51% of 2006 NC Legislature Races Already Decided


Results are in for 86 - or 50.6% - of the 2006 races for the NC General Assembly. This includes 64 (53% of the total) in the House and 22 (44% of the total) in the Senate. Only 56 House and 28 Senate seats remain to be decided in November.

The winners include 33 Democrats and 31 Republicans in the House, as well as 12 Democrats and 10 Republicans in the Senate. Why are the results in already? Because all these candidates are unopposed in the November election.

The winners include:

House Dems
W. C. (Bill) Owens, Jr.
Edward (Ed) Jones
Edith D. Warren
Thomas E. Wright
Larry M. Bell
William Brisson
Jean Farmer-Butterfield
Michael H. Wray
Larry D. Hall
Paul Luebke
H. M. (Mickey) Michaux
Jim Crawford
Bernard Allen
Jennifer Weiss
Deborah K. Ross
Marvin W. Lucas
Mary E. McAllister
Margaret Highsmith Dickson
Douglas Y. Yongue
Ronnie Sutton
Garland E. Pierce
Bill Faison
W. A. (Winkie) Wilkins
Verla C. Insko
Alice Bordsen
Larry Womble
Earline W. Parmon
L. Hugh Holliman
Drew P. Saunders
Beverly Miller Earle
Becky Carney
Martha Alexander
W. Pete Cunningham

House Repugs
Carolyn Justice
Danny McComas
Leo Daughtry
James H. Langdon, Jr.
Marilyn Avila
Laura Wiley
John M. Blust
Cary D. Allred
David Almond
Curtis Blackwood
Larry R. Brown
Dale Robbins Folwell
William C. (Bill) McGee
Fred F. Steen, II
Harold J. Brubaker
Julia Craven Howard
Jerry C. Dockham
Jeff Barnhart
Linda P. Johnson
Phillip Frye
Edgar V. Starnes
Mitchell Smith Setzer
George Holmes
Karen Ray
Mark K. Hilton
Joe L. Kiser
Thom Tillis
William A. Current
Trudi Walend
Roger West

Senate Dems
Clark Jenkins
Julia Boseman
David F. Weinstein
Janet Cowell
Bob Atwater
Tony Rand
Jeanne H. Lucas
Kay Hagan
Katie G. Dorsett
Linda Garrou
Daniel G. Clodfelter
Charlie Dannelly
David W. Hoyle

Senate Repugs
Richard Stevens
Jerry W. Tillman
Don W. East
Peter Samuel (Pete) Brunstetter
Stan Bingham
W. Edward (Eddie) Goodall, Jr.
Robert Pittenger
James (Jim) Forrester
Tom Apodaca

In total, there are 45 Democrats without a Republican challenger and 41 Republicans without a Democratic challenger.

This may have been discussed before, but why would the NC Democratic Party leave 41 seats unchallenged in the general election? That's 24% of the seats handed to the Greedy Ole Puppets without a fight. An unopposed Republican can go as far off the wingnut deep end as they want, or as far as Art Pope tells them to, whichever comes first.

Jerry Meek - we need a 100 County Strategy, if for no other reason than to show voters statewide that the Democratic Party is a choice wherever you live in NC.


Very nice Todd

I think Democrats in very Republican areas get discouraged. I also think that BlueNC and other online blogs/sources can help connect people in these areas. They can get ideas and find out what's worked for parties in other counties. It's hard for people to commit to giving their time and money to file for a race that even Democrats will say isn't winnable. The sad thing is few people contribute to or volunteer for these candidates. It will take a bit of time to rebuild the party in some areas, but you're right that we need to pay attention to these Republican "freebies".

Click on the hat to see all Citizen Journalist files

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Ditto, Todd

Let's resolve right now to cut the number of uncontested Republican seats to zero.

Right Jerry?

PS Please recommend this to the front page!

A blogger in every district.

Once again, i think we need to push netroots candidates in every district that had no Democratic challenger this year. Just a progressive voice to get out there speaking the truth. Not being a yahoo, but showing up in a suit and tie and speaking to power with square shoulders and a straight stare.

Tell the truth about our corrupt system and how, as a Democrat, they would fight for a clean election system, and a better North Carolina.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

I agree! That's Why I'm so pumped about

Gerald Galloway in the race for Morgan's seat. With both Pinehurst and Southern Pines in Moore County, a lot of the races are repubs uncontested.

Just need to get the Dem party here as "Pumped" as I am.....yea....I'm working on it!

