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Nov 11, 2022

North Carolina General Assembly Week in Review

Overall, Republicans in North Carolina had a strong showing in Tuesday's midterm elections, but Democrats held on to take a few surprise victories at both the state legislative and Congressional level. Republicans won back a supermajority in the state Senate with a 30-seat victory but fell just one seat short in the state House with a 71-seat victory. Perhaps the biggest setback for Democrats in the state was losing a majority on the North Carolina Supreme Court.

For a full list of Tuesday's midterm elections results throughout North Carolina, click here to view our 2022 post-election update or visit the State Board of Elections results dashboard here

Election Recap

CONGRESSIONAL RACES

Republican Ted Budd, who currently represents North Carolina's 13th Congressional District, defeated Democrat Cheri Beasley to fill the seat of retiring incumbent Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Democrats did better than expected in Congressional races in North Carolina, winning two seats that were viewed as being competitive in a tough election cycle. Both Republicans and Democrats will represent seven Congressional districts.

State Senator Don Davis (D-Pitt) ran for the 1st District following incumbent Congressman G.K. Butterfield’s announcement to retire. Republicans pursued the district, but Davis handily defeated Republican Sandy Smith.

The most surprising federal race in the state was in the newly drawn 13th Congressional District which includes suburban parts of Wake County. The district narrowly voted to elect President Biden by just 6,000 votes in 2020, so it was seen by political prognosticators as a likely Republican seat to hold. However, current state Senator Wiley Nickel (D-Wake) defeated Republican Bo Hines to flip the seat in Democrats’ favor.

JUDICIAL RACES

Democrats in North Carolina suffered possibly their greatest setback by losing control of the North Carolina Supreme Court. Before going into Tuesday's election, Democrats held a 4-3 seat majority on the bench, but after losing both seats up for grabs in this year's midterms, Republicans will hold a new 5-2 majority. Court of Appeals Judge Lucy Inman, a Democrat, ran to fill the seat of the retiring Democratic Justice Robin Hudson. Justice Sam J. Ervin IV ran for re-election to his seat. Inman lost to Court of Appeals Judge Richard Dietz, a Republican, and Ervin lost to Republican attorney Trey Allen.

There were four seats up for election on the North Carolina Court of Appeals - two Democrat-held seats and two Republican-held seats. Republicans won all four this year, which strengthened their current majority on the bench.

LEGISLATIVE RACES

On Tuesday, Republicans in the General Assembly increased their numbers in both chambers. Republicans won two new seats in the Senate and will go into the 2023 session with 30 members, enough for a supermajority in the chamber. Republicans defeated more Democratic incumbents in the House, but due to redistricting, they only netted two new seats. Republicans in the House go into the 2023 session with 71 members, which is one seat shy of a supermajority in the chamber.

  • BEFORE 2022 ELECTION:

Senate

Republicans: 28 Seats
Democrats: 22 Seats

House

Republicans: 69 Seats
Democrats: 51 Seats

  • AFTER 2022 ELECTION

Senate

Republicans: 30 Seats
Democrats: 20 Seats

House

Republicans: 71 Seats
Democrats: 49 Seats

NC Senate Elections

Following redistricting, Senate Republicans automatically picked up one seat due to Senator Toby Fitch (D-Wilson) being drawn into a Republican-voting district, which he lost. Senate Republicans also flipped one additional Democrat-held seat in the northeast part of the state and successfully defended all their incumbents.

  • The following Senate seats flipped party control Tuesday:

Senate District 3 (Warren, Halifax, Northampton, Hertford, Bertie, Martin, Gates, Camden, Tyrrell, Currituck)

Valerie Jordan (D) defeated incumbent Senator Ernestine Bazemore (D-Bertie) in the Democratic Primary. Jordan lost to Senator Bobby Hanig (R-Currituck) 47.45% to 52.55%.

Senate District 4 (Wilson, Wayne, Greene)

Sen. Toby Fitch (D) lost to former state Senator Buck Newton (R) 42.4% to 57.6%.

Senate District 21 (Moore, Cumberland)

Sen. Ben Clark (D-Hoke) vacated his district to run for Congress, leaving an open seat. Incumbent Senator Tom McInnis (R-Moore) was drawn into this new district and defeated challenger Frank McNeill (D) 54.85% to 45.15%.

  • NEW SENATE MEMBERS

12 new members will join the North Carolina Senate when the legislature reconvenes for the 2023 session, including:

District 4 (Greene, Wayne, Wilson) – Buck Newton (R)

Buck Newton is a Wilson attorney and previously served in the state Senate from 2011 to 2016, when he left to run unsuccessfully for Attorney General. In the Senate, Buck chaired the Judiciary Committee.

