2014 early voting is upon us! Here are the endorsements!

2014 brings changes to early voting: namely, there’s less of it. So all you slackers better get out there soon, or you’ll have to vote on election day itself, and that’s just no fun at all.

The BOE provides a PDF that lists when and where you can get your early vote on, but the most sure fire option is the BOE office at 201 N. Roxboro, which is open every day between now and Saturday, November 1. On weekdays it’ll be open at least from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., but if that doesn’t work for you check out the PDF for weekend and evening hours.

There’s another PDF which gives you a list of candidates. If you’re unsure on whom to vote for, you can just crib off of the endorsements. You can find out what your ballot looks like here.

For your convenience, I have colored Democrats blue and Republicans red. (You may notice that there is no red. That should not really be a surprise).

Indy Week Durham People’s Alliance Durham Committee Friends of Durham
US Senate
Kay Hagan Kay Hagan Kay Hagan
US House 1 GK Butterfield GK Butterfield GK Butterfield
US House 4 David Price David Price David Price
US House 6 Laura Fjeld Laura Fjeld
US House 13 Brenda Cleary Brenda Cleary
State Supreme Court – Chief Justice Mark Martin Mark Martin
State Supreme Court Associate Justice – Martin seat Sam Ervin IV Sam Ervin IV Sam Ervin IV
State Supreme Court Associate Justice – Hudson seat Robin Hudson Robin Hudson Robin Hudson
State Supreme Court Associate Justice – Beasley seat Cheri Beasley Cheri Beasley Cheri Beasley
State Appeals Court – Martin seat John Arrowood John Arrowood Keischa Lovelace
State Appeals Court – Hunter seat Lucy Inman Lucy Inman Lucy Inman
State Appeals Court – Davis seat Mark Davis Mark Davis Mark Davis
State Appeals Court – Stroud seat Donna Stroud
Constitutional Amendment FOR AGAINST
NC Senate 20 Floyd McKissick Floyd McKissick
NC Senate 22 Mike Woodard Mike Woodard Mike Woodard
NC House 29 Larry Hall Larry Hall
NC House 30 Paul Luebke
NC House 31 Mickey Michaux Mickey Michaux Mickey Michaux
NC House 50 Graig Meyer Graig Meyer
District Court 14 – Evans seat Steven Storch Pat Evans Pat Evans Pat Evans
District Court 14 – Gordon seat Nancy Gordon Nancy Gordon Fred Battaglia Fred Battaglia
District Court 14 – Morey seat Marcia Morey Marcia Morey
District Court 14 – Hill seat James Hill James Hill
District Court 14 – Walker seat Henry Pruette Doretta Walker Doretta Walker Henry Pruette
District Court 14 – Wilks seat Brian Wilks Brian Wilks
Durham DA Roger Echols
Durham Clerk of Court Archie Smith
Sheriff Mike Andrews Mike Andrews
Soil and Water District Supervisor Ray Eurquhart, Will Wilson Ray Eurquhart, Will Wilson Ray Eurquhart, Katie Locklier

Some general thoughts on the endorsements: man, it seems like the Friends and the Committee are really slacking lately. The Friends don’t appear to have endorsed anybody outside of the Durham District Court judges, and they haven’t even updated their web site to reflect these endorsements. The Committee? They did at least endorse a full slate, but I can’t actually find their endorsements outside of the Herald either. Their most prominent online presence, which appears to be their Facebook page, hasn’t been updated in months.

I know not everybody uses the Internet, and that the Committee especially does more direct outreach. I get that. But if I can’t google [NAME OF YOUR PAC ENDORSEMENTS 2014] and get back meaningful results, that’s a problem for you.

Kudos to the Indy and Durham Peoples’ Alliance for actually making this easy on me by plainly listing all of your endorsements.

The constitutional amendment is a curiosity; NC is apparently the only state which doesn’t allow defendants to waive their right to a jury trial. Although it saves money by reducing the number of juries, some people (like the Committee) believe this right could be used against uneducated defendants to their disadvantage. It’s unclear whether that’s true, which is why the People’s Alliance took no stance and the Indy supports it.

OK, vote’s on. Have fun kids!

Roy Cooper states he will stop defending Amendment 1

Yeah, this isn’t Durham specific, but it’s pretty big news. In light of the 4th Circuit ruling striking down Virginia’s ban on same sex marriages earlier today, Roy Cooper has stated he’ll stop defending NC’s own anti-equality Amendment:

“It’s time to stop making arguments we will lose and instead move forward, knowing that the ultimate resolution will likely come from the United States Supreme Court,” he said.

It will be interesting to see the grandstanding by GOP legislators in response, and whether they pursue any additional retaliation against the AG’s office. Cooper, who is arguably the most prominent Democrat in NC politics (and an incredibly likely candidate for Governor in 2016), has tried very hard up to now to defend the Amendment in about the weakest way possible, a tightrope act which has allowed him to avoid direct confrontation with the legislature (but hasn’t exactly made him many friends on either side of the issue).

Although the legislature and the Governor can’t get rid of Cooper, they have various ways to reduce his headcount and otherwise reduce or obstruct the mission of the attorney general’s office.

One of the more interesting possible outcomes here is the Senate trying to step in to defend the law in lieu of Cooper. Last session the legislature granted itself the power to represent NC in lawsuits, and this is exactly the reason why they did so. Cooper has in the past maintained that the law wouldn’t apply in Constitutional scenarios, but the Senate could try to do just that, and in turn that move would probably itself be challenged in court.

People voted! Here’s who we voted for!

I know you’ve been waiting for my insights on the election, sorry about the delay! I think the big story here is that the Committee on the Affairs of Black People doesn’t seem to be as big a factor as it once was in Durham politics. They went against the People’s Alliance in several cases, and they didn’t win a single one of them.