Partisan Gerrymandering

must be playing a part in this. Are half the seats drawn in such a way to make them uncompetitive? I don't know the answer to that.

Maybe we would be better off with an independent commission drawing the lines at redistricting time. Or maybe the Tom Delay style Texas redisticting is called for where we pack as many GOP voters in as few districts as possible.

If it is partisan gerrymandering

it's our own. One time honored strategy is "packing," putting a super-majority of the opponent's voters into a single district. You'll never win that district (so you might not even try), but every Republican vote over a simple majority is a vote that isn't cast against a Democrat in another district.

Example: imagine a state with 3,000 people and three electoral districts. Say there are 1,500 Democrats and 1,500 Republicans. If Democrats draw the lines and put 800 Republicans in District 1, and then split the remaining 700 evenly into Districts 2 and 3, then the Republicans will always win District 1 (why even run a Democrat?) and the Democrats will always have the edge in Districts 2 and 3 (650 to 350). Even though the population is evenly split, the representation will always be 2 to 1.

The Republican voters in District 1 are "packed" and the Republican voters in 2 and 3 are "cracked." And the Supreme Court says this is generally fine.

I like the commission idea too, but there are a lot of details along the road to a commission that could easily be deal breakers.


Republicans into districts is to be expected when Democrats control redistricting. What isn't expected is to see Democrats packing themselves into districts that are then super-safe.

The GOP has effectively done that to us by having the Justice Department require a maximum number of majority-minority districts. By packing Democratic-leaning minorities into such disticts, the remaining districts are more likely to vote GOP. They are using the history of racially biased voting against us in redistricting, even when the Democrats 'control' redistricting. The GOP benefits even though they are the ones with a history of racially-tinged campaigns (see Helms, 1990, white hands ad) and policies.

NC General Assembly Positions are not that glamorous

One big reason why there are not candidates in these races is that the NC General Assembly is not that glamorous of a job. It is considered a part-time position, they are not paid well, have to give up their lives for months each year, spend other time doing stupid fundraisers, and if they buck their party, they can attacked by the likes of Pope.

I want to try to highlight races where there is no Dem running the next time around, like we did this time. But it is difficult to get people interested in running for the NCGA.

Please don't take offense

but I think one of the reasons our state is mired in mediocrity is what you outline. You get $13,000 a year to be a legislator and you still have to work your normal job. So, how many truck drivers, state employees, farmers, or other working class people can afford/would be allowed to take off most of the year and still get paid? None.
Which is why the legislature is filled with lawyers and well-off businessmen. Clearly, this class of people is not in touch with the needs of lower and middle-class people on a day-to-day basis. The best thing that could happen to our state would be to make the legislature a full-time job with full-time pay, instead of the horrendous full-time job with part-time pay.

Make the pay enough to attract middle-class people, maybe $100,000 a year with the same housing/travel benefits. Also, do not allow legislators to draw any other salary from any other job. So, if you want to serve the state that is great, but it is all you will be doing. This kind of law would shift power to the middle class and business owners and lawyers would watch their comfy lifestyle disappear into a trust fund or some other holding account until they were out of office.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Why would I take offense?

I am not a lawyer until I get the results of the Bar back in September. Then I will lose touch with all the needs of regular people.

I think that it is a double edged sword. True we lose some good people, but it also tends to make the people that are there more civic minded and cooperative than they are on the national level.


Reminds me of when a friend got his Ph.D. and he said it felt like a license to expound on any science topic, whether he knew diddly about it or not. : )

More cooperative in Raleigh? Well, Art Pope seems to be shooting to put an end to that.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

I'd do it for $45,000

Or thereabouts. $100,000 seems like a quite a jump--thinking of running?

If you do $45K

then it would be hard to hold people's income from other jobs. I really mean that lawyers and businessmen couldn't see any profits from their jobs until after they were out of the legislature. Maybe it's a stupid idea, maybe it's a crazy idea, but it is an idea.

$100K is high, higher than I think we need. Maybe lock the salary at 4X the minimum wage salary for a full-time worker.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

That sounds more reasonable

I was actually thinking about something in the $60,000 range or so. For somebody like me, that'd be a marked improvement in wages, let me tell you. Since when are we worried about making lawyers and businessmen happy?


I think it's a good idea, and one that more and more people are talking about.

