The North Carolina Suburban Woman’s Guide to the Midterms

From our mountains to our beaches, North Carolina women are working hard to protect our freedoms – our freedom to live in safe and welcoming communities, our children’s freedom to learn in fully-funded and equitable schools, and our freedom to make our own healthcare decisions.

For too long, extremist politicians have been working against us on these issues, failing to serve the needs of North Carolinians and focusing instead on maintaining their own wealth and power. But we have the power to stop them.

What’s in the Guide?

Red Wine & Blue Ballot Lookup

Enter your address to research your ballot and find out where candidates stand on key issues.

 

Where do things stand on the issues North Carolina women care about?

Here are the facts about some of the top issues North Carolina women care about and how races on the ballot will influence them.

Abortion

Abortion is currently legal in North Carolina up to 20 weeks and extremists have made this state a top target. Their goal is to expand their majorities in the state legislature so they can override the Governor’s veto and ban abortion outright. Polling shows that North Carolina women support access to safe and legal abortions in our state. The only way for voters to ensure that abortion remains safe and legal in North Carolina is to vote for candidates for state House and Senate that support reproductive rights. 

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Public Education

In North Carolina, we are watching the Leandro v. State of North Carolina case that has been in our court system, believe it or not, since 1994. At the heart of the case is the state’s constitutionally-mandated funding for sound, basic education and whether or not the state courts can require the legislature to provide that funding. The Republican-led legislature is currently withholding a surplus of billions of dollars, while refusing to fully fund our public schools after being court-ordered to do so. The political makeup of the state Supreme Court impacts the rulings in this case, so make sure to vote in that election.

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Gun Safety

Polls show that most North Carolinians support reasonable restrictions to reduce gun violence in our state. However, Republicans in the state legislature, beholden to party messaging and influenced by a powerful gun lobby, have been resisting any common-sense gun reform measures. The most effective way we can influence change on this issue is to tell our current elected representatives how we feel, and vote for state and federal candidates who will support gun violence prevention legislation.

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State Legislature 

Huge Opportunity & Huge Threat 

If Republicans win a supermajority, our Governor loses the power to veto bad laws.

How it works: 

  • The NC House has 120 members.
  • The NC Senate has 50 members.
  • A supermajority is when a party has a voting majority in each chamber. (That’s 72 / 120 members of the House; 30 / 50 members in the Senate.) 
  • With a supermajority, the party can override the Governor’s veto of a bill. (Which means they have an unchecked ability to push through bad laws.)

Current Situation:

  • Extreme Republicans control both the House (69 members) and the Senate (28 members) in the NC General Assembly, but not with a supermajority.
  • All House and Senate seats are up for election. 
  • Republicans only need to gain 2 Senate seats and 3 House seats to consolidate a legislative supermajority and be able to pass any bills they want without fear of a veto.

 

What’s at Stake: 

  • The North Carolina Republican party has followed its national leadership in becoming more extremist, and often it’s the Democratic Governor’s veto that keeps the most extreme policies from becoming law.  
  • It’s unlikely that Democrats will be able to flip either chamber, BUT they must stop the GOP from winning a supermajority that would enable them to override Democratic Governor Roy Cooper’s ability to veto bad laws.  
  • The NC Republican Party led the chaotic disaster of HB2, the notorious “Bathroom Bill” that embarrassed us nationally and negatively impacted business in our state. We know more harmful bills like this are in their plans.  
  • GOP Leaders have already announced that if they win back a supermajority, they will:
    • Eliminate abortion rights in North Carolina.
    • Keep defying a court order to provide constitutionally adequate funding for public schools, and instead accelerate spending on private school vouchers – including schools that discriminate against children for being gay, disabled, or a religion that the school doesn’t prefer.
  • Some of the kinds of laws GOP legislators have already proposed include:
    • Authorizing the use of “deadly force” to prevent an abortion, functionally making it legal to murder abortion providers and/or people seeking abortions.
    • Enact a version of Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill, (with provisions to force teachers to “out” students or disclose sensitive personal information regardless of whether doing so would put those students in danger).
    • Force school systems to set up censorship committees where any member of the public could seek to have any learning materials – books, worksheets, anything – permanently banned from classrooms. 
    • Provide legal protection for people who run over protestors with their cars.
  • Additionally, Republican party leadership is currently leading a legal challenge (Moore v. Harper) that will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, that essentially seeks to remove any judicial oversight or protection of state elections. The irreparable implications could range from further election district gerrymandering to harmful restrictions on voting rights. 

