WASHINGTON — With the general election campaign now underway in North Carolina, the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee is unveiling its first round of Spotlight candidates in the state. The DLCC and state Democrats broke Republican supermajorities in both chambers of the legislature in 2018, and a strong slate of challengers has stepped up to flip the state from red to blue this November.
“We’re coming back to North Carolina to finish what we started in 2018,” said DLCC President Jessica Post. “We are excited to work with our amazing Spotlight candidates to flip the General Assembly from red to blue this year. By flipping at least one chamber, we can stand up for fair maps and fight for progress in North Carolina on affordable health care and stronger schools.”
In 2018, Democrats gained ten seats in the House and six in the Senate, giving Governor Roy Cooper the power to veto right-wing legislation. Although a majority of North Carolinians voted for Democrats that year, Republicans maintained their majorities due to extreme gerrymandering. Flipping at least one chamber this year is the only way to ensure the GOP doesn’t abuse its power again.
Democrats need to flip just six seats in the House and five in the Senate to win a majority for the first time in a decade. North Carolina Democrats reported record-breaking fundraising in 2019, and turnout in Tuesday’s primary represented at 17 percent increase over 2016 — unmistakable signs of Democratic momentum in one of the nation’s top battleground states.
The DLCC has already invested $200,000 in North Carolina this cycle. The first slate of Spotlight candidates in the state this year includes three House and three Senate challengers:
- Adam Ericson (HD-20), a dedicated community leader who plans to use his experience in education and volunteer work to fight for better schools, a cleaner environment, and a stronger health care system.
- Ricky Hurtado (HD-63), a champion of working-class immigrant families and first-generation college students who hopes to build a better future for all Tar Heel State families.
- Aimy Steele (HD-82), a career educator and small business owner who understands the issues facing North Carolinians and plans to advocate for better health care for all.
- Barbara Yates-Lockamy (SD-13), a lifelong resident of southeastern North Carolina with decades of community involvement who is determined to improve education, expand Medicaid, and create jobs with living wages.
- Sarah Crawford (SD-18), an outspoken advocate for students and low-income families who will push for more affordable health care coverage and economic resources for all.
- Terri LeGrand (SD-31), a strong voice in the fight for equal opportunities for all who plans to bring her invaluable experiences working with at-risk youth and fighting for women’s rights to the Senate.
The DLCC and state Democrats have flipped more than 430 state legislative seats and 10 chambers from red to blue since 2016. As part of its 2020 Flip Everything campaign, the DLCC plans to spend $50 million to target Republican-controlled legislatures across the country.