Before we trash lawyers too much

Consider that the GA is writing the law. I think that it is important to have at least some attorneys around to be able to craft and draft the legislation.


that's what staff is for : )

Just kidding. But, I would love for some state to try something new, a "basic understanding" system of law. So, if I buy a knife set from your store and cut my fingers off, there is a basic understanding that knives are dangerous and some idiots might hurt themselves.

Just, some new understanding that we don't need warning labels on blenders that you shouldn't use them in the bathtub, or that at least you can't sue for putting a blender in your bathtub.

Is there such a thing anywhere, a place where you don't need 200 pages for a mortgage?

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Probably do not need to warn about blender and tub

I find most ridiculous warnings are not needed to comply with tort law, but are the result of overcautious business people. For instance, a blender and tub would be an obvious danger that need not be warned about.

As for the Mortgage, the length is to spread out the clauses that screw you without you noticing.

Some wonky stuff

The Political Junkies does a very fine "wonky" analysis of state races. Looks like the Senate piece (direct link to MSWord doc) was last updated in April, but the House piece (also direct link to Word doc) has not been updated yet.

The Junky's wonky stuff is always a great read, and usually my favorite material on the site. It'd be nice to isolate some of the close races and organize some efforts on their behalf.

Navel-gazing wouldn't be so prevalent if the tables were turned

Let's consider for a moment that the NCGA were Republican-controlled; but the majority of NC voters cast a ballot for a Democrat. The tone of these comments wouldn't be so balanced. No, the level of mindless vitrol would be toxic to read. It would be worse than trying to read the Huffington Post. People would quit using words they would be so mad. Blog posts would look like ASCII dumps.

However, the results of decades of DEMOCRATIC gerrymandering still doesn't satisfy the needs of the "netroots" gang.

Will you all be happier if we moved to a Politburo-style of legislature?

You're psychic; you tell us.

Is this comment at all a response to Todd's comment above?

Having semi-informed personal opinions is fine—everyone does it. But expecting others to take them seriously is, well, another thing entirely.

Just Making an Observation

It wasn't a comment directed at any one of the previous comments...it was, instead, a general observation. If the NCGA were Republican-controlled even if most of the voters had voted for the minority party - would y'all be opining about how House members needed a higher salary?

I don't think so.

In 2004, more voters cast votes for Republicans than Democrats; but Democrats still control the General Assembly. That's just sucessful redistricting; but I get a kick about the folks at BlueNC hold themselves out to be paragons of all that is pure and good; but are guilty of the same degree of partisan hypocrisy.

Justin, why you trollin'?

The "we need a professional legislature" argument is good no matter who runs the show. I'd make it, anyway.

And I think there's a case of projection going on here. Nobody at BlueNC has offered themselves up as paragons of anything (at least not that I'm aware of). Justin, are we a little jumpy about hypocrisy?

So if you want to chat, why don't you explain why partisan redistricting is inherently bad? (I take that to be your point: that we here at BlueNC are hypocrites because we think we're good but you think that we would support something that's bad, partisan redistricting.)


If I were making personal attacks under the cloak of anonymity then I might be trollin'; but offering up an observation on the conversation.

But since you asked about redistricting. There are several algorithms that can be used to add objectivity to the process; but you're never going to get away from some bias or another. One way to take the edge off of the process is to do away with the requirement that someone have to live in a district to represent it. The requirement doesn't exist for the US Congress.

As for a professional legislature - with states that have them you'll generally find higher taxes and higher spending; but that might have to do with the size of the states themselves.

Thanks so much

for that vague reference to "several algorithms" and "some bias or another," but I was asking about your assertion that partisan redistricting is an evil always to be avoided. (Your charge of hypocrisy doesn't go very far without that assertion, so you'll forgive me for inferring it. If you misspoke I'm sure you can explain.)

There is a Democrat in my office...

...who didn't know where she was supposed to go and vote. I looked up the location for her and got her a map to the location. I was tempted to tell her that in NC Dems voted on Wednesday; but I would have felt badly when she believed me.

So, in that spirit - here's an example that I pulled up from 5 minutes of poking around Google: http://www.rangevoting.org/GerryExamples.html

As for bias, depending on the model you use - you'll get some bias. However, there should be a model that's better than what we have for, say, NC-12 which Mel Watt explained by saying on "Charlotte Talks" last year that people wouldn't vote for him without a custom-made, gerrymandered district because he's African-American. I think that's crap; but I'm not drawing the districts.


I'll have to assume that you don't have an answer to my question.

Lance, Lance, Lance

Republicans don't ANSWER questions. If they did, then the world would find out they are living the "Big Lie" theory of political management.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.