Senate candidate Cheri Beasley is a shining light in North Carolina, representing one of our best chances to flip a Senate seat. She made history in 2019 becoming the first black woman appointed Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court. We expect her to make history again in 2022.
Beasley is now the Democratic presumptive nominee in North Carolina. She has out-raised not only the other Democrats but also all Republicans running for the seat. She has been endorsed by over 100 organizations including the NC State AFL-CIO, EMILY’s List, the Congressional Black Caucus PAC, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, End Citizens United, Let America Vote, the NRDC, the NC Association of Educators and the Giffords PAC that advocates for gun safety.
The fight will be challenging since North Carolina has been a Republican stronghold, and the GOP is targeting her. According to the latest polls on FiveThirtyEight, Beasley runs neck and neck with both of the Republican primary frontrunners. This will be a tight one. Beasley is undaunted.
Prior to serving on the North Carolina Supreme Court, Beasley was a judge on the North Carolina Court of Appeals from 2008 to 2012 and a judge for the North Carolina 12th Judicial District from 1999 to 2008. She was the assistant public defender for the 12th Judicial District from 1994 to 1999. She received her J.D. from the University of Tennessee College of Law.
She went on to be a judge for 22 years, winning two statewide elections in North Carolina. She even managed to win that second campaign in 2014, a notoriously difficult year for Democrats. In 2019, Cheri was appointed Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, making her the first African American woman to ever hold that position.
As Chief Justice, she led the efforts to expand School Justice Partnerships to keep students in the classroom instead of the courtroom, and to examine inequitable bail policies. Cheri is committed to speaking out against injustice. The first Chief Justice in the nation to speak out after the death of George Floyd in June of 2020, Cheri recognizes the importance of highlighting disparities and inequities within the criminal justice system. She knows that equity also means achieving it across the board, from health care and education to voting rights. As Chief Justice, Cheri recognized the essential role that local faith leaders can play in addressing legal needs and launched the North Carolina Faith and Justice Alliance, a program of the Equal Access to Justice Commission. Chief Justice Beasley charged the group with building a coalition of faith-based groups and legal practitioners to help meet the growing need for legal assistance for North Carolinians who lack the resources to access good legal services
Incumbent Sen. Richard Burr (R) is not seeking re-election, making this an open seat. In 2020, incumbent Sen. Thom Tillis defeated Cal Cunningham (D) by 1.8 percentage points. In 2016, Burr won re-election by 5.7 percentage points.
The two most recent presidential elections in North Carolina were both decided by less than 4 percentage points. Incumbent President Donald Trump (R) defeated Joe Biden (D) by 1.3 percentage points in the 2020 presidential election. Trump defeated Hillary Clinton (D) in the 2016 presidential election by 3.6 percentage points.
In December, the last viable primary opponent withdrew and endorsed Beasley. Beasley is considered the presumptive nominee.The Republican primary race remains open. Former Governor Pat McCrory, US Rep Ted Budd and former Rep Mark Walker are running. Rep. Budd is endorsed by the former President. This is expected to be an extremely expensive and hard-fought race.