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North Carolina Democratic nominee Cheri Beasley running for U.S. Senate with focus on justice, fairness

The midterm elections are less than two weeks away, and a pivotal U.S. Senate race will take place in North Carolina. Democratic candidate Cheri Beasley is challenging Republican Congressman Ted Budd to replace Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), who is retiring.

Beasley most recently served as the chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, a position she was appointed to by Gov. Roy Cooper in 2019. She was the first Black woman to serve this post. Beasley was previously an associate justice of the State Supreme Court, being elected to an eight-year term in 2014 after Gov. Beverly Perdue appointed her to fill a vacancy in 2012.

Beasley received her Juris Doctor from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1991, and she earned a Masters of Laws degree at Duke University School of Law in 2018. 

In addition to her experience on the State Supreme Court, she was elected to the North Carolina Court of Appeals in 2008 and was a judge in North Carolina’s 12th judicial district from 1999 to 2008. 

In 2020, she narrowly lost an election to remain chief justice by just 401 votes. After a brief stint with the McGuireWoods law firm, she announced her candidacy for U.S. Senate in April 2021. 

Some of Beasley’s main policy stances surround her experience in the court, running on a platform of “the pursuit of justice and fairness,” according to her campaign website. 

Beasley wants to focus on reforming court sentencing with the expansion of drug treatment and mental health courts. She also supports legalizing marijuana and the George Floyd Policing Act, which attempts to combat police misconduct and excessive force, as well as introduce racial bias training. 

Healthcare and reproductive rights are one of the biggest issues on the ballot in November. As far as healthcare, Beasley supports expanding Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act with a public option, hoping to focus on rural areas. 

On abortion, Beasley wants to repeal the Hyde Amendment, which bans the use of federal Medicaid to fund most abortions, and codify Roe v. Wade under the Women’s Health Protection Act. She is endorsed by the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. 

The economy and inflation will also be a pressing issue this election cycle. In her debate against Budd, Beasley did not directly answer whether she would have voted for President Biden’s latest stimulus packages. She instead focused on the need to lower prices, particularly prescription drug costs. Beasley believes that making the expanded child tax credit permanent and passing a federal medical and family leave law will alleviate the financial pressure for many North Carolinians. She also supports raising the federal minimum wage to $15/hour. 

For more information about voting in the 2022 midterm elections, read The Chronicle’s voting guide.

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