Friday, February 05, 2021

Cheri Beasley, Candidate for US Senate in 2022?


Cheri Beasley
Dallas Woodhouse -- yes, that Dallas Woodhouse -- is now director of strategic operations at the Civitas Institute, and he has his name on something of a political scoop about the potential Democratic primary in 2022 for the US Senate seat currently occupied by Richard Burr. Woodhouse reports that former NC Chief Justice Cheri Beasley "has hired a new campaign consultant and is preparing to announce her entry into the Democratic primary," which would give already announced candidate, state Sen. Jeff Jackson, some real competition for the nomination.

I'm a fan of Sen. Jackson. I'm also a fan of Cheri Beasley, who came within 400 votes last November of keeping her seat on the state's Supreme Court. She has a statewide base. Jackson has a Mecklenburg County base, but he has supporters everywhere because of his fundraising for other General Assembly Democrats and his generous personal appearances (including in Watauga County in the fall of 2019).

Woodhouse writes that Jackson "is already being unfavorably compared to [Cal] Cunningham, another white male Democrat [sic] candidate," and I'll concede that Cal hurt the prospects of other young white male candidates in the Democratic Party. But to suggest that Jackson is a carbon copy is wholly unfair and inaccurate. While Cunningham made progressives somewhat nauseous by appearing "soft" or wishy-washy, Jeff Jackson's image is more warrior in the General Assembly than conciliator. He's also been a clear-headed presence on social media, offering pungent commentary on the actions of the Republican majority in the General Assembly.

The other name that will complicate Cheri Beasley's future plans -- assuming that Woodhouse's insider info is correct -- is Erica Smith, another Black woman who also wants to be US Senator and who has a pretty loyal progressive base across the state. At least it was loyal. Cheri Beasley's entry might change that.

Woodhouse's other news is that ex-guv and "toe-stepper" Pat McCrory might run too on the Republican side, but my money would still be on former Republican Rep. Mark Walker, who's already announced his candidacy.

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