Monday, January 20, 2020

The Elections of March: Why Do These Democratic Incumbents Have Primary Challengers?

Department of "Why Did They Bother To Pay the Filing Fee?"

NC House District 71 -- Forsyth
Incumbent Democratic representative Evelyn Terry (who was first elected in 2012, and who has never received less than 70% of the vote in any of her reelection campaigns) has drawn a primary challenger in Kanika Brown. Brown doesn't appear to be running a campaign. She only has a Facebook page, which is entirely devoted to missing children and doesn't even mention a race for NC House.
Once past the primary, Terry has no Republican opposition in November.

NC House District 93 -- Watauga and Ashe
First-term Democrat Ray Russell has a primary opponent in Turner Doolittle, a 21-year-old Gen-Z-er who was recently a computer science student at AppState. His Facebook page has been inactive since last May and doesn't mention anything about his candidacy.
Once Ray Russell is past the primary, he'll face Republican Ray Pickett, who was defeated for reelection to the Blowing Rock Town Council last fall. The district is rated "Lean Republican."

NC House District 44 -- Cumberland
Incumbent Democrat Billy Richardson (elected to the seat in 2016 by a margin of just 347 votes and reelected in 2018 by a more comfortable margin of 3,000 votes) has a primary with Terry Johnson, 54-year-old Army veteran and community activist, who at least has a Facebook presence.
Whatever difficulties a Democrat faced getting elected in this district in the past seem to have been majorly erased by the most recent redistricting, as projected Republican vote-share went down over 16%. If Billy Richardson prevails in the primary, he will face Republican Heather Holmes in November in this "Likely Democratic" district.

NC House District 27 -- Halifax and Northampton
Democratic incumbent Michael H. Wray (first elected in 2004) has two primary challengers on March 3rd, and I challenge anyone to find out anything about "ghosts" Jerry McDaniel and Kelby Hicks, neither of whom have any campaign infrastructure that I have found.
Once he's past the primary, Michael Wray has a Republican opponent in November, Warren Scott Nail, but this district is rated "Likely Democratic" for a good reason.

NC House District 5 -- Gates, Hertford, Pasquotank
Democratic incumbent Howard Hunter III (first elected in 2014) faces Keith Rivers in the Democratic primary in this "Lean Democratic" district. Rivers at least has a Facebook page and a skeletal website. He's a veteran of the US Navy and a community activist.
If Howard Hunter prevails in the primary, he'll face Republican Donald Kirland in November. 

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