In case you don’t know, today is election day in North Carolina! This will be the first time our state’s primary will be held in March instead of May – a change we made to be more influential in the presidential races.
This is turning out to be one of the most significant elections in recent history – not only for the presidential race, but also on a local level. The results from today’s vote could determine whether or not the i77 toll lane contract will be canceled, and if Charlotte’s new bathroom bill will be overturned at the state level.
We had to chance to talk to one of the candidates about why each person’s vote matters;
This election could influence whether or not the NC legislators call for a Special Session of the North Carolina General Assembly to repeal Charlotte’s bathroom bill, as many of those who would be in the session are up for re-election.
The toll lane contract will face much stiffer opposition if N.C. Rep. Robert Brawley, from Mooresville, defeats Governor McCrory for the Republican nomination for governor.
This year a valid North Carolina ID will be required to cast your vote, and you will have to be registered either Republican, Democrat, or Libertarian to vote for your presidential, congregational, senate, and governor nominations – check out what your sample ballot will look like here. If you’re registered as an independent, you must choose a party to vote with when you go to the polls (if you don’t choose a party, you’ll only be able to vote for the district court judges and the NC bond proposal).
Your vote will be determining;
The Republican nomination race has been really tightening recently, with Ted Cruz winning several key states. Donald Trump is still the front-runner, but his lead continues to slide. If Marco Rubio decides to join Ted Cruz as his running mate, many project that Trump would be overtaken.
The Democratic front-runner is still Hillary Clinton at this point, but Bernie Sanders also has been winning several key states, and still has a very good chance of winning the nomination.
The Libertarian front-runner is now Gary Johnson, with the other four candidates mostly tied for 5th place.
Republican Richard Burr is now running for re-election and now has a good chance of winning. His only real competition at this point is tea-party-affiliated Greg Brannon.
Deborah Ross and Chris Rey are the two major contenders on the Democratic side – Rey seems to be more popular at this point.
The North Carolina Governor
Our current governor has the best chance of winning the Republican nomination, but former N.C. Rep. Robert Brawley (from Mooresville) will offer him some stiff competition due to the whole i77 toll lane fiasco (recently ranked as one of the 6 worst highway projects in America).
N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper will clean up on the Democratic side. He’s been the guy the Democratic party has been wanting for higher office for a long time and is finally taking the leap.
N.C. Attorney General
Democrats have maintained this seat for generations, but now it’s finally up for grabs.
Buck Newton and Jim O’Neill are the Republican front-runners, both with relatively similar qualifications (Newton, a NC Senator from Eastern NC, and O’Neill, a DA from Winston-Salem).
Josh Stein is now considered to be the Democratic favorite and should easily get the nomination.
Mecklenburg County commissioners
Incumbents Ella Scarborough, Trevor Fuller and Pat Cotham are running the at-large race for the Democrats, and Republicans have sporadic choices in a few districts.
District Court Judges
If you’re voting in Mecklenburg County (district 26), you’ll have two seats on your ballot.
Seat 1: Hon. Charlotte Brown-Williams will be retiring and four attorneys are battling for her seat; Paulina Havelka (criminal and family law), Tracy Hewett (a public defender who lost the seat in the last race, Aretha Blake (Charlotte School of Law), and Faith Fickling (Legal Aid).
Seat 2: Christy Mann will be trying to defend her seat against George Bell and James Cyrus (Bell has ranked #1 out of all judicial candidates facing an incumbent for the District Court races according to the NC bar).
The Republican primary will exclusively include the N.C. Commissioner of Agriculture, N.C. Commissioner of Insurance, and N.C. Secretary of State
The Democratic primary will include N.C. Treasurer, N.C. Commissioner of Labor, Mecklenburg County register of deeds, and N.C. Lieutenant Governor.
The N.C. Superintendent of Public Instruction will be on both primaries.
The new bond proposal
This year the election includes a $2 billion bond proposal, your vote would determine if the state can borrow the extra funds to pay for many proposed projects, including many new university buildings across the state (UNC Charlotte would get a new science building), and several new state parks. Our state has historically done a good job of managing their bond funds, so this new $2 billion bond will most likely be a good decision.