Elections for the North Carolina General Assembly are coming up on Nov. 8, with early voting kicking off on Oct. 20. Three candidates are running to represent District 30 of the North Carolina House of Representatives: Rep. Marcia Morey (D-Durham), Republican William Antico and Libertarian Guy Meilleur.
The midterm elections in North Carolina can shift the balance of the state’s House of Representatives.
If the Democrats lose three seats in the North Carolina House, the Republicans will have a supermajority, at which point the Republican party can override Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s vetoes.
Veto power is especially important for Democrats in the House as Speaker Tim Moore, a Republican, has stated that he personally supports legislation banning abortion when an ultrasound detects a heartbeat.
The fate of Medicaid expansion, school funding and tax liability for student loan forgiveness may be determined by the upcoming election, according to Morey.
“It's a very tight race across the state, every district matters,” Morey said.
Democratic Rep. Marcia Morey
Morey has served as a member of the NC House of Representatives representing District 30 since 2017 and is running for her third full term.
Following a successful Olympic swimming career, Morey spent 18 years as a district court judge for the 14th Judicial District Court and five years as its chief judge.
Morey also served as executive director of the Governor’s Commission on Juvenile Crime and Justice under former Governor Jim Hunt. She founded the Misdemeanor Diversion Program, which diverts youths who have been charged with crimes to education and community service programs to avoid receiving criminal records.
“I think I represent the values of my constituents in Durham,” Morey said. “I was a judge here in Durham for 18 years and learned everything about people's needs and challenges that they have from our courts, be it family court, juvenile court, civil court. ”
In the upcoming election, Morey’s priority issues include increasing funding for public school teachers and opportunity scholarships, improving gun safety, protecting women’s reproductive freedom, protecting voting rights, protecting workers’ rights to organize and increasing the minimum wage and increasing transparency in legislative processes.
Morey emphasized that expanding Medicaid was a key agenda issue.
“We're depriving 600,000 people of medical coverage, because they're in this coverage gap. And for years, people have died because we haven't expanded Medicaid,” she said.
Morey is endorsed by the Progressive Caucus of the NC Democratic Party, Sierra Club, Progressive Turnout Project, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, the American Federation of Labor, the People’s Alliance, National Democratic Redistricting Committee and the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People PAC.
Republican William Antico
Antico served in the Navy in 1980 and has worked as an auxiliary police officer, an airport operations officer, a corrections officer and a bail bondsman. He was dismissed from his position as a correctional officer due to “unacceptable personal conduct,” including failure to follow his supervisor’s instructions not to leave the premises of Polk Correctional Institution until he was released from his shift.
Antico is affiliated with the National Rifle Association, Durham GOP and the Fleet Reserve Association.
In Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey, Antico described himself as a pro-union Republican and devout Christian.
“I'm a working man, and have been working a job since I was 18. I know how it is to be short of money. I know what it's like having a hard time paying bills. I know how it is to be mistreated on your job, which is why I'm a pro-union Republican,” Antico wrote. “We need good unions here to protect workers from being unfairly treated.”
He added that he is a “pro law-enforcement candidate who plans on helping out law enforcement at all levels in North Carolina.”
Antico’s priority issues include lowering or eliminating taxes for those living on social security or a pension, strengthening law enforcement by enabling officers to arrest felons anywhere in the state and improving safety in schools and bus stops, according to Ballotpedia’s survey.
The Chronicle reached out to Antico and scheduled an interview for Oct. 6, but he did not show up to the scheduled meeting. He did not respond to two follow-up emails to reschedule.
Libertarian Guy Meilleur
Meilleur is a board-certified master arborist, and his company Historic Tree Care provides tree inspection, care and consulting services. Meilleur ran for the NC House in 2018 and 2020. He has worked as a guest lecturer at NC State University, instructor at Duke University and staff arborist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, according to his campaign website.
Meilleur’s platform is based on improving educational opportunities, allowing for more consumer alcohol choice by abolishing the ABC system in favor of private distribution channels and expanding affordable housing.
He hopes to “restore healthy dialogue” amidst political partisanship.
“It is important for the legislature not to be dominated by a single party. When there was a single party that had a supermajority, there was what I consider to be an abusive overreach of power,” Meilleur said, referencing Republicans’ attempts to remove judicial review of federal election laws.
Meilleur also explained that many people have misconceptions about the Libertarian Party.
“People think we want to banish governments entirely,” he said. Meilleur described Libertarians as economically conservative and socially liberal, with the fundamental goal of protecting “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
Libertarians “tend to believe that people should live their lives the way they want to as long as they don’t interfere with the rights of others,” Meilleur said.
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Zoe Spicer is a Trinity sophomore and a staff reporter of The Chronicle's 118th volume.