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Featured Candidates

As we gear up for the most important election of our lifetimes, Equality North Carolina wants to ensure that voters are as informed as possible at the ballot box. Check this page regularly for spotlights on key races and candidates and join our supports in fighting for a pro-equality majority all the way down the ticket.

Deb Butler, House District 18

Deb Butler, House District 18

Rep. Butler rocketed into the national spotlight last year with her viral “We will not yield!” speech on the North Carolina congressional floor. An Out Elected and former board member of Equality North Carolina, Butler is committed to helping build a better North Carolina for all of our communities, having proven time and again that she will show up and show out for us.

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Sydney Batch, House District 37

Sydney Batch, House District 37

Rep. Batch won her district in 2018 after a very difficult race. She’s served her time in office while battling breast cancer, and will continue to push through life’s hardships while fighting for our communities at the NCGA. Rep. Batch’s priorities include public education, protecting our environment, affordable healthcare, higher wages, affordable housing, broadband expansion and access to substance abuse treatment.

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Kim Hardy, House District 43

Kim Hardy, House District 43

With a background in social work, the needs of vulnerable North Carolinians have always been at the heart of Kim Hardy's work. An assistant professor at Fayetville State university, Hardy beat out incumbent Elmer Floyd for House District 43 in the March 2020 primaries. Now up for the general election in November, Hardy would be a new voice of wisdom and compassion for Cumberland County in the years to come.

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Terri LeGrand, Senate District 31

Terri LeGrand, Senate District 31

Terri LeGrand has been serving her community for over 18 years both in the legal sector and throughout North Carolina. She co-founded the Piedmont Earth Day Fair and subsequently Piedmont Environmental Alliance, a “non-profit that is building a healthier, more economically vibrant and environmentally sustainable community.” She is invested in higher education, affordable and accessible healthcare, clean air and water in a sustainable environment, as well as freedom and security.

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Vernetta Alston, House District 29

Vernetta Alston, House District 29

Although she was recently elected to office earlier this year, Vernetta Alston has been heavily involved in law and policy work for over eight years, She began her career as a staff attorney for the Racial Justice Act Studies before serving as a member of the Durham City Council for the past two years. Now, as Member of the House, she wants to fight for progressive change that will impact Durham and serve the best interests of everyone in North Carolina.

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Wayne Goodwin, Commissioner of Insurance

Wayne Goodwin, Commissioner of Insurance

As the former Commissioner of Insurance for North Carolina from 2009 to 2016, Wayne comes to this race with a host of experience. In the past, Wayne has stood up for consumers against insurance companies and, as the current Chairperson of the NC Democratic Party, has an extensive history of leadership within the political realms of this state. His priorities include expanding Medicaid, fighting insurance fraud and holding insurance companies accountable.

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Cheri Beasley, State Supreme Court, Chief Justice

Cheri Beasley, State Supreme Court, Chief Justice

Chief Justice Cheri Beasley has been on the State Supreme Court since 2012, and has served as a strong leader in the judicial branch. In 2018, she became Chief Justice, making her the first Black woman to serve in that position. Justice Beasley’s priorities include updating the NC Courts’ technology, improving access to recovery courts, and building partnerships with the community.

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Kathy Manning, U.S. House District 6

Kathy Manning, U.S. House District 6

Kathy Manning is running to represent the Triad in Congress. As a local leader in Greensboro with extensive community involvement, she knows the importance of equality and equity in the political arena. And as someone who has experienced the injustices of the healthcare system firsthand, she also knows the importance of healthcare reform. Her priorities include economic opportunity, affordable healthcare and education. She’s endorsed by the Human Rights Campaign, NARAL, and the Sierra Club among many others.

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Harper Peterson, Senate District 9

Harper Peterson, Senate District 9

Sen. Peterson was elected in 2018, after serving as mayor of Wilmington. He has extensive community involvement, including with Cape Fear Riverwatch, the Affordable Housing Task Force, and the 1898 Wilmington Race Riot Commission. In all roles he’s been a strong advocate for social justice. His priorities include water quality, education, and economic opportunity and justice.

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Dan Besse, House District 74

Dan Besse, House District 74

Dan Besse is a city council member for Winston-Salem, as well as an attorney. In both roles, Besse has advocated for equity, including representing marginalized clients in his legal practice. He is also a firm proponent of improved public transit, and he’s a superlative advocate for safe and welcoming communities. His priorities include education, healthcare, the economy, and environmental protection. We know that Dan will continue his record of empathetic advocacy in the NC General Assembly.