Candidates: 

We must elect candidates who will work to protect reproductive rights, to enact gun safety measures, and who support all North Carolina families. Use our Ballot Lookup to research your ballot and find out where candidates running to represent you stand.

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State SUPREME COURT 

Huge Threat 

Retaining the current Democratic majority is a top priority.

How it works: 

  • State Supreme Courts have final authority over how state law and state constitutions are interpreted. The Court could be the final word on abortion bans, funding public education, and our freedom to vote. 
  • North Carolina’s Supreme Court has 7 members elected by North Carolina voters for 8-year terms. 

Current Situation: 

Dicey – The seats are currently held by 4 Democrats and 3 Republicans. 2 of the Democratic-held seats are up this election cycle. 

 What’s at Stake?

The North Carolina Supreme Court is likely to rule on cases related to funding education, voting rights, gerrymandering, election procedures, abortion rights, and gun safety measures. 

While Justices are expected to remain independent and impartial, they typically rule in line with their political party’s values. State Republican leaders have implied or outright stated that if they win a Supreme Court majority, they will:

  • Declare that the NC Constitution requires the State to spend taxpayer money on religious private schools that may discriminate against children based on their race, religion, sexuality or disability.
  • Change the state Supreme Court’s recent finding that gerrymandering is unconstitutional, and allow Republican majorities in the Legislature to draw new maps ensuring that Democratic votes will have as little effect as possible.
  • Allow restrictions on voting that are meant to make it harder for elderly, rural, poor and Black & Brown people to vote.

Candidates: 

  • Justice Sam (Jimmy) Ervin IV is running for reelection against Republican Trey Allen. From one of the proudest North Carolina legal families, Ervin grew up learning about the evils of segregation and the power of moms who care. His mother was a school board member who worked to desegregate North Carolina schools in the 1960s and he is still working to make her proud. 
  • Appeals Court Judge Lucy N. Inman is running against Republican Richard Dietz for the open seat. Judge Lucy Inman has used her time on the North Carolina Appeals Court to leave politics on the courthouse steps and provide justice for all people. She raised her family in North Carolina, and spent her legal practice advocating for mental health services and helping victims of sexual assault. She’s running against a hardline extremist who would curtail our rights and freedoms. 

We must elect candidates who will work to protect reproductive rights, to enact gun safety measures, and who support all North Carolina families. Use our Ballot Lookup to research your ballot and find out where candidates running to represent you stand.

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U.S. CONGRESS

Huge Threat 

A Republican majority would likely pass a federal abortion ban and block any further progress on gun safety laws.  

How it works:

  • The U.S. Congress is both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.
  • In the U.S. House of Representatives, each state’s number of representatives is based on their population. There are a total of 435 representatives, up for election every 2 years.
  • In the U.S. Senate, 2 Senators represent every state and they serve for 6 years.

Current Situation:

U.S. House of Representatives

  • Democrats now have an overall slim majority 220 – 211 in the House (with 4 vacancies).
  • North Carolina has 13 members (8 Republicans and 5 Democrats).

U.S. Senate

  • There are 48 Democrats with 2 Independents who vote with the Democrats, and 50 Republicans.
  • The Senate is split 50-50, but Democrats have a slight majority now because Vice President Kamala Harris (D) can offer a tie-breaking vote.
  • Current NC Republican Senator Richard Burr is retiring, so one of NC’s U.S. Senate seats is up for grabs.

