Election Results Are In: What They Mean For Education In NC
Elizabeth Yelverton | NCASA Legal Affairs and Policy Manager
The results from Tuesday’s elections are in, and while some races are still too close to call, many political minds believe State Democrats flipped enough seats to overcome Republican supermajorities in both the House and Senate. While Republicans are expected to retain control over both chambers, Democratic gains will provide Democrat Governor Roy Cooper with a more meaningful veto power. As a result, education supporters can expect greater collaboration between Democrat and Republican legislators, which is likely to produce a more moderate education agenda. The following is a brief summary of state elections highlights, based on unofficial results data from the nonpartisan State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement.
In the NC Senate, all 50 seats were up for election this year. Going into the elections, Republicans held the Senate 35-15, meaning Democrats needed to flip six seats to break up the Republican’s veto-proof supermajority. Democrats retained all of their seats and succeeded in flipping six seats, although there is a possibility of recounts in three races. Republicans are expected to hold the Senate 29-21.
- Democrat Wiley Nickel picked up an open seat in Wake County.
- Tamara Barringer (R-Wake) lost to Democrat Sam Searcy by about 3,200 votes.
- Jeff Tarte (R-Mecklenburg) lost to Democrat Natasha Marcus by more than 11,000 votes.
- Wesley Meredith (R-Cumberland) lost to Democrat Kirk deViere by a margin of 306 votes, within the recount margin.
- Michael Lee (R-New Hanover) lost to Democrat Harper Peterson by 36 votes, within the recount margin.
- Trudy Wade (R-Guilford) lost to Democrat Michael Garrett by 763 votes.
NC House of Representatives
In the NC House of Representatives, all 120 seats were up for election this year. Going into the elections, Republicans held the House 75-45, meaning Democrats needed to flip four seats in the House to break up the Republican supermajority. Democrats succeeded by flipping 11 GOP-held seats, although two Democratic-held seats were lost, giving the party a net gain of 9 seats if final counts in two close races leave the current frontrunners as winners. Republicans are expected to hold the House 66-54.
- Democrats lost two seats: Rep. Bobbie Richardson (D-Franklin) and Rep. George Graham (D-Lenoir).
- In Wake County, the GOP lost three seats. Rep. Nelson Dollar, who currently serves as House Appropriations Chairman, lost to Democrat Julie von Haefen by 687 votes. Rep. Chris Malone lost to Democrat Terence Everitt by 2,432 votes. Rep. John Adcock lost to Democrat Sydney Batch by 785 votes.
- In Mecklenburg County, Rep. Andy Dulin lost to Democrat Brandon Lofton by 1,351 votes. Rep. Scott Stone lost to Democrat Wesley Harris by 1,498 votes.
- Jonathan Jordan (R-Ashe) lost re-election to Democrat Ray Russell by 1,454 votes.
- Republican Mike Clampitt (R-Swain) lost to Democrat Joe Sam Queen by 1,371 votes.
- In New Hanover County, Republican Rep. Ted Davis beat Democrat Marcia Morgan by 953 votes. Rep. Holly Grange beat Democrat Leslie Cohen by 2,004 votes.
- It has been reported that Rep. Bill Brawley (R-Mecklenburg) seems to have defeated Rachel Hunt, former Gov. Jim Hunt’s daughter, by 48 votes, within the recount margin.