Inspired by Virginia, North Carolina Democrats are ready to fight Republican control over their state.
Republicans have kept a stranglehold over North Carolina politics for nearly a decade. And Democrats in the Tar Heel State are ready to strike back.
A report from the Associated Press reveals that Democrats are recruiting candidates for the North Carolina General Assembly at a frenetic pace.
“Democrats already have already fielded an unusually large pool of candidates for 100 seats in the 170-member bicameral legislature,” the AP notes. “Though official candidate filing doesn’t start until mid-February, the Democrats are quickly approaching the number of House and Senate seats they contested in 2016 and hope to strongly contest each seat in November.”
This is only the latest in a nationwide trend of Democrats signing up thousands of candidates to run at every level. Even in Texas, Democrats are having similar success.
And North Carolina is ground zero for all of the unscrupulous tactics Republicans have used to shut Democrats out of state and local office around the country.
Republicans in the state proudly and openly created one of the worst racial gerrymanders in the country. They enacted tough voter restrictions, that, according to a federal court, targeted African Americans “with almost surgical precision.”
And though the state elected a Democratic governor in 2016, he is largely powerless against a veto-proof GOP legislative majority which has brazenly tried to rewrite the powers of his office.
Democrats are looking to the Virginia House of Delegates for inspiration, where the party won over a dozen seats last November despite gerrymandering almost as aggressive as North Carolina’s.
While North Carolina has no gubernatorial race to help bring voters to the polls, the turnout in Virginia was in many ways spurred from the bottom up, a phenomenon Democrats elsewhere hope to repeat.
All across America, Republicans are finding their death grip on the political system challenged as Democratic voters around the nation put their powerful enthusiasm into electoral action. And North Carolina may be the next inspiring example.