What’s at stake:

Congressional Republicans have recently voted against:

  • Lowering the price of insulin for Americans.
  • Protecting birth control.
  • Marriage equality and interracial marriage.

If they win a majority of seats, Congressional Republicans have vowed to:

  • Pass a federal ban on abortion.
  • Hold Biden impeachment hearings for the Justice Department’s actions to recover classified documents that former President Trump took to Mar a Lago.

Candidates:

We must elect candidates who will work to protect reproductive rights, to enact gun safety measures, and who support voting rights.

Candidates for U.S. Senate

  • Democrat Cheri Beasley is running against extremist Republican Ted Budd for the Senate seat Richard Burr (R) is retiring from.
  • Ted Budd (R) – Extremist Alert – wants to ban abortion, and opposes exceptions for rape or incest. He is a millionaire gun store owner who opposes most common-sense gun measures – he’s even voted against requiring safe storage around children.

We must elect candidates who will work to protect reproductive rights, to enact gun safety measures, and who support all North Carolina families. Use our Ballot Lookup to research your ballot and find out where candidates running to represent you stand.

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SCHOOL BOARDS

Huge Threat 

Preventing extremists from gaining seats on School Boards is a top priority.

How it works:

  • The rules and processes of school board elections vary by county in NC. Some are partisan and some are nonpartisan. Some elections are held on primary ballots, some on general election day. 
  • School board seats often have terms that expire on a varying schedule, so not all board seats are on every ballot. 
  • We recommend you look up your board’s details directly through your school district and your county’s Board of Elections.  

Current situation

  • Outside extremist groups are targeting North Carolina’s schools – even running Proud Boys as School Board candidates. These groups share disinformation to ignite culture wars and scare local parents. 
  • The national groups leading these culture wars, using school boards as a front line, do not actually care about our local issues or education policy. Look closely, their candidates are not addressing local concerns, are not well-versed in education policy or research, and they are often not experienced or trained educators.
  • Our kids are more important than political fights. We need to elect common sense parents and educators who care about the education of our students more than partisan attacks.

 What’s at Stake:

  • If extremists gain seats on our School Boards, they will:
    • Attempt to ban books and learning materials. 
    • Fight diversity and inclusion programs.
    • Continue to deny funding for our public schools and our educators. 
  • The governance and policy-setting for our school systems should be in the hands of reasonable and informed individuals, not extremist ideologues.

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ELECTION SCHEDULE

Absentee Ballots available 9/9

Voter Registration Deadline 10/14

Absentee Ballot Request Deadline 11/1

Early Voting Period 10/20-11/5

Election Day and Absentee Ballot Deadline 11/8

The Great Troublemaker Turnout 

 

A lot of what is at stake in the midterms can be protected by voters preventing extremists from gaining seats.  We know that suburban women are a powerful group who can shift election outcomes when we turnout to vote. And we know how to make that happen through Relational Organizing. Become a Troublemaker with us and you’ll learn how to turnout the suburban vote in your community.

CONNECT WITH RED WINE & BLUE IN NORTH CAROLINA

Find your regional organizer in North Carolina. 

WESTERN

Angela Levine
angela@redwine.blue

PIEDMONT TRIAD

Angela Levine
angela@redwine.blue

Tonya Martin
tonya@redwine.blue

CHARLOTTE METRO

Kim Biondi
kimbiondi@redwine.blue

Cherran Evans
cherran@redwine.blue

Jennifer Gaddy
jennifer@redwine.blue

Heather Oldland
heather@redwine.blue

Lori Downey
lori@redwine.blue

CENTRAL/TRIANGLE

Felicia Moore
felicia@redwine.blue

EASTERN

Valerie Torres-Torres
valerie@redwine.blue

Morgan Richards
morgan@redwine.blue

RWB: North Carolina Group