District 5 (Edgecombe, Pitt) – Kandie Smith (D)

Kandie Smith vacated her seat in the state House to run for state Senate District 5. Smith's current legislative committee assignments include Agriculture, Education - K-12, Education - Universities, Election Law and Campaign Finance Reform, Finance, and Health. In 2017, Smith became the first black female Mayor of the City of Greenville. Before becoming Mayor, Smith served nine years on the city council in Greenville. Smith is the Treasurer of the North Carolina Legislative Black Caucus and is an active member of the Greenville NC Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and serves as the Social Action Co-Chair.

District 10 (Johnston) – Benton Sawrey (R)

Benton Sawrey is a third-generation graduate of North Carolina State University and received his J.D. from the University of South Carolina. He is an attorney in Johnston County and has assisted small businesses with complex regulatory and tax issues.

District 13 (Wake) – Lisa Grafstein (D)

Lisa Grafstein has been a civil rights lawyer since 1995 and runs her own firm, Law Office of Lisa Grafstein, PLLC. Grafstein is a member of Disability Rights North Carolina and advocates on behalf of people with disabilities.

District 16 (Wake) – Gale Adcock (D)

Gale Adcock currently serves in the state House. Adcock's current legislative committee assignments include Appropriations, Appropriations – Health and Human Services, Commerce, Health, Regulatory Reform, and Rules and Operations. Adcock worked as a RN to pay for an undergraduate degree in nursing from ECU and a Master of Science in Nursing from UNC-Chapel Hill. Adcock has been a nurse practitioner since 1987 and was Chief Health Officer at SAS Institute for 26 years before retiring in October 2020.

District 18 (Wake) – Mary Wills Bode (D)

Mary Wills studied economics and psychology at Wake Forest University and earned a law degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is the daughter of Lucy Hancock Bode, the former North Carolina Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, and John Bode, a combat veteran, attorney, and civic leader. Bode is an attorney and a non-profit director who advocated for fair redistricting.

District 19 (Cumberland) – Valerie Applewhite (D)

Val Applewhite is an Air Force veteran and a former three term member of the Fayetteville City Council. Applewhite has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Strayer University and an associate’s degree in Information Systems and Instructional Technology from the Community College of the Air Force. Applewhite is currently the Southeastern Organizer for Democracy North Carolina

District 23 (Caswell, Orange, Person) – Graig Meyer (D)

Graig Meyer currently serves in the NC House. Meyer's current legislative committee assignments include Appropriations, Appropriations – Information Technology, Education - K-12, Regulatory Reform, and Homeland Security, Military and Veterans Affairs. Meyer is a trained social worker and is the Chief Operating Officer of The Equity Collaborative, LLC. Meyer also serves as a member of the Southern Regional Education Board.

District 36 (Alexander, Surry, Wilkes, Yadkin) – Eddie Settle (R)

Eddie Settle earned a business degree from Wilkes Community College. He joined his family business, Nu-Line Printing, and later bought the company from his father. Settle also owns Settle Cattle Company. In 2012, Settle was elected to the Wilkes County Board of County Commissioners and served three years as Vice Chair and four years as Chairman.

District 42 (Mecklenburg) – Rachel Hunt (D)

Rachel Hunt currently serves in the NC House. Hunt's current legislative committee assignments include Appropriations, Appropriations - Education, Education - Community Colleges, Education - K-12, Families, Children and Aging Policy, Judiciary 1, and the House Select Committee on An Education System for North Carolina’s Future. Hunt is the daughter of former Governor Jim Hunt and an attorney in Mecklenburg County.

District 43 (Gaston) – Brad Overcash (R)

Brad Overcash earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a JD from the University of Mississippi. Overcash lives in Belmont, NC, and is a partner at the Parker Poe law firm in Charlotte. Overcash has also served as the chairman of the Gaston College Board of Trustees and as a member of the Gaston County Family Advisory Board.

District 48 (Henderson, Polk, Rutherford) – Tim Moffitt (R)

Tim Moffitt currently serves in the NC House. Moffitt's current legislative committee assignments include Chairman of Alcoholic Beverage Control, Vice Chairman of Regulatory Reform, and member on Commerce, Finance, Health, Local Government, and Transportation. Before being elected to the state House, Moffitt served on the Henderson County Board of County Commissioners.

NC House of Representatives Elections

House Democrats picked up four new seats through redistricting and were able to flip an open Republican seat in Cabarrus County, however, Republicans defeated seven Democratic incumbents, all in rural districts. Incumbent Representative Brian Farkas (D-Pitt), who is currently trailing Republican challenger Dr. Timothy Reeder by just 462 votes, announced this week that he would not yet concede due to an undisclosed amount of outstanding mail-in ballots yet to be counted.

