Oct. 18, 2022
The morning’s Forum with candidates in contested races for seats in the N.C. Senate was notable for the low level of energy in the room. Candidates did not make pleas for votes. There was not a single request for new get-out-the-vote projects. No candidate pleaded with those within earshot to bring a friend along to vote on Nov. 8, or to work in adjoining counties where Republicans dominate the legislative delegations.
Indeed, in a room dominated by Democrats, a number of people attending the Forum voiced discouragement that Democrats’ initiatives merely go off to die each year in a legislature gerrymandered by Republicans. One of the three incumbent Democrats at the presenters table, among 22 Democrats in the 50-seat Senate, grumbled about Democrats having desks at the back of the chamber where the majority ignores them. But the session revealed nothing that would flip control of the chamber.
On Nov. 8, Republican Vickie Sawyer has no opposition in a mostly Iredell Senate District 37. Democrat Mujtaba Mohammed is unopposed in District 38.
In District 39, Republican Mark Robeson was not present, and Democrat DeAndrea Salvador made no mention of him. In District 41, Republican Bonni Leone was not present, and Democrat Natasha Marcus made no mention of her. In District 42, neither Republican Cheryl Russ nor Rachel Hunt were present.
In District 40, Republican Bobbie Shields said he was not running against incumbent Joyce Waddell, but just presenting himself as the best candidate. He also bemoaned the rise of extreme partisanship in the last 2o years. Democrat Waddell ignored her opponent and talked about her decades of public service. Candidates made clear what they had tried to do or, in Shields’ case, what he would like to help do.
The youngest candidate sounded the most hopeful: DeAndrea Salvador, now seeking a second two-year term, was the youngest woman elected to serve in the Senate when, in 2020, she won 62% of the vote in District 39.