Turnout was pretty good for a midterm election at around 15%, despite the changes to early voting procedures.

School board (nonpartisan):

  • Mike Lee defeated long time incumbent Omega Curtis Parker in District 1. Lee was endorsed by every political group. I guess Parker didn’t make many friends.
  • Sendolo Diaminah won in District 2. Diaminah was endorsed by the Indy and the Alliance, and he was outspent by his competitors, but he did a lot of community outreach personally.
  • Matt Sears won District 3. Like Sendolo, he was endorsed by the Indy and the Alliance.
  • Natalie Beyer ran unopposed in District 4 and defeated “Other”

DA (Democrat, running with no other party in opposition):

Sheriff (Democrat, running with no other party in opposition):

  • Mike Andrews, the incumbant (who was appointed after Worth Hill retired in 2011), won handily. Andrews was endorsed by everybody but the Committee.

District Judges (nonpartisan):

  • Doretta Walker will face Henry Pruette in the general election. Walker had a large lead in the primary.
  • Nancy Gordon will face Fred Battaglia in the general election. The primary was very close, so this will be one to keep an eye on (also, they have split endorsements from the Alliance and Committee)

NC House (Republican):

  • Rod Chaney easily defeated his challenger and will face incumbent Graig Meyer in the fall for District 50.

NC Senate (Republican):

  • Milton Holmes narrowly won his primary in district 22 and moves on to face incumbent (and former City Councilman) Mike Woodard.

US House (Democrat):

  • Incumbent Butterfield easily defeated his sole Democratic challenger in District 1.
  • Laura Fjeld (endorsed by the Alliance) defeated Bruce Davis in District 6. Davis was endorsed by both the Indy and the Committee.
  • Brenda Cleary readily defeated her sole challenger in the 13th district. Cleary will face incumbent George Holding in the general election.

US House (Republican):

  • Arthur Rich narrowly won in District 1.
  • Mark Walker and Phil Berger Jr. were the top two candidates in a large District 6 field, and they’ll face off in a runoff in July.

US Senate:

  • Unsurprisingly, this will be Tillis vs Hagan.

If you forgot to early vote, you can still regular vote

Just a brief reminder that today is the last day to vote in the primary election. You can find your polling place at the Durham county web site. Polls close at 7:30 p.m. tonight.

The turnout in early voting was low, as is typical for midterm elections, but it doesn’t seem to have been substantially impacted by the shortened early voting schedule.

Below is the list of endorsements, in case you need them. For some reason you are not allowed to use a telephone in the polling place, so you might want to print it out ahead of time if you’d like to refer to it when you vote.

Protip: in NC, Independents can select which party ballot they receive when they arrive at the polls. I won’t tell you Independents how to cast your own votes, but I’ll mention that if you choose the Republican ballot you get the chance to vote in a hotly contested primary race which will determine who runs against Hagan for US Senate this fall.


Indy Week Durham People’s Alliance Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People Friends of Durham
US Senate (D)
Kay Hagan Kay Hagan Kay Hagan
US Senate (R)
Ted Alexander
US Senate (L)
Sean Haugh
US House 1 (D) GK Butterfield GK Butterfield GK Butterfield
US House 1 (R) Arthur Rich
US House 6 (D) Bruce Davis Laura Fjeld Bruce Davis
US House 6 (R) Zack Matheny
US House 13 (D) Brenda Cleary Virginia Conlon
State Supreme Court (NP) Robin Hudson Robin Hudson Robin Hudson
NC Senate 22 (R) Herman Joubert
NC House 50 (R) W Lewis Hannah Jr.
Durham DA (D) Brian Aus Roger Echols Roger Echols Brian Aus
District Court 14 – Gordon seat (NP) Nancy Gordon Nancy Gordon Fred Battaglia Jr. (???)
District Court 14 – Walker seat (NP) Henry Pruette Doretta Walker Doretta Walker
Board of Education – District 1 (NP) Mike Lee Mike Lee Mike Lee Mike Lee
Board of Education – District 2 (NP) Sendolo Diaminah Sendolo Diaminah Donald A Hughes Terrence Ray Scarborough
Board of Education – District 3 (NP) Matt Sears Matt Sears Deborah L Bryson (???) Lisa Gordon Stella
Board of Education – District 4 (NP) Natalie Beyer Natalie Beyer Natalie Beyer
Sheriff (D) Mike Andrews Mike Andrews Clarence Birkhead Mike Andrews

Possum Drop it like it’s hot! For realz this time!

Well, it’s the last day of 2013, and there’s only one way to ring in the new year: dropping a possum!

A Superior Court judge will allow Brasstown’s annual Possum Drop to go ahead despite opposition from animal rights activists.

You may recall that in one of his first acts as governor McCrory signed a bill into law that allowed the return of the Possum Drop, and in one of my first posts as blogger I wrote up an extensive retelling of the saga, which you might (or might not) find amusing. This ruling marks the end of the legal shenanigans from the likes of PETA , and so the beloved hillbilly tradition is back in earnest.

I hope you guys had a good 2013! I thought it was pretty sweet. See ya next year.

McCrory goes 0 for 2 on vetoes

WRAL is reporting that the Senate just finished what the House started yesterday, voting to override both of McCrory’s vetoes. Now some welfare recipients will be required to take drug tests, others will face background checks, and brown people can be thrown in jail for twenty four hours due to excessive brownness. Oh, and E-Verify won’t be enforced in agribusiness operations.

There were few defectors, which speaks to just how little say McCrory has here at the end of the day. Like the rest of us, he’s just along for the ride to crazytown.