The North Carolina Senate is the upper chamber of the North Carolina General Assembly, which along with the North Carolina House of Representatives—the lower chamber—comprises the state legislature of North Carolina.

The Senate’s prerogatives and powers are similar to those of the other house, the House of Representatives. Its members do, however, represent districts that are larger than those of their colleagues in the House. The President of the Senate is the Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina, but the Lt. Governor has very limited powers and only votes to break a tie. Before the office of Lt. Governor was created in 1868, the Senate was presided over by a “Speaker.” After the 1988 election of James Carson Gardner, the first Republican Lt. Governor since Reconstruction, Democrats in control of the Senate shifted most of the power held by the Lt. Governor to the senator who is elected President Pro Tempore (or Pro-Tem). The President Pro Tempore appoints members to standing committees of the Senate, and holds great sway over bills.

According to the state constitution, the Senate is also the “Court for the Trial of Impeachments“. The House of Representatives has the power to impeach state officials, after which the Senate holds a trial, as in the federal system. If the Governor or Lt. Governor is the official who has been impeached, the Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court presides.


The qualifications to be a senator are found in the state Constitution: “Each Senator, at the time of his election, shall be not less than 25 years of age, shall be a qualified voter of the State, and shall have resided in the State as a citizen for two years and in the district for which he is chosen for one year immediately preceding his election.”

2021–22 composition


(shading indicates majority caucus)

End of (2017–18) legislature3515500
Beginning of previous (2019–20) legislature2921500
End of previous (2019–20) legislature2920501
Beginning of current (2021–22) legislature2821501
Since January 11, 20212822500
Latest voting share56%44%


North Carolina Senate[2] Officers
Lieutenant Governor / President of the SenateMark RobinsonRepublican
President Pro TemporePhil BergerRepublican
Deputy President Pro TemporeRalph HiseRepublican
Majority LeaderKathy HarringtonRepublican
Majority WhipJim PerryRepublican
Joint Majority Caucus LeaderNorman SandersonRepublican
Minority LeaderDan BlueDemocratic
Minority WhipJay ChaudhuriDemocratic
Minority Caucus SecretaryBen ClarkDemocratic


Map of current partisan composition of legislative districts for state senate:

  Republican senator
  Democratic senator
DistrictFull Name of SenatorPartyResidenceCounties RepresentedFirst elected
1Bob SteinburgRepublicanEdentonCamden, Chowan, Currituck, Dare, Gates, Hertford, Hyde,
Pasquotank, Perquimans, Tyrrell, Washington
2Norman SandersonRepublicanMinnesott BeachCarteret, Craven, Pamlico2012
3Ernestine BazemoreDemocraticAulanderBeaufort, Bertie, Martin, Northampton, Vance, Warren2020
4Toby FitchDemocraticWilsonEdgecombe, Halifax, Wilson2018↑
5Donald G. DavisDemocraticGreenvilleGreene, Pitt2012
6Michael LazzaraRepublicanJacksonvilleJones, Onslow2020
7Jim PerryRepublicanKinstonLenoir, Wayne2019↑
8Bill RabonRepublicanWinnabowBladen, Brunswick, New Hanover (part), Pender2010
9Michael LeeRepublicanWilmingtonNew Hanover (part)2020
10Brent JacksonRepublicanAutryvilleDuplin, Johnston (part), Samson2010
11Lisa Stone BarnesRepublicanSpring HopeJohnston (part), Nash2020
12Jim BurginRepublicanAngierHarnett, Johnston (part), Lee2018
13Danny BrittRepublicanLumbertonColumbus, Robeson2016
14Dan BlueDemocraticRaleighWake (part)2009↑
15Jay ChaudhuriDemocraticRaleighWake (part)2016↑
16Wiley NickelDemocraticCaryWake (part)2018
17Sydney BatchDemocraticApexWake (part)2021↑
18Sarah CrawfordDemocraticRaleighFranklin, Wake (part)2020
19Kirk deViereDemocraticFayettevilleCumberland (part)2018
20Natalie MurdockDemocraticDurhamDurham (part)2020↑
21Ben ClarkDemocraticRaefordCumberland (part), Hoke2012
22Mike WoodardDemocraticDurhamDurham (part), Granville, Person2012
23Valerie FousheeDemocraticHillsboroughChatham, Orange2013↑
24RepublicanBurlingtonAlamance, Guilford (part)2020
25Tom McInnisRepublicanEllerbeAnson, Moore, Richmond, Scotland2014
26David W. Craven Jr.RepublicanAsheboroGuilford (part), Randolph2020↑
27Michael GarrettDemocraticGreensboroGuilford (part)2018
28Gladys RobinsonDemocraticGreensboroGuilford (part)2010
29Steve JarvisRepublicanLexingtonDavidson, Montgomery2020
30Phil BergerRepublicanEdenCaswell, Rockingham, Stokes, Surry (part)2000
31Joyce KrawiecRepublicanKernersvilleDavie, Forsyth (part)2014↑
32Paul A. Lowe Jr.DemocraticWinston-SalemForsyth (part)2015↑
33Carl FordRepublicanChina GroveRowan, Stanly2018
34Vickie SawyerRepublicanMooresvilleIredell, Yadkin2018↑
35Todd JohnsonRepublicanMonroeUnion (part)2018
36Paul NewtonRepublicanConcordCabarrus, Union (part)2016
37Jeff JacksonDemocraticCharlotteMecklenburg (part)2014↑
38Mujtaba MohammedDemocraticCharlotteMecklenburg (part)2018
39DeAndrea SalvadorDemocraticCharlotteMecklenburg (part)2020
40Joyce WaddellDemocraticCharlotteMecklenburg (part)2014
41Natasha MarcusDemocraticDavidsonMecklenburg (part)2018
42H. Dean ProctorRepublicanHickoryAlexander, Catawba2020↑
43Kathy HarringtonRepublicanGastoniaGaston (part)2010
44Ted AlexanderRepublicanShelbyCleveland, Lincoln, Gaston (part)2018
45Deanna BallardRepublicanBlowing RockAlleghany, Ashe, Surry (part) Watauga, Wilkes2016↑
46Warren DanielRepublicanMorgantonAvery, Burke, Caldwell2010
47Ralph HiseRepublicanSpruce PineMadison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Yancey2010
48Chuck EdwardsRepublicanFlat RockBuncombe (part), Henderson, Transylvania2016↑
49Julie MayfieldDemocraticAshevilleBuncombe (part)2020
50Kevin CorbinRepublicanFranklinCherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon, Swain2020
  • ↑: Member was originally appointed to fill the remainder of an unexpired term.

Past composition of the Senate

See also


  1. ^ WRAL (March 6, 2014). “State Senator Martin Nesbitt dies from stomach cancer :”. Retrieved June 19, 2021.
  2. ^ “Leadership – North Carolina General Assembly”. Retrieved June 19, 2021.

External links

Coordinates: 35°46′59.53″N 78°38′20.24″W / 35.7832028°N 78.6389556°W / 35.7832028; -78.6389556