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Whit Davis, Forsyth County District Court Judge

Whit Davis, Forsyth County District Court Judge

Whit Davis is a Winston-Salem native who is running for District Court Judge for Forsyth County. He has served as a public defender and advocate in Winston-Salem, as well as advocating against child abuse. As an out candidate, he’ll be sure to rule from the bench with a nuanced understanding of LGBTQ issues.

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Josh Stein, Attorney General

Josh Stein, Attorney General

Josh Stein is running for Attorney General after having served a successful term since 2017. He has been a steadfast advocate for justice and previously served as a member of the North Carolina Senate representing District 16. His priorities include public safety, consumer protection, environmental protection and public health.

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Marcia Morey, House District 30

Marcia Morey, House District 30

Marcia Morey is one of a handful of openly LGBTQ legislators in the General Assembly. She’s committed to issues social justice in her work. Rep. Morey has spearheaded a number of initiatives aimed at reforming North Carolina’s juvenile justice system, including sponsoring a bill that would raise the age of juvenile jurisdiction to 18. She previously served the 14th Judicial District Court as a district court judge for 18 years and as Chief District Court Judge for five years.

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Jessica Holmes, Commissioner of Labor

Jessica Holmes, Commissioner of Labor

Jessica Holmes has spent most of her professional career as an advocate for workers as a labor and employment attorney. She has also served on the Wake County Commission where she worked hard to create opportunities for our most vulnerable citizens. She has a track record of supporting job creation as a county commissioner and attracting businesses with a diverse pool of talent.

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Cynthia Wallace, U.S. House District 9

Cynthia Wallace, U.S. House District 9

Originally from rural Georgia, Cynthia Wallace now calls Charlotte home. She's running against Dan Bishop, the architect of HB2, and a crusader against LGBTQ rights. She has served as the Democratic Party chair for the 9th district since 2017. Thanks to her personal experiences, she has a rich understanding of the issues facing both rural and urban communities. Her priorities include infrastructure, healthcare, equal pay, and education. She’s been endorsed by the Congressional Black Caucus, Indivisible NC District 9, and Higher Heights for America PAC. She’s a strong advocate for fair, responsible government.

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Yvonne Lewis Holley, Lt. Governor

Yvonne Lewis Holley, Lt. Governor

Yvonne Lewis Holley has served as a distinguished state representative in the General Assembly for years and is now running for Lt. Governor. She's a strong advocate for criminal justice reform. Not only does she prioritize mental health care and substance abuse assistance over incarceration, but she supports ending bail for those who are not flight risks and who have not been found guilty. Her other priorities include gun legislation, women’s rights, immigration, and the environment.

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Roy Cooper, Governor

Roy Cooper, Governor

Roy Cooper is running for a second term as Governor of North Carolina, where he’s been an excellent advocate for equality. As Governor, he passed the first ban on state funding for conversion therapy in the South and has been a vocal supporter for Medicaid expansion. Additionally, Governor Cooper has pushed relentlessly for fairer budgets and districts in North Carolina, providing a strong counterweight for equitable policies against a sometimes unfriendly General Assembly. He also held the first-ever Pride Month Celebration at the Governor's Mansion in 2019. We know he’ll be there for us.

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Jenna Wadsworth, Commissioner of Agriculture

Jenna Wadsworth, Commissioner of Agriculture

Jenna Wadsworth is an openly bisexual woman who, if elected, would become the first out LGBTQ Constitutional Officer in the state. She made history at the age of 21 with her election to a four-year term by becoming the youngest woman ever elected to public office in North Carolina. Her key issues include farmland preservation, environmental education in schools, climate change, fuel safety, immigrant rights, and rural healthcare investments. She believes in supporting rural solar lenses and medicare for all.

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Gail Young, House District 83

Gail Young, House District 83

Gail is a strong leader and advocate in the Concord Community and will be sure to represent all residents with compassion and care. Her priorities include leading by values, creating opportunities, ensuring human dignity, and ecological stewardship. She is running against incumbent Representative Larry Pittman.

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Jen Mangrum, State Schools Superintendent

Jen Mangrum, State Schools Superintendent

Jen Mangrum is a lifelong educator running for State Schools Superintendent. She has devoted her life to making schools safer, better places for all kinds of children to learn and flourish. Her priorities include providing a strong foundation for all schools, expanding equity, creating a safe and healthy school environment, and valuing our teachers.