  • The following House seats flipped party control Tuesday:

House District 5 (Pasquotank, Gates, Camden, Hertford)

Rep. Howard Hunter (D) lost to Bill Ward (R) 46.03% to 53.97%.

House District 9 (Pitt)

Rep. Brian Farkas (D) was defeated by Dr. Timothy Reeder (R) 49.22% to 50.78%.

House District 24 (Wilson)

Rep. Linda Cooper Suggs (D) lost to Ken Fontenont (R) 45.75% to 54.25%.

House District 25 (Nash)

Rep. James Gailliard (D) lost to Allen Chesser (R) 44.58% to 52.96%.

House District 32 (Granville, Vance)

Rep. Terry Garrison (D) lost to Frank Sossamon (R) 48.61% to 51.39%.

House District 47 (Robeson)

Due to Rep. Charles Graham (D) running for Congress, this district became an open seat. Jarrod Lowery (R) defeated Charles Townsend (D) 60.76% to 39.24%.

House District 63 (Alamance)

Rep. Ricky Hurtado (D) lost to former state Representative Stephen Ross (R) 48.79% to 51.21%.

House District 73 (Cabarrus)

Rep. Larry Pittman (R) did not run for reelection, creating this open seat. Diamond Staton-Williams (D) defeated Brian Echevarria (R) 50.78% to 49.22% to flip this seat.

  • NEW HOUSE MEMBERS

23 new members will join the North Carolina House when the legislature reconvenes for the 2023 session, including:

District 2 (Person, Durham) – Ray Jeffers (D)

Ray Jeffers was elected to the Person County Board of Commissioners in 2008 and was the youngest commissioner elected that year in North Carolina. Jeffers is an alumnus of Piedmont Community College and North Carolina Agriculture & Technical State University. He is also the owner and operator of B.R. Jeffers Farms LLC.

District 5 (Hertford, Gates, Pasquotank, Camden) - Bill Ward (R)

Bill Ward is a military veteran and retired lieutenant with the Pasquotank Sheriff’s Office. A native North Carolinian, Ward currently resides in Elizabeth City, NC. Ward carried three of the four counties in House District 5 on election day.

District 8 (Pitt) – Gloristine Brown (D)

Gloristine Brown is the Mayor of Bethel, a small town in Pitt County. Brown is a retired nurse who worked at Pitt County Memorial Hospital and previously served on the United Way and Pitt Community College Board.

District 13 (Carteret, Craven) - Celeste Cairns (R)

Celeste Cairns lives in Emerald Isle. Cairns graduated from the University of Georgia with honors, earning a degree in business administration. Celeste began her career as a CPA with Deloitte, a multinational consulting and accounting firm, and then worked in the audit and consulting departments of Willis Corroon Corporation and HCA Healthcare Corporation. She is an active member of the Carteret County Republican Party and was a delegate to the GOP Convention in 2020.

District 21 (Wake) - Ya Liu (D)

Ya Liu is a member of the Cary Town Council. Liu emigrated from China to North Carolina to earn a Ph.D. in sociology from North Carolina State University and her law degree from NC Central University.

District 32 (Vance, Granville) - Frank Sossamon (R)

Frank Sossamon resides in Granville County and is the former Senior Pastor at South Henderson Pentecostal Holiness Church. Frank was a recipient of the 2020 Governor’s Volunteer Service Award for his work on the Henderson County Crime Stoppers and Vance County Juvenile Crime Prevention Council.

District 34 (Wake) – Tim Longest (D)

Tim Longest is a Raleigh attorney and previously served as a law clerk on both state appellate courts. Longest serves on the North Carolina Bar Association Appellate Rules Committee and the Raleigh Human Relations Commission.

District 41 (Wake) – Maria Cervania (D)

Maria Cervania is a member of the Wake County Board of Commissioners. Cervania graduated from the University of California at Berkeley and taught Anatomy in the Berkeley Unified School District. Cervania is a biostatistician, epidemiologist, and researcher in public health.

District 44 (Cumberland) - Charles Smith (D)

Charles Smith earned his law degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and then served as Assistant District Attorney in Cumberland County. He then transitioned to private practice with The Charleston Group handling criminal and civil cases.

District 45 (Cumberland) – Frances Jackson (D)

Frances Jackson served as a community and transit planner for the Cumberland County Metropolitan Planning Organization and with the North Carolina Department of Transportation's Public Transportation and Highways divisions. Jackson has also served on the Hope Mills Zoning Commission and the Cumberland County Alcohol and Beverage Control Board.

