States & Candidates

States can change the direction of our country.

North Carolina 2020


Flip a chamber

Chamber Makeup

State Senate

21 Democrats

29 Republicans

State House

55 Democrats

65 Republicans

Opportunity Assessment

The tides have been turning in North Carolina. In 2016, Democrat Roy Cooper was the only Democrat to flip a governorship in a state that Trump won, and in 2018, North Carolinians came out in record numbers to reject the legislature’s extremism and break Republican supermajorities. The state is now in a perfect position to ride favorable electoral trends to the best possible outcome in both chambers.

The Stakes

For six years, the majority in North Carolina ran unobstructed in implementing greatest hits of the corporatist, far right-wing playbook, sharpening the state’s partisan divide and hurting its citizens. These significant legislative gains of 2018 broke Republican supermajorities, but failed to break their penchant for political machinations and gerrymandering to keep their power intact.

  • Passed the most comprehensive voter suppression package in the country and one of the most extreme gerrymanders.
  • Passed the notorious H.B. 2 “bathroom bill”—that also prevents anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ North Carolinians.
  • Passed a regressive tax code that hurts poor families and helps rich business owners and corporations—while refusing to expand Medicaid to help 500,000 people access health insurance.
  • Blocked all efforts to create an independent redistricting commission, implement a livable wage, and reduce mass incarceration.

2020 Political Landscape

  • In 2020:
    • The entire House and Senate are up for election.
    • A state court has imposed new, fairer districts in many areas across North Carolina. In the House, there are 5 Republican-held seats that have been carried by statewide Democrats in this decade and six more where they came close, many in areas that are trending Democratic.
    • Popular Democratic Governor Roy Cooper is running for re-election and will be working to ensure he finally has a legislature able to partner with him to improve lives.
  • In 2018:
    • Even under the current maps, Democrats broke a Republican supermajority and came close to flipping the State House, netting 10 seats and narrowing the Republican majority to 65-55.  And that was without a major statewide race driving turnout.
    • Future Now Fund endorsed all 12 Democrats who flipped Republican-held House seats in addition to the next three closest finishers.
    • Democrats made big gains in the State Senate too, narrowing the GOP margin to 29-21 and breaking the supermajority in that chamber as well.

Meet the candidates

  • Kandie Smith

    Kandie is the former Mayor Pro Tem of Greenville who has worked as a mental health professional and business consultant. In her first term serving in Raleigh, Kandie has prioritized children and fought to improve the health care system.

  • Brian Farkas

    Growing up in Pitt County showed Brian the importance of strong communities. Now, he works to help local community colleges and towns craft master plans to guide their long-term goals.

  • James Gailliard

    James works as senior pastor and has expanded his church to serve thousands of families. The leadership he learned from his 20 years as a pastor served him well in his first term in office as he worked for unity and an end to the gridlock in Raleigh.

  • Terence Everitt

    An attorney who works with small businesses and helps them expand, for the last two years in the Assembly he has been fighting to expand access to quality healthcare.

  • Julie von Haefen

    Julie worked as an attorney for ten years before becoming an advocate for children in the court system, and as a PTA leader at the school, county, and state levels. In 2018, Julie took her passion for improving public schools to the state house.

  • Sydney Batch

    Sydney is a family law attorney and social worker. She is an advocate for health care access who returned to the state house early from her cancer recovery in order to block a bill that would damage reproductive rights and healthcare in 2019.

  • Kimberly Hardy

    The importance of service was instilled in Kimberly from an early age as the daughter of a police officer. Now, she is a social worker and professor at Fayetteville State University who is running to make a difference for families across Cumberland County.

  • Frances Jackson

    Frances is a local government expert who has worked in county planning for decades and a professor at Fayetteville Technical Community College.

  • Ashton Clemmons

    Ashton is a former teacher, school principal, and assistant superintendent. In her first term she has fought for public schools and defended voting rights.

  • Nicole Quick

    After her son with special needs was hurt by the legislature’s budget cuts in 2013, Nicole pledged to do something about it. Now, she’s running to prioritize the interests of North Carolinians over special interests.

  • Ricky Hurtado

    Ricky is the proud product of the North Carolina public school system. The son of immigrants, he is a community leader who has fought for quality public education and college opportunity.

  • Dan Besse

    While working as a legal aide, Dan saw firsthand the problems with our current healthcare system, and wants to improve it for everyone. He serves on the Winston-Salem City Council where he champions better schools and better access to quality health care.

  • Aimy Steele

    Aimy grew up in a military family, and is a former teacher and elementary school principal. An advocate for public schools, her first-hand experience has provided her with a deep understanding of the challenges facing schools and how to tackle them.

  • Gail Young

    Gail has deep experience in local government and leadership development and served as an advocate against voter suppression. She is running to bring accountability and transparency to Raleigh.

  • Ray Russell

    Ray is a professor and former minister who became well-known in his community for RaysWeather, his small business that provides weather services to his community. In his first term, Ray focused on improving schools and protecting clean air and water.

  • Christy Clark

    Christy has fought to reduce gun violence in her community as the North Carolina Chapter Leader for Moms Demand Action. In the NC Assembly, she has quickly become a leading voice on gun safety.

  • Rachel Hunt

    An advocate for children, Rachel has spent her first term pushing for laws that improve schools and address high tuition costs and student loans.

  • Brandon Lofton

    Raised by a public school teacher and a marine, the value of community service was instilled in Brandon early. He is an attorney and community leader who took his fight for children’s rights, equality, and the homeless to the state capitol in 2018.

  • Wesley Harris

    Wesley is a UNC Charlotte professor and economist. He previously co-founded a nonprofit that focuses on helping community-based small businesses and nonprofits succeed. In his first term, Wesley has fought for fairer elections.

  • Joe Sam Queen

    Joe Sam is an architect who is well known in his community as the Producer and Caller for the Summer Street Dances, a role he has had for 47 years. In the NC Assembly he has fought for better pay for teachers and Medicaid expansion.

  • Sarah Crawford

    The daughter of a public school teacher, Sarah is a nonprofit leader running to advance strong public education and quality, affordable healthcare for all North Carolinians.

  • JD Wooten

    A graduate of the US Air Force Academy and veteran, JD is an advocate who is running to ensure good public schools and quality, affordable healthcare.

  • Terri LeGrand

    A community leader and advocate for clean air and clean water, Terri is running to ensure quality, affordable healthcare and good public schools for all North Carolinians.

  • DeAndrea Salvador

    A founder of a nonprofit and clean air advocate, DeAndrea is running to further good jobs, sustainable, innovative infrastructure, and quality education in North Carolina.