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DeAndrea Salvador, Senate District 39

DeAndrea Salvador, Senate District 39

DeAndrea Salvador is our candidate for NC Senate District 39. She is a leader in the field of renewable energy and environmental protection and was named a TED Fellow in 2018. Salvador’s priorities include economic growth and justice, infrastructure improvement, education, and healthcare access.

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Christy Clark, House District 98

Christy Clark, House District 98

Christy Clark was elected in 2018. As the former North Carolina Chapter leader with Moms Demand Action, we know that Rep. Clark has experience advocating for justice. Her priorities include education, equity, reproductive rights, healthcare, gun law reform, environmental protection, and fair elections.

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Sam Searcy, Senate District 17

Sam Searcy, Senate District 17

A member of the North Carolina State Senate, Sam Searcy assumed office on January 1, 2019. He is a husband, father of four, and proud CEO of Clinistart.com. Sam is fighting for a better North Carolina for everyone, which includes expanding Medicaid, funding public schools, and building an economy that benefits workers and small businesses. He’s been endorsed by Planned Parenthood, the Sierra Club, and the North Carolina Association of Educators, among many others.

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Ronnie Chatterji, Treasurer

Ronnie Chatterji, Treasurer

Ronnie Chatterji is an economist and professor of business and public policy at Duke University who is running for state treasurer. A former advisor to President Obama, Ronnie Chatterji brings to the role a host of experience and wisdom in economics and budgeting. As he often likes to say, Ronnie is the nerd we need! He has a strong record of leadership, including membership on the NC First Commission, Governor Cooper’s Entrepreneurial Council, and the board of Communities in Schools. His priorities include economic growth, creating jobs, and making a more inclusive economy for North Carolina. We know he’ll make NC proud as Treasurer.

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Emily Nicholson, House District 1

Emily Nicholson, House District 1

A Chowan County native, Emily Nicholson has worked for the past five years to enhance the skills and preparedness of the emerging and existing labor pool in Northeastern N.C. She is a former educator whose legislative priorities are centered around affordable and quality healthcare, universal access to education from birth to adulthood, business sustainability, and expansions that offer livable wages, clean water, air, and energy, with sustainable infrastructure.

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Brian Farkas, House District 9

Brian Farkas, House District 9

A Pitt County native, Brian Farkas is a graduate of J.H. Rose High School and currently works in the area at his architectural firm. He is a local leader in the Greenville area, with involvement in many important causes, including the Greenville Public Transportation and Parking Commission, the Greenville-ENC Alliance, and the Young Professionals of Pitt County. His priorities include education, healthcare, economic opportunity, criminal justice, environmental protection, and corruption. He’ll be a strong ally in the General Assembly, as he’s been endorsed by many other organizations and individuals; some include the Human Rights Campaign, End Citizens United, and President Barack Obama.

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Allen Wellons, Senate District 11

Allen Wellons, Senate District 11

Born and raised in Smithfield, NC, Allen Wellons has made a career as a family farm manager and practicing law. For six years he served in the North Carolina Senate where he supported public education, workforce training, and agriculture policies that helped boost exports and strengthen North Carolina farm communities. He is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill and holds a Juris Doctorate from NC Central University School of Law. His priorities include investing in our public schools, expanding workforce training programs, and recruiting new high-wage jobs.

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Wally White, Senate District 30

Wally White, Senate District 30

Wally White, an openly LGBTQ candidate and Rockingham County native, is challenging Senate Majority leader Phil Berger. He’s committed to serving the community and working hard. Nowhere are these values more apparent than from his past career in film and television, as well as his current vocation as a minister. He’ll bring his hardworking values and broad experience to bear if selected for the General Assembly. His priorities include supporting public education, expanding Medicaid, ending gerrymandering, and helping small business and economic development.

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Aimy Steele, House District 82

Aimy Steele, House District 82

Combining her passion for education and leadership, Aimy Steele most recently spent her days as an elementary school principal in Concord, North Carolina. She is passionate about public education and working with children. Her experience in the day-to-day operations of public schools has allowed her to gain a hands-on understanding of the issues and challenges existing in the local school system. Aimy is an advocate for public education including free preschool for all children ages 3-4 and education that ensures opportunities for high-skill jobs in an increasingly competitive workforce.

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