Key Excerpt: “The Democrats will need a “comprehensive, statewide plan” to win next year and in 2020, he said. The N.C. Democratic Party believes it’s come up with just that with their “Break the Majority” effort, a collaboration between the state party and the governor’s campaign.”
News & Observer: Democrats score big in Tuesday’s election – and say NC is next
BY PAUL A. SPECHT
November 8, 2017
In Fayetteville, a Democrat unseated an incumbent Republican mayor who scrutinized his legal troubles.
In Charlotte, voters elected a Democrat despite the state GOP dumping $100,000 into her opponent’s campaign and trying to tie her to the previous mayor’s most controversial moves.
And one state north, a Democrat not only won Virginia governor’s race but also at least 15 seats in the state’s House of Delegates – marking the largest shift in control of the legislature since the Watergate era. New Jersey elected a Democratic governor too.
What does it all mean?
North Carolina Democrats say the election results in and out of state show a rebuke of President Donald Trump and the divisive rhetoric that they say local Republicans employed in races across the state. Furthermore, they see reasons to believe they can gain influence in the state legislature by picking up seats in next year’s election.
“I think what we witnessed last night was the match that lit the fuse for 2018,” said Brad Crone, a Democratic political strategist.
Local elections in which Democrats won will help energize the party to recruit candidates and engage voters, Crone said. To break the supermajorities in the N.C. General Assembly, he said Democrats must find centrist candidates to appeal to unaffiliated voters: “That’s where the fight is.”
With the Republican Nat Robertson losing to Mitch Colvin in Fayetteville, Democrats or left-leaning independents will soon serve as mayor in each of NC’s nine largest cities.
In Raleigh, unaffiliated incumbent Nancy McFarlane defeated Democrat Charles Francis on Tuesday in a nonpartisan election. But that result wasn’t considered a blow for Democrats, considering their endorsement of McFarlane in her previous runs and her reputation for being liberal.
“Democrats are fired up and ready to Break the Republican supermajority, and are rejecting Republican’s divisive politics, racist dog whistles, and policies that hurt our middle class,” said Wayne Goodwin, chairman of the N.C. Democratic Party.