NC News – 2022

NC News - 2022

News

U.S. Rep. Ted Budd and former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley won their respective Senate primaries on Tuesday, setting up a fall election matchup that should again test former President Donald Trump’s influence in North Carolina.

Budd won the 14-candidate Republican primary over former Gov. Pat McCrory and U.S. Rep. Mark Walker, while Beasley had entered Tuesday as the front-runner for the Democratic nomination, which 11 people sought. Current GOP U.S. Sen. Richard Burr is retiring.

Their election victories came as North Carolina voters whittled down Democratic and Republican candidates seeking to serve on Capitol Hill, in the General Assembly and on the judicial bench.

Trump, who narrowly won the state’s electoral votes in 2016 and 2020, gave his endorsement to Budd nearly a year ago. Budd benefitted from millions of dollars spent by the Club for Growth Action super PAC that was used to praise him and brand McCrory as too liberal.

McCrory and Walker criticized Budd for failing to participate in televised debates and accused the super PAC of trying to buy an election for Budd.

Rep. Ted Budd, who was supported in the Republican primary by former President Donald Trump, will face off against Democrat Cheri Beasley in the closely watched North Carolina U.S. Senate election, according to race calls by The Associated Press.

In the GOP primary, Budd fended off opponents including former Gov. Pat McCrory.

Beasley, who was the first Black woman to serve as chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, faced light opposition for the Democratic nomination. She coasted to the top after her main primary competitor dropped out of the race in December.

The redistricting wars are shifting into a new arena: the courtroom.

Most states have finished their maps already, but state and federal courts will direct the drawing of some 75 congressional districts in at least seven states in the coming months, marking a new phase in the process before the first 2022 primaries begin. In the next few weeks alone, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania courts are likely to impose new maps blocking Republican legislators’ attempts to relegate Democrats to small slivers of those congressional delegations.

Taken together, the court interventions have eased Democratic fears about redistricting as they sweat over a tough midterm political environment. So far, the decisions have validated the party’s state-by-state legal strategy and, critically, offered a surprising reprieve from several Republican gerrymandering attempts before a single election could be held under the new lines.

About 6,500 people have been told to evacuate their homes in Winston-Salem, North Carolina due to a fire at a fertilizer plant storing over 300 tons of potentially explosive ammonium nitrate, city officials said on Tuesday.

The blaze at the Weaver Fertilizer Plant on North Cherry Street started Monday evening. Residents within one mile of the plant were urged to evacuate and stay away from their homes for up to 48 hours.

“We abandoned the fire fighting operation because there’s a large volume of ammonium nitrate on site,” Winston-Salem fire chief Trey Mayo said.

SUPREME COURT: takes up race in college admissions
Associated Press, Collin BinkleyJanuary 25, 2022

The Supreme Court has agreed to review a challenge to the consideration of race in college admission decisions, often known as affirmative action. With three new conservative justices on the court since its last review, the practice may be facing its greatest threat yet.

The court said Monday it would consider a pair of lawsuits alleging that Harvard University and the University of North Carolina discriminate against Asian American applicants. The practice has been reviewed by the court several times over the past 40 years and has generally been upheld, but with limits.

A look at the case:

WHAT ARE RACE-CONSCIOUS ADMISSIONS POLICIES?

When colleges sort through their applicants deciding which ones to admit, some consider race along with grades and a host of other factors like athletics and community service. Some schools have used the practice for decades as a way to address racial discrimination against Black students and others who were long excluded from America’s colleges. Today, supporters say it’s an important tool that helps bring a diverse mix of students to campus, while opponents say it amounts to its own form of discrimination.

The state legislature marked “crossover” last week, the point at which most bills must pass at least one chamber to have a chance of becoming law this session.

House members had filed 969 bills by the end of last week, and senators had filed 721.

The House passed 336 bills by the crossover deadline — a little more than a third — and the Senate passed 156, about a quarter of those filed. About two dozen have already become law.

People on felony probation or parole can be prosecuted for voting illegally even if they don’t know they’re ineligible.

Fewer people were suspected of illegally voting while on probation or parole for a felony in the 2020 general election compared with 2016, according to a state review. However, the state Board of Elections found more possible cases of double voting.

As of early December, 33 people were suspected of voting while serving an active sentence for a felony, and 65 people were suspected of voting twice in the fall election. People with felony convictions can vote in North Carolina, but only after they have completed their probation or have left parole.

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