaign finance rules and increase charges for electric vehicle owners.
Significant changes made to the North Carolina tax laws approved this summer and taking effect starting Jan. 1, unless otherwise noted.

Please contact the Raleigh McGuireWoods Consulting team if you have any questions or comments:

Harry Kaplan, Senior Vice-President
Jeff Barnhart, Senior Vice-President
Franklin Freeman, Senior Vice-President
John Merritt, Senior Vice-President
Johnny Tillett, Senior Vice-President
Bo Heath, Vice-President
Kerri Burke, Assistant Vice-President
Sarah Wolfe, Research Assistant
Katy Feinberg, Strategic Communications