Voter Guide for Midterms

Our democracy is a broken system, but it’s a system that governs our lives. Every single seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, ⅓ of the seats in the senate, and several court and county seats are up for grabs this year, so your vote is going to have a big impact!

So, whose boxes are you going to check? Perhaps to figure that out, you need some background knowledge on the local candidates. Luckily for you, folks from the Center for Political Engagement and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity have done the work for you, and I’ve provided some additional details. So for those of you who missed the event on Wednesday, here’s the breakdown.

U.S. House of Representatives District 12

Alma Adams (D- Incumbent)

Has served on the Greensboro City Council, in the NC House of Representatives, and in the U.S. House of Representatives

Goals:

  • Support HBCUs with a bipartisan caucus
  • Increase access to affordable education and close the achievement gap
  • Combat climate change by curbing pollution and investing in renewable energy
  • Reduce national deficit by increasing taxes on the wealthy while reducing taxes on the middle class
  • Raising the minimum wage
  • Avoiding trade deals that outsource high paying manufacturing jobs
  • Protecting Medicare programs and relieving medication costs for senior citizens

Paul Wright (R- Challenger)

Former Assistant DA, District Court Judge, and Superior Court Judge

  • Defending the Second Amendment the right to bear arms
  • Curbing “illegal immigration,” including supporting Trump in building the wall and ending sanctuary cities
  • Maintaining a good relationship with Russia and ensuring we do not go to war with them
  • Ending the war on terror
  • Reversing the “deChristianization” of America by relegating Supreme Court decisions (i.e. Roe v. Wade, Obergefell v. Hodges) down to state courts
  • Ending GMO farming
  • Stopping the outsourcing of middle-class jobs
  • Ending spying on American citizens without search warrants
  • Transforming our tax system

North Carolina State Senate District 41

Jeff Tarte (R- Incumbent)

Former 3-term mayor of Cornelius and senator representing Cornelius, Davidson, Huntersville, Matthews, Mint Hill and parts of Charlotte

  • Primary sponsor of the Property Tax Revaluation Bill and Kilah’s Law, which increased criminal penalties for domestic assault (against a spouse, partner, or child)
  • Primary author of the final version of the Health Care Transparency bill, which sought to provide better insight for consumers into the cost of healthcare services.

Natasha Marcus (D- Challenger)

Former litigation attorney with J.D. from Duke University

  • Core goals if elected are to fight for affordable healthcare, gun safety reform, clean drinking water, support for public education, and tax policies geared towards helping working families.
  • Notable Endorsements: Equality NC, Conservation PAC, Sierra Club, Black Political Caucus of Charlotte, North Carolina Association of Educators, Planned Parenthood, Emily’s List

NC House of Representatives District 98

John Bradford III (R- Incumbent)

First Elected in 2014. Reelected in 2016. Member of Education (K-12), Finance, Energy and Utilities and Commerce and Job Development committees, Chair of State and Local Government and regulatory reform committees. Deputy Majority Whip in the NC House.

  • Core goals if elected include economic stimulation through incentivizing business growth/expansion, investing in education, paying competitive salaries to educators, lowering taxes, terminating or modifying the toll lane contract and adding a general-purpose lane, reducing the size of government and stopping wasteful spending

Christy Clark (D- Challenger)

Paralegal and lobbyist, leader of Moms Demand Action NC

  • Core goals if elected include boosting the NC K-12 education standard, reproductive rights, LGBTQ+ rights, gun control/stricter background check laws, combating the I-77 toll road and unsafe road conditions.
  • Notable Endorsements: AFL-CIO, Black Political Caucus of Charlotte, Emily's List, Sierra Club, Planned Parenthood, North Carolina Association of Educators, Human Rights Campaign

County Commissioners At-Large (Choose 3)

Pat Cotham (D- Incumbent)

Her platform includes affordable housing, increasing funding for schools and parks, against 287(G), which is a voluntary federal program through which CMPD collaborates with Immigration and Customs Enforcement in detaining undocumented immigrants who are jailed.

Trevor Fuller (D- Incumbent)

Hopes to work towards affordable housing, universal Pre-K, and economic mobility. Is against 287(G).

Ella Scarborough (D- Incumbent)

In favor of school choice and affordable housing, against 287(G).

Jeremy Brasch (R- Challenger)

Wants to lower property taxes in order to “offer temporary incentives to areas we want to encourage development.”

County Commissioner District 1

Jim Puckett (R- Incumbent)

Chairman of county’s Economic Development Committee

  • Against toll roads and commuter rail
  • Lowest possible tax rates
  • Expanded small town police coverage
  • Performance-based funding for Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools

[Editor’s note: I’ve tried to present information objectively, but here I must interject and say that performance-based funding for CMS is counterintuitive. The schools that are struggling need more funding, not less, so that they can obtain better resources to help their students grow. Thus, I strongly recommend that you consider voting for his opponent.]

Elaine Powell (D- Challenger)

Former Chairwoman of Parks & Recreation Commission

  • Supports a Citizen Engagement Advisory Committee
  • Supports workforce education & training in public schools
  • Will advocate for additional funding for Greenway infrastructure

Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor (Choose 2)

Tigress Sydney Acute McDaniel

Former National Park Service Resource Education Ranger, PhD Candidate in Energy and Environmental Systems and Economics

  • Wetland and watershed management for residential development & commercial lands
  • Reducing runoff and non-point source pollution
  • Arbor re-strategization and best practices management
  • Sustainability strategic implementation for both commercial and residential areas
  • Green adoption
  • Air pollution management
  • Agricultural viability

Barbara Bleiweis

Served on the Charlotte Water Advisory Board and urged them to change their extension policy. Served on the Soil and Water Conservation Districts Board to protect farmland.

