NC politics

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"The swingiest of swing states." That's what one political scientist dubbed North Carolina. Indeed, we've had some of the nation's closest presidential elections since the state went for Barack Obama in 2008 and then Republican for the next two elections. This time around, Democrats and Republicans are after what they agree is the demographic that could sway the presidential and statewide races. Politico's Michael Kruse looked at this dynamic in a recent article. He lives in Davidson and joins us now.


Republicans are making "law and order" a key part of their fall campaigns. And that includes North Carolina’s state legislative races, where GOP House Speaker Tim Moore this week accused more than 40 Democratic candidates of supporting an agenda that would defund the police.

Taylor Wilcox / Unsplash

North Carolina Republican leaders are calling on Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper to give parents the option of choosing full-time, in-person classes in public schools. 

Cal Cunningham ad

Health care was a central topic of last year’s Democratic presidential debates. 

A year later, the focus has shifted. Those who watched the Republican and Democratic conventions heard more about leadership, threats to the democracy, violence and the pandemic.

Mandy Cohen
NC Department of Public Safety


North Carolina’s top health official said she feels "very comfortable" with the federal process for testing and approving a coronavirus vaccine. 

Louis Dejoy
Charlotte host committee for the 2020 RNC

WASHINGTON — House Democrats said Tuesday they will investigate whether Postmaster General Louis DeJoy encouraged employees at his former business to contribute to Republican candidates and then reimbursed them in the guise of bonuses, a violation of campaign finance laws.

NC Virus Relief Aid Heads To Cooper As General Assembly Ends

Sep 3, 2020
North Carolina General Assembly

RALEIGH — The North Carolina legislature finalized a plan Thursday to spend $1.1 billion of the state's remaining COVID-19 relief funds from Washington, including direct cash payments to nearly 2 million families.

NC Senate Approves $1B Federal Virus Relief Package

Sep 2, 2020
North Carolina General Assembly

RALEIGH — The North Carolina General Assembly on Wednesday swiftly advanced a Republican proposal to spend another $1 billion in federal coronavirus relief funds, with almost half going to families in stimulus-style checks.

Ex-NC Rep. Goodwin, Who Made History With Childbirth, Dies

Sep 2, 2020
@WayneGoodwinNC / Twitter

RALEIGH — Former North Carolina Rep. Melanie Wade Goodwin, who was the state's first lawmaker to give birth while holding office, has died at age 50, her husband announced Wednesday.

Voting Groups Scramble To Reach College Students In Pandemic

Aug 30, 2020

RALEIGH — Chase Gaines wishes he could get more young people in North Carolina to answer their front doors and take his GOP flyer.

Postal Chief DeJoy Has Long Leveraged Connections, Dollars

Aug 30, 2020
Louis Dejoy
Charlotte host committee for the 2020 RNC

WASHINGTON — During its search for a new postmaster general, the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors was presented with 53 candidates screened by an outside company. Not on the list: Louis DeJoy, who ultimately got the job.

#NC11: Cawthorn Mingles With Far-Right Fringe

Aug 26, 2020

Conservative congressional candidate Madison Cawthorn, scheduled to speak Wednesday at the GOP national convention, traveled to Texas last month to visit a private border wall and echoed discredited child sex trafficking claims promoted by the extremist conspiracy theory movement.

State Rep. David Lewis
N.C. General Assembly

A federal judge on Wednesday accepted the guilty plea of a longtime North Carolina state lawmaker who acknowledged conducting a scheme to funnel campaign dollars to his ailing farm.

Nick de la Canal / WFAE

In this fall’s U.S Senate race, incumbent Republican Thom Tillis has accused Democrat Cal Cunningham of not weighing in on what’s become a hot political issue since the killing of George Floyd: defunding the police.

Charlotte Mecklenburg Government Center

Charlotte City Attorney Patrick Baker told City Council Monday morning that he will hire an independent investigator to review an ethics complaint against Republican council member Tariq Bokhari.

Charlotte Mecklenburg Government Center

Charlotte's city attorney will hire an independent investigator to review an ethics complaint made by the state Republican Party against Democratic City Council members Dimple Ajmera and James Mitchell.

Forest Abandons Lawsuit Challenging Cooper Executive Orders

Aug 13, 2020

RALEIGH — North Carolina Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest ended a testy legal battle with campaign rival and Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper on Wednesday after a judge recently rejected Forest's demand to block Cooper from shuttering businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

NC 11th District Candidate’s Claim Creates False Impression

Aug 12, 2020

The narrative created by Republican congressional candidate Madison Cawthorn paints a picture of a bright, young man headed to the U.S. Naval Academy until he was severely injured in an auto crash.

Aranami / flickr/CC BY 2.0

Since taking over the U.S. Postal Service in June, Greensboro businessman Louis DeJoy has made a number of changes, including a sweeping shake-up of top executives last week. And in an effort to make the organization more financially stable, he’s cut overtime and said late-arriving mail will now be left behind by carriers and delivered the next day. 

Robin Hayes
Steve Harrison / WFAE

Prosecutors asked a judge on Monday to give a former North Carolina congressman no prison time for lying to the FBI about his role in a plan to try to bribe the state's top insurance regulator with large political contributions.

Erin Keever / WFAE

The Atrium and Novant health systems said Monday they will be testing and screening people attending and involved with the Republican National Convention that starts in Charlotte in less than two weeks.


An old comment from U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis has been resurfacing during the coronavirus pandemic.

In NC Visit, Trump Seeks Political Shot In The Arm In Vaccine Push

Jul 28, 2020
Gage Skidmore / flickr/CC BY 2.0

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic put his political fate in grave jeopardy. Now he’s hoping to get credit for his administration’s aggressive push for a vaccine -– and crossing his fingers that one gets approved before Election Day.

Cunningham's Big Cash Haul Signals Perilous Tillis Reelection Bid

Jul 16, 2020
U.S. Senate / Twitter

U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina was outraised nearly 3-to-1 by his Democratic challenger in the last quarter, according to campaign reports that signal a more precarious reelection bid for the Republican in the presidential battleground state.

Unclear Path Forward For Photo ID In NC 2020 Elections

Jul 15, 2020
Erik (HASH) Hersman / Flickr/

North Carolina Republican legislators insisted that a photo ID provision be included in order to pass a badly needed bill to adjust some election laws and to fund additional election costs during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

NC Senator Says He Tested Positive For COVID-19

Jul 10, 2020

RALEIGH — A North Carolina state senator said he tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, marking the first known public case for a General Assembly member.

Several Veto Override Attempts At NC Legislature Fail

Jul 8, 2020
North Carolina General Assembly

RALEIGH — The Republican-controlled General Assembly again fell short Wednesday in overriding several of Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper's vetoes. The unsuccessful votes for the GOP mean directives within the governor's COVID-19 executive orders that keep many businesses closed remain intact.

Steve Harrison / WFAE

ELIZABETHTOWN — The political operative at the center of a North Carolina absentee ballot fraud investigation has filed for reelection for a local elected position.

Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest over the weekend gave an interview with the Hendersonville Times-News in which he questioned Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s mandate that North Carolinians wear masks in public when social distancing isn’t possible.

Madison Cawthorn campaign

Last week, conservative Madison Cawthorn, who is 24, won a runoff election in the GOP primary for North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District, which is centered around Asheville.