Progressives had really high hopes of winning across North Carolina in 2020. There were excellent candidates at every level. However, these candidates did not do too well. There were many factors, including the many very crowded Trump rallies around our state that really did energize his base to vote. Another factor was dirty election tricks that were pulled on some candidates that had been endorsed by the NC NOW PAC this year. Here is a look at how NC NOW PAC and NOW PAC endorsed candidates did.
North Carolina’s general election results were certified on Tuesday, November 24, 2020 for all races besides the one for state Supreme Court Chief Justice. A record number of people voted in this election. According to an AP article on certifying the election, “More than 1 million voters cast their absentee ballots by mail, up from 191,601 cast in 2016.”
The NOW PAC endorsed candidates in 9 races. 5 of the endorsed candidates won – the 3 incumbents, plus the two women whose districts were ungerrymandered for this election, Kathy Manning in new District 6 and Deborah Ross in new District 2. NOW PAC endorses in federal races with input from state organizations like NC NOW. We are thrill to gain 2 Congresswomen! The most painful losses at this level were extremely experienced and well qualified candidates who lost – Pat Timmons-Goodson in District 8, and Colonel Moe Davis losing to Madison Cawthorn in District 11.
We had such high hopes for the diverse but experienced candidates in the Council of State races, many of whom were women. Basically – the incumbents kept their seats, including Governor Roy Cooper, so thank goodness for that. But no seats were gained.
The NC NOW PAC endorsed the incumbent in the Supreme Court Chief Justice race, Cheri Beasley. Beasley conceded the extremely close race on Dec 12. Beasley and Paul Newby had been separated by just over 400 votes of 5.4 million ballots cast. Basically NC NOW PAC endorsed justices lost. Judge Lucy Inman was trying to move from Court of Appeals to Supreme Court, and she lost to Phil Berger’s son.
Five North Carolina Court of Appeals justices were up for election in 2020. Their terms expired on December 31, 2020. A full term on the court is eight years. The NC NOW PAC had endorsed candidates for all of these seats, including two incumbent judges – Reuben Young and Chris Brook. All of these seats were won by Republicans. One of the Republicans was an incumbent.
All 50 seats in the chamber were up for election in 2020. “Republicans lost a seat but kept their majority in the 2020 elections for North Carolina State Senate,” according to Ballotpedia. The NC NOW PAC endorsed 24 candidates in the NC Senate, of which 14 were incumbents.
All 120 seats in the North Carolina House of Representatives were up for election in 2020. Republicans gained seats, expanding their majority by a net four seats in the 2020 elections. The NC NOW PAC endorsed 41 candidates in the NC House, of which 33 were incumbents. Most of the incumbents won, few if any of the new candidates won.
There is some good news in this. The Republicans still do not have super-majorities in either chamber as a result of the 2020 elections and many excellent council of state incumbents remain in office. Also, progressive women gained two seats in Congress. The next statewide elections will be in 2022, and that is expected to be a year with more normal turnout, although many people may stick with the convenience of voting by mail.
“North Carolina Election Results,” 11/3/20, New York Times, https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/11/03/us/elections/results-north-carolina.html
“North Carolina State Senate elections, 2020,” November 2020, https://ballotpedia.org/North_Carolina_State_Senate_elections,_2020
“North Carolina House of Representatives elections, 2020,” November 2020, https://ballotpedia.org/North_Carolina_House_of_Representatives_elections,_2020
North Carolina certifies November general election results, 11/24/20, AP News, https://apnews.com/article/election-2020-joe-biden-donald-trump-north-carolina-general-elections-14151da0a637f70d1860ae0dc133df69
“Cheri Beasley concedes defeat to Paul Newby in NC chief justice race,” 12/12/20, Asheville Citizen Times, https://www.citizen-times.com/story/news/local/2020/12/12/cheri-beasley-concedes-defeat-paul-newby-nc-chief-justice-race/6523477002/