Here’s who’s running for the North Carolina Senate District 22 seat

<p>Democrat legislators hope producing Senate Bill 888 and House Bill 1119 will show voters where they stand on reproductive rights.</p>

Democrat legislators hope producing Senate Bill 888 and House Bill 1119 will show voters where they stand on reproductive rights.

In the upcoming midterm elections, a Senate seat in District 22 of the North Carolina General Assembly is on the line. 

There are three candidates on the ballot: Republican Larry Coleman, Libertarian Ray Ubinger and incumbent Democrat Mike Woodard. 

Republicans hold a majority of the seats in the General Assembly. Elections this November will determine if this majority endures and if Republicans can recover the supermajority that the party lost in 2018. Republicans would need a net gain of two seats in the North Carolina Senate and three seats in the North Carolina House of Representatives to gain a supermajority.

In the event of a Republican supermajority, Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s vetoes of Republican legislation throughout his time in office could be overruled. A possible outcome would be that the legality of abortion within the state could be changed. 

The District 22 seat is currently held by Democrat Mike Woodard, Trinity ’81. In office since 2013, Woodward's policy platform since joining the North Carolina Senate has been focused on effective education, accessible and affordable healthcare and fostering a strong economy in North Carolina.

Woodard currently serves on the Appropriations/Base Budget, Appropriations on Department of Transportations, Finance, Health Care, the Rules and Operations of the Senate and the Transportation Committees.

Prior to his career in the North Carolina Senate, Woodard worked as an administrator at Duke.

Running against Woodard is Republican Larry Coleman. 

Coleman is new to the realm of political campaigning but not a stranger to District 22. He has lived in the district for over 20 years and has been an active community member. After serving in the military, he became heavily involved in the Durham Public School System and Durham’s Department of Parks and Recreation. 

“Giving back to the community, and being involved with the community just made me realize this is the kind of stuff I enjoy doing,” Coleman said. “And I think I have the capabilities and talents to provide that [at the] elected level.” 

Coleman has piloted a new branch of the Durham Parent Teacher Association for parents of special needs children. His current community project is the development of Veterans of Foreign Wars properties dedicated to affordable housing and a community co-op.

Along with veteran advocacy, one of Coleman’s main goals is to develop more affordable housing solutions in North Carolina.

“We're looking for opportunities from the state level to help that situation currently, not just in Durham, but across the state,” Coleman said. 

Coleman currently works as a full-time CFO and is vice president of administration at Piedmont Community College. 

Another of Coleman’s main political priorities if elected is ensuring public schools receive more funding. 

“I do believe our teachers do deserve to be paid more,” Coleman said. 

Coleman also seeks to improve upon North Carolina’s criminal law code.

“I think we can do some things to streamline some of our legal code code and make it not as confusing, which allows law enforcement to focus on the laws they need to focus on,” he said. 

The Chronicle emailed Ubinger requesting an interview. Ubinger responded, "I am not asking anyone to vote for me. I don't campaign, accept donations, or do questionnaires/forums/interviews/pledges. I don't even tell anyone I’m on the ballot. I am, as my committee name puts it, Just Buying Permission to Vote for Myself." 

Audrey Patterson profile
Audrey Patterson | Local and National News Editor

Audrey Patterson is a Trinity sophomore and local and national news editor of The Chronicle's 119th volume.


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