ICYMI: National Journal Highlights North Carolina’s Contentious Democrat Senate Primary

May 5, 2021
For Immediate Release

Raleigh, NC - The National Journal surveyed the 2022 senate map, highlighting the contentious Democrat primaries across the country. The article singles out the tumultuous Democrat primary in North Carolina, where Democrats express their concern over Beasley’s toxic judicial record. 

“The Democrat primary will drive their candidates to the far left as they scramble to appease their base voters, meaning whoever wins their primary will lose in the general election, handing Republicans our fifth straight win,” said NCGOP Press Secretary Livy Polen. “It is truly telling that the Democrat consultant class is already comparing Beasley to Deborah Ross and Jeff Jackson to Cal Cunningham.”   


Here are some key excerpts from the National Journal article:

“Democrats’ central conflict rests on identity. Some Democratic strategists strongly believe that in competitive or red-leaning states, nominating a moderate white candidate with a compelling biography is the best way to win over swing voters wary of Democrats’ progressive turn.”

“Another, growing wing of the party believes that playbook is outdated. They call for young, diverse faces to represent the party all across the country—and place more of a premium on the excitement a candidate generates than on their ideological positions. “

“In North Carolina, former state Supreme Court Justice Cheri Beasley announced her campaign last week. She’ll face off against state Sen. Jeff Jackson and progressive former state Sen. Erica Smith.”

“He raised a solid $1.3 million in his first fundraising quarter while criticizing his own party leader for obsessing over fundraising. In past election cycles, that would be the type of record that Democratic leaders would rally around. But Jackson won’t be getting a free ride to the nomination.”

“Touting her faith and grit in a compelling introductory video, Beasley hasn’t yet offered her views on many of the hot-button issues driving national politics, but she’s targeting her message to progressives. She made her first nationally televised appearance on Joy Reid’s MSNBC show, where she talked about the police-involved shooting of Andrew Brown, Jr. Smith, another African American candidate, is already running to the left in the race after mounting an unsuccessful left-wing campaign in last year’s Senate race.”

“They’ve been examining Beasley’s lengthy list of judicial rulings, and are aware of several cases that could brand her as excessively lenient on crime—a common vulnerability for judges-turned-politicians. In 2010, she concurred with an Appeals Court ruling to reverse a murder conviction in a high-profile case that dominated Raleigh news, according to a Democratic source familiar with the case, arguing there wasn’t enough evidence to uphold the conviction. At the time, the government’s case was being led by then-Attorney General (and now Democratic governor) Roy Cooper.”

“It’s the kind of ruling that’s prime political fodder in North Carolina, even if the underlying legal justification was sound. In 2016, national Republican groups aired a devastating series of attack ads against North Carolina Democratic Senate nominee Deborah Ross, a former ACLU attorney, for seeking leniency for a teen convicted of sexual assault. The ads worked: Despite early polls showing the race competitive, Ross lost to GOP Sen. Richard Burr by 6 points, lagging behind Hillary Clinton’s showing in the state.”



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