Updated: Mar 21
The voting races in local elections are underway with the final day to vote being Tuesday, Nov. 8. As discussed in the Upcoming Elections article from The Herald’s first publication this fall, the upcoming North Carolina elections have positions open for candidates for the U.S. Senate. The two frontrunners were Cheri Beasley (Democrat) and Ted Budd (Republican). Mail voting has already been underway and is placing the campaign as being close between Beasley and Budd. There have been more than 3,000 ballots already placed for the 2022 general elections, Michael Bitzer at Catawba College notes in an article by NC Policy Watch that the key takeaway from the early ballot process is that “We’re seeing a substantial uptick in returned ballots from the last midterm election, which means there is some interest and engagement amongst these early voters.”
As far as the developed difference between Beasley and Budd’s campaigns, there has been a wide emphasis on the ruling of Dobbs in 2022, which declared that abortion is unconstitutional in the United States. Beasley has shown countless instances of disdain regarding the decision made in late June regarding abortion. Budd, on the other hand, has taken actions to co-sponsor a nationwide federal ban on abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, which was introduced by Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.
The most recent update for this campaign was the debate that happened on Oct. 7 between Beasley and Budd, which was the first and only debate scheduled in the campaign season. The debate was streamed on Spectrum News and moderated by Tim Boyum. This debate was out of character for Budd, after avoiding debates throughout the GOP (Republican Party) primary. The main discussion during the debate was on the different visions regarding inflation, abortion rights and immigration.
In regards to inflation, Budd placed blame on the Biden administration, stating that the COVID relief packages were unnecessary regarding its spending and instead proposed a cut on regulations. In turn, Beasley also criticized the administration but also emphasized that Budd has not helped in lowering the prices and voted against lowering prices of goods and services. In regards to the topic of immigration, both candidates stressed the importance of the topic. Beasley pushed for stronger borders with changes in policies that would allow for legal resources and programs for immigration. On the contrary, Budd stated that he supports a border wall and control workers.
By Danika Ray, Contributing Writer