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A Chronicle guide to the election: Five important North Carolina races

<p>Republican Richard Burr is running against Democrat Deborah Ross for the United States Senate, while incumbent Republican Gov. Pat McCrory is running for re-election against Democrat Roy Cooper.&nbsp;</p>

Republican Richard Burr is running against Democrat Deborah Ross for the United States Senate, while incumbent Republican Gov. Pat McCrory is running for re-election against Democrat Roy Cooper. 

Before election day, The Chronicle is creating a series of explainers about who's who on the ballot, to supplement continuing coverage of the presidential contest. Part one of this series includes the North Carolina governor and senate races, plus the attorney general and lieutenant governor contests. Also, check out our guide to voting on Duke's campus. A North Carolina sample ballot listing all the races to be voted on by campus residents is available below. 

House of Representatives District 1:

Incumbent: G.K. Butterfield (D)

  • Butterfield currently serves on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and is chair of the Congressional Black Caucus
  • Has served in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2004
  • Advocated for the American Clean Energy and Security Act, which would have established an emissions trading plan had it cleared the Senate.
  • Helped pass the Affordable Care Act (better known as ObamaCare) and the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, which gave Congress oversight of deals with the country.
  • Recently passed The Route to Opportunity and Development Act (H.R. 2211) and Military Corridor Transportation Improvement Act (H.R. 1844) as part of his agenda to designate “future interstates” in eastern North Carolina.

Republican Challenger: H. Powell Dew, Jr

  • Pastor of Fremont Missionary Baptist
  • Dew serves as a town board member in Stantonsburg, NC and has been involved in the N.C. League of Municipalities Tax & Finance Committee in Raleigh, N.C.
  • Styles himself a conservative Christian who advocates for “traditional” marriage and opposes abortion.
  • Wants to reduce federal influence in education and believes education is the responsibility of parents first.

Libertarian Challenger: J.J. Summerell

  • Manages Worksite Insight, an insurance agency in Greensboro, N.C.
  • Supports equitable redistricting, where voter information is not considered in the process and “voters choose their representatives,” not the other way around.
  • Wants to correct the Department of Public Instruction, which he calls an “overt political machine.”
  • Wants to delay fracking until the price of technology goes down and other states experiment with it to minimize North Carolina’s risks.

N.C. Lieutenant Governor:

The Lieutenant Governor’s main responsibility is to preside over the North Carolina State Senate. He or she also serves as a member of the North Carolina Council of State, the North Carolina Board of Education, the North Carolina Capital Planning Commission and the North Carolina Board of Community Colleges.

Incumbent: Dan Forest (Republican)

  • An architect, Forest previously sat on the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s College of Architecture advisory board.
  • He serves on North Carolina’s Military Affairs Commission and chairs the Energy Policy Council. One aspect of his platform is making North Carolina energy independent.
  • Wants to expand school choice and ensure all schools have wireless internet and digital learning opportunities. Wants to use the North Carolina Education Endowment to raise teacher pay and opposes Common Core.
  • Wants to expand tax cuts and remove regulatory red tape, which he says harms the state’s business climate.

Democratic Challenger: Linda Coleman

  • Her three main priorities are education, healthcare and economic development.
  • She is in favor of expanding Medicaid and wants to strengthen the state’s middle class.
  • She is pro-choice.
  • She was previously the chair of the Wake County Board of Commissioners and was a member of the North Carolina House of Representatives from 2005 to 2009.
  • She ran for Lieutenant Governor in 2012 and lost the election to Forest.

Libertarian Challenger: Jacki Cole

  • If she were head of North Carolina State Board of Education, she has said she would form a committee of teachers and parents to advise the board.
  • Her platform is not immediately available online.

NC Attorney General:

Republican: Buck Newton

  • Currently a North Carolina State Senator
  • Chairs the Judiciary I Committee and the Appropriations Committee on Justice and Public Safety.
  • Criticizes the current crime lab toxicology backlog under current Attorney General Roy Cooper, who is running for governor.
  • Wants to increase criminal penalties, cut governmental costs and reduce federal government input in North Carolina’s criminal justice process.

Democrat: Josh Stein

  • Serves as a member of the North Carolina State Senate and supports public education, clean energy and public safety.
  • Has sat on the Judiciary committee throughout the entirety of his tenure in the State Senate.
  • As the primary sponsor of the School Safety Act of 2013, Stein advocated for additional resources and personnel to be provided to public schools across the state.
  • Platform consists of increasing consumer protections and environmental regulations.

U.S. Senate:

Richard Burr (Republican)

  • Advocates ending Common Core and No Child Left Behind, a stronger stance against Russia and terrorism abroad and cutting the federal budget.
  • Supports the conservation of natural monuments and a new healthcare reform package to replace the Affordable Care Act.
  • Burr has served in Congress since 1995 and has been in the Senate since 2005. He has said he will not be running for public office again after this Senate race.
  • Burr serves as chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence and is a member of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and the Committee on Finance.
  • He has been an ardent opponent of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act and voted in favor of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010.

Deborah Ross (Democrat)

  • Prioritizes job creation, making college affordable, strengthening early education, supporting clean energy, equal pay for women, affordable health care and improving state infrastructure.
  • Deborah Ross practiced law in North Carolina for 25 years—specializing in municipal law. She was a senior lecturing fellow at Duke Law School.
  • Served in the North Carolina House of Representatives and spearheaded projects on increasing public transportation funding, infrastructure improvements for schools, roads, water and sewer systems.

Sean Haugh (Libertarian)

  • Favors a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, free trade, reducing environmental regulation and a right to gun ownership.
  • Opposes drone warfare, affirmative action and expanding the Affordable Care Act.
  • Works as a pizza delivery driver in Durham and ran for Senate in 2014.

The Gubernatorial Race:

Pat McCrory (Republican)

  • Platform includes making the state veteran-friendly, reducing crime, improving transportation infrastructure and increasing government efficiency.
  • Previously served as the 53rd mayor of Charlotte from 1995 to 2009 and as a Charlotte city councilman from 1989 to 1995.
  • Member of the United States Homeland Security Advisory Council from 2002 to 2006.
  • Is seeking re-election to his second term.
  • First Republican governor of North Carolina in 20 years
  • Has faced controversy most recently over House Bill 2 and the economic consequences of the law, as several companies have decided not to expand into the state and the NCAA and ACC have shifted game venues away.

Roy Cooper (Democrat)

  • Supports reinstating teaching assistants and increasing teacher pay, increasing wages and supporting small businesses, expanding Medicaid, protecting natural resources and expanding voting registration and early voting.
  • Has served as attorney general of North Carolina since 2001.
  • Elected to the North Carolina House of Representatives in 1987 and served until 1991. He was a member of the North Carolina State Senate from 1991 to 2001.
  • Garnered national attention after his office was tasked with dealing with the Duke Lacrosse scandal. After four months, Cooper found the team innocent and dismissed the charges.

Lon Cecil (Libertarian)

  • He previously ran as a candidate in the 2010 race for North Carolina’s 12th Congressional district but lost against the Democratic incumbent.
  • He plans to eliminate regulations protecting those already in the market from competition and eliminate “government welfare” for companies. He also intends to simplify the tax system in North Carolina.
  • Wants to make more drugs legal in order to combat drug crime and gun violence.
  • Supports same-sex marriage but thinks government should not have a role in marriage at all.
  • Wants to lower the drinking age to 18.

Sample Ballot:

Duke University - North Carolina Sample Ballot by thedukechronicle on Scribd


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