  • Providing farmers with increased protection from non-farm development by proposing an ordinance to give farmers an official voice if their farmland is threatened by developers/utilities or state transportation departments.
  • Combating soil erosion in neighborhoods caused by developers.

Nancy Carter

Former Charlotte City Councilwoman (District 5) and Executive Committee Member of the NC Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts.

  • Increasing technical assistance by hiring more engineers
  • Increasing funding

Lilly Taylor

Has been involved in activism and community organizing against the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, Dakota Access Pipeline, and Duke Energy.

  • Combat illegal dumping in our rivers, lakes and streams and spills such as Coal Ash, gasoline, oil, and sewage, which pollute our waterways.
  • Address excessive litter in storm-water runoff and the proliferation of single-use plastics.

Duncan David St. Clair III

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 Former US National Park Service Ranger

  • Remove all the bad stuff from the water
  •  Tree sales (where Soil & Water makes most of its operating budget) need to be at festivals, events, parades, schools, churches, parks, etc.

David Michael Rice

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Owner/manager of business

  • To encourage more farming
  • To save farmland by combating soil erosion

NC State Court of Appeals Seat 1

John S. Arrowood (D- Incumbent)

Before his appointment to the Court of Appeals, he served as a special superior court judge. In his private practice he focuses on employment and commercial litigation.

  • Notable endorsements: LGBTQ Victory Fund, AFL-CIO, Sierra Club, Black Political Caucus of Charlotte, the Charlotte Observer

Andrew Heath (R- Challenger)

NC Superior Court Judge. Served as North Carolina State Budget Director.

NC State Court of Appeals Seat 2

Jefferson Griffin (R)

Wake County District Court Judge, former criminal defense attorney, captain in the N.C. Army National Guard Judge Advocate General’s Corps

Notable Endorsements: NC Republican Party, North Carolina Sheriff Police Alliance

Sandra Ray (R)

District Court Judge, former Assistant District Attorney and criminal and civil lawyer

Notable Endorsements: the NC State Troopers Association

Tobias (Toby) Hampson (D)

Lawyer specializing in appellate cases, Member of the NC Bar Association Appellate Rules Committee

Notable Endorsements: The Charlotte Observer, Sierra Club, Equality NC, the AFL-CIO, the Charlotte Black Political Caucus, the Charlotte Observer

NC Court of Appeals Seat 3

Allegra Collins (D)

Law professor at Campbell Law School and appellate attorney, Member of the NC Bar Association’s Appellate Rules Committee

Notable Endorsements: Equality NC, Sierra Club, NC Fraternal Order of Police

Chuck Kitchen (R)

In his private practice, he often represents cities and counties. Former county attorney in Durham and Alamance Counties

Michael Monaco Sr. (L)

Former pro-bono estate attorney

Believes in LGBTQ+ rights, black rights, and immigrant rights.

NC Supreme Court Associate Justice

Barbara Jackson (R- Incumbent)

State Supreme Court Justice Since 2010, Judge on the Appeals Court for 6 Years

Has worked to incorporate technology into the judicial process

Anita Earls (D- Challenger)

Civil Rights Attorney and Former Attorney for the Department of Justice. Founded the Southern Coalition for Social Justice.

Is against gerrymandering and Voter ID laws

Notable Endorsements: The Charlotte Observer

Chris Anglin (R- Challenger)

Personal Injury Attorney of 7 years

Is against the increasing partisanization of the Supreme Court, as well as the growing power of the legislature and the Governor

NC Superior Court Judge District 26C

George C. Bell (R)

His private practice focuses on criminal defense and traffic ticket defense. He is a former judicial clerk.

Howard L. Clark III (D)

Assistant Public Defender, former high school social studies teacher

Reggie E. McKnight (D)

His private practice focuses on complex criminal litigation, personal injury and entertainment law. Serves on Board of Directors of nonprofits such as Emerging Leaders Mentoring Program, Freedom within Walls, and the McCrorey YMCA.

Notable Endorsements: The Charlotte Observer

For more information on the candidates, you can visit their campaign websites or check out http://ncvoterguide.org/profiles/ or https://onyourballot.vote411.org/

 

Now, it’s time to talk about the proposed constitutional amendments.

This article does a really good job of breaking 5 of the amendments down, though it does not discuss the voter ID amendment.

Many Democrats recommend voting against all six amendments. If you want to understand this perspective, see this article from the News & Observer, this one from the Charlotte Observer, and this blog post.

Carlina after voting early on Friday.

If you're not registered yet, there is same day registration during early voting. You just need to provide proof of residence, which means providing a tuition statement with residence life information and two forms of ID.

If you’re not sure whether you’re registered or not, you can check in under 30 seconds here.

If you need a ride to early voting, fill out this google form.

If you would like to canvass for any of the candidates, please contact Andrew Coyner, head of the College Republicans at [email protected] or Kate Bock, head of the College Democrats at [email protected] and they will provide you with more information.

All information on candidates was gathered from their campaign websites and social media accounts, newspaper articles, and voter guides that share answers submitted by the candidates themselves. Special thanks to Kate Bock for her guidance about the format of this article.

 

If you are interested in writing an article for Her Campus Davidson, contact us at [email protected] or come to our bi-monthly meetings on the first and third Wednesday of the month at 8 p.m. in the Morcott Room.