A Voter's Guide to Local Elections
Local elections are just as important — if not more important in some ways — than federal elections. These are the candidates that have the most jurisdiction over and will most directly impact their constituents’ lives. COVID-19 has helped the role of many local leaders come to light because of the difficult decision-making necessitated by the pandemic. To make local candidates as well known as federal ones, The Herald has created a voter guide to North Carolina’s local elections, utilizing information from the candidates’ websites and platforms and focusing on state races in Meredith’s districts. Click the following links for more information about how to vote in 2020 and for more detailed information about absentee ballots.
North Carolina Governor Candidates
Roy Cooper has been North Carolina’s governor since 2017, and has made his goals quite clear. Cooper advocated for good-paying jobs, a strong public education system, access to both quality and affordable healthcare for all, as well as Medicaid expansion to help cover many additional citizens.
Dan Forest is currently North Carolina’s lieutenant governor, and has also clearly outlined his main agenda. Forest advocates for both the protection of the 2nd Amendment and freedom of speech, combatting illegal immigration and raising teacher pay. He also wants to improve the healthcare system and is pro-life.
North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Candidates
Yvonne Lewis Holley, a current representative for North Carolina’s State House of Representatives, has outlined her stance on issues through her time as a representative. Holley advocates for criminal justice reform, women’s reproductive rights and equal pay, stronger gun legislation, greater environmental standards and immigration reform.
Mark Robinson, who is new to politics, has outlined his main issues in detail. Robinson advocates for the protection of the 2nd Amendment, the pro-life agenda, ending indoctrination in public schools and wants to create more job opportunities. Also important to him is combatting illegal immigration and enforcing standards for veteran care.
North Carolina Attorney General Candidates
Jim O’Neill, Forsyth County’s current district attorney, focuses on security, safety, and justice. He has also implemented many programs to help those in need; for example, he is active in an opioid addiction program to help inmates get clean and remain clean. In addition to that, he also leads prosecution programs focusing on both sex and criminal offenders.
Josh Stein has been state attorney general since 2017 and makes his priorities well-known. Stein advocates for promoting public safety, protecting seniors from fraud, preserving clean air and water with environmental standards and promoting public health.
North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice (seat 1)
Cheri Beasley, the first African American woman to serve as chief justice on North Carolina’s Supreme Court, has been working to promote her agenda for the state. Beasley advocates for fair access to the justice system, modernizing the court systems and providing strong leadership within the judicial branch.
Paul Newby, a current justice, works to reflect his philosophy in his court decisions. Newby advocates for fair and impartial hearings and enforcement of both the North Carolina Constitution and statutes created by the general assembly.
North Carolina Supreme Court Associate Justice (seat 2)
Phil Berger, Jr., having held various law positions, has outlined his agenda. Berger Jr. advocates for reducing crime by working directly with young people and plays a key role in Project SAFE — which aims at reducing violent crime among gang members and repeat offenders.
Lucy Inman, a current judge on the NC Court of Appeals, advocates for equal justice for everyone. She also has worked to represent survivors of negligence, sexual abuse and fraud.
North Carolina Supreme Court Associate Justice (seat 4)
Tamara Barringer, a current attorney, advocates for a strict constitutional interpretation of laws, for protecting at-risk children and for a better school system.
Mark Davis, a current justice on NC’s Supreme Court, advocates for an impartial and nonpartisan court system with fair access for everyone. Davis has also lectured statewide on appellate advocacy issues.
North Carolina State Senate (District 16)
Will Marsh has outlined his main issues clearly. Marsh advocates for lowering consumption taxes, creating a smaller government and has bipartisan goals.
Wiley Nickel, an attorney, has also clearly outlined his agenda for office. Nickel advocates for women’s reproductive rights, stronger school systems, creating high paying jobs and expanding access to healthcare.
North Carolina House of Representatives (District 49)
Cynthia Ball is a current representative who is up for re-election. While in office, Ball has advocated for the public education system, closing the healthcare coverage gap, adjusting the tax structure to help working families, accessible and affordable housing and protecting the environment.
David Robertson (Republican)
David Roberston does not have a published platform available.
By Rylee Petty, Contributing Writer