Elections 2020

More than a week has passed since the 2020 Election.  President-Elect Joe Biden is moving forward with his transition plans, key Republican leaders are quiet, and there are questions about whether the American public is as divided as it’s ever been.  In North Carolina, Republicans head into the next legislative session with an as-yet unofficial 70-50 majority in the House and a 29-21 majority in the Senate. 

North Carolina’s 7th Congressional District has re-elected Republican Congressman David Rouzer for a fourth term.   The former state Senator handily defeated his Democratic challenger. 


North Carolina House District 20 is a new district with a new incumbent – as Republican representative Ted Davis, Junior moves from District 19 to 20. 


North Carolina’s House District 18 will keep its Democratic Incumbent.  Representative Deb Butler embarks on a third term with a nearly 20-point margin.  


 North Carolina Senate District 9, which covers most of New Hanover County, saw former Republican incumbent Michael Lee edge out the current Democratic incumbent Harper Peterson. 

Ben Schachtman and Rachel Lewis Hilburn unpack the dynamics that are shaping the 2020 Election in North Carolina and the Cape Fear region -- including a look at the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision extending the deadline for absentee ballots, how super PACs are trying to influence some races, who all these unaffiliated voters might be, and why politics is so divergent from policy-making.  


  North Carolina’s Senate District 9 is a re-match of 2018.  Michael Lee is challenging incumbent Harper Peterson – who edged Lee out of the same Senate seat two years ago by only 231 votes.  WHQR’s Rachel Lewis Hilburn spoke with both of them as part of the 2020 CoastLine Candidate Interviews.

New Hanover County’s Board of Commission has three of five seats open this year.  

Jonathan Barfield is the only incumbent  running for re-election, while Commissioners Pat Kusek and Woody White are not.  As part of the 2020 CoastLine Candidate Interviews, WHQR spoke with all six of the candidates.  Here are excerpts from interviews with three of them.


Early voting is underway in North Carolina and runs through October 31st.  More than half of the seats on New Hanover County’s Board of Commissioners, three of the five, are open this year. 

WHQR / Katelyn Freund

North Carolina’s Congressional District map has faced criticism for years.  In 2018, a federal court declared it unconstitutional and gerrymandered to favor Republican candidates.  

WHQR / Katelyn Freund

North Carolina’s House District 20 has new boundaries in time for the 2020 elections.  What used to be a district that included northern New Hanover County is now a smaller area and no longer includes Kure Beach or Carolina Beach.  

North Carolina Senate District 8 includes the whole of Brunswick, Bladen, and Pender Counties.  But this year, there’s another piece added to the district – a very small slice of New Hanover County’s northernmost part. 

North Carolina’s House District 18, redrawn for the 2020 elections, no longer includes any part of Brunswick County.  It’s now strictly a northern New Hanover County territory with more unaffiliated voters than those registered as Democrats or Republicans. 

Graphic, Katelyn Freund; Images Provided by Candidates


With the 2020 election now less than a month away, Frank Iler and Tom Simmons are the candidates for NC House District 17. But it isn’t the first time the two have faced off in the race. 

Graphic, Katelyn Freund; Images Provided by Candidates


Pat Sykes and Bill Flythe are the District 3 candidates for the Brunswick County Board of Commissioners. The two have very different perspectives, visions, and ideas.

Graphic, Katelyn Freund; Images Provided by Candidates


David Robinson and Sherrill Jolly are facing off for the Board of Education seat in Brunswick County’s District 2. Both candidates are newcomers to elective office -- but, they’re no strangers to the school system they hope to serve.

WHQR / Katelyn Freund

New Hanover County’s Board of Commissioners has five seats.  Each member is elected to a staggered, four-year term.  In 2020, there are three open seats.

New Hanover County’s Board of Commissioners has five seats.  Each member is elected to a staggered, four-year term.  In 2020, there are three open seats.

WHQR

North Carolina Senate District 9 covers the majority of New Hanover County – with the exception of small northern slice that is part of District 8. 

State Board of Elections


  North Carolina is the first state in the country to mail out absentee ballots to those who have requested them. And they are going out starting Friday, September 4th. WHQR reports on how mail-in votes in New Hanover County will be processed and counted.   

RLH

President Donald Trump paid his first visit to the Cape Fear region Wednesday during the 2020 election season.  His agenda:  to declare Wilmington the first official World War Two Heritage City.   But it’s an opportune time and place for the Republican incumbent; since North Carolina is a battleground state with a slight Republican lean, it’s likely this is only the first of a series of visits from the candidates. 

New Hanover County Board of Elections


  With the effects of the pandemic on November’s elections still uncertain, the North Carolina legislature recently passed a bill making it easier to vote by absentee ballot. New Hanover County residents can request their ballots now -- and they’ll be ready to mail out in early September.