District 47 (Robeson) - Jarrod Lowery (R)

Jarrod Lowery is a Marine veteran and brother of the Chairman of the Lumbee Tribe. Lowery graduated from UNC-Pembroke with a bachelor's in political science and a minor in history.

District 50 (Orange) – Renee Price (D)

Renee Price earned a bachelor's in urban affairs from Tufts University and a Master of Regional Planning from Cornell University. In 2012, Price was elected to the Orange County Board of County Commissioners and was elected Chair in 2020.

District 66 (Wake) - Sarah Crawford (D)

Sarah Crawford currently serves in the North Carolina Senate but opted not to run for reelection, instead seeking election to the District 66 House seat. Crawford's current legislative committee assignments include Appropriations on General Government and Information Technology, Health Care, and State and Local Government. Crawford obtained a bachelors from North Carolina State University and has worked for multiple nonprofits in Wake County. Crawford serves as CEO of the Tammy Lynn Center for Developmental Disabilities in Wake County.

District 70 (Randolph) - Brian Biggs (R)

Brian Biggs has served on the Randolph County Board of Education since 2014. In the Republican primary, Biggs defeated incumbent Representative Pat Hurley (R-Randolph).

District 71 (Forsyth) – Kanika Brown (D)

Kanika Brown is a community activist in Winston Salem and has worked on HIV and AIDS awareness. Brown also works as a substitute teacher in Forsyth County schools. Brown is the mother of a child with autism and has worked on financial literacy programs for young adults.

District 73 (Cabarrus) – Diamond Staton-Williams (D)

Diamond Staton-Williams received her ADN from Presbyterian Hospital School of Nursing in Charlotte in 2003 and went on to receive her BSN in 2006 from UNC-Greensboro. In 2010, Staton-Williams completed her master’s degree in Healthcare Administration from Pfeiffer University. Staton-Williams is currently employed as a Director for the Ambulatory Care Management Department for Carolinas Healthcare System. Staton-Williams was elected to the Harrisburg Town Council in 2017 and was reelected in 2021.

District 78 (Moore, Randolph) - Neal Jackson (R)

Neal Jackson founded an insurance and financial planning firm before leaving to serve as pastor of the Beulah Baptist Church in Bennett, NC. In 2020, Neal and his wife Tracy founded Grace Haven, a residential home for children in foster care.

District 83 (Cabarrus) – Kevin Crutchfield (R)

Kevin Crutchfield graduated from UNC Charlotte with a degree in computer science equivalency and worked as an engineer with IBM. In 1998, Crutchfield founded The Crutchfield Group, a residential construction operations firm. Crutchfield is actively involved in the Cabarrus County community with Habitat for Humanity and the Christian Ministries.

District 103 (Mecklenburg) – Laura Budd (D)

Laura Budd earned a bachelor’s degree from Ohio University and a J.D. from Wake Forest Law School in 2002. Budd currently resides in Matthews, NC. Budd is the managing partner of Weaver & Budd Law, PLLC with twenty years of experience practicing law. Budd is a member of the American Bar Association, the North Carolina State Bar, the North Carolina Bar Association, the Mecklenburg County Bar Association, and the Union County Bar Association.

District 112 (Mecklenburg) – Tricia Cotham (D)

Tricia Cotham is a former member of the North Carolina House of Representatives from Mecklenburg County. Cotham served as Co-Chair of the House's K-12 Education subcommittee from 2008-2010. Prior to serving in the legislature, Cotham began her first year of classroom teaching in 2001, where she taught social studies and was named Most Outstanding First Year Middle School Teacher of the East Region of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District.

District 114 (Buncombe) – Eric Ager (D)

Eric Ager comes from a farming family in Fairview, NC, and is a retired Navy pilot. Ager studied at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. Ager works at Hickory Nut Gap Farm, a fourth-generation family farm.

District 115 (Buncombe) – Lindsey Prather (D)

Lindsey Prather earned a bachelor’s degree from UNC Asheville and is a recipient of the North Carolina Teaching Fellows scholarship. Prather taught for six years in the Buncombe County Schools. Prather is an active member of the Buncombe County Democratic Party.

District 117 (Henderson) – Jennifer Capps Balkcom (R)

Jennifer Capps Balkcom has worked for 20 years as a mortgage banking professional and holds several community leadership positions, including Vice President of the Hendersonville Lions Club, Treasurer of the Mortgage Bankers Association of Western North Carolina, and on the Henderson County Planning Board.

Upcoming Legislative Meetings

Tuesday, November 15

9:00AM: Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on General Government
1:00PM: House Select Committee on An Education System for North Carolina's Future