The 6 most important local races this election

  1. Michael Garrett vs. Trudy Wade for NC Senate (Guilford)

The presidential election, governor’s race and the Deborah Ross/Richard Burr contest go without saying, but there are several key local races this year that are frequently overlooked. Not to say that you shouldn’t pay attention to statewide battles, including for labor commissioner, attorney general and state Supreme Court, but closer to home, the Michael Garrett/Trudy Wade race for state Senate District 27 is vitally important. Garrett, a Democrat, stands a real chance at defeating Republican Sen. Wade, who is known locally for trying to restructure Greensboro City Council, endorsing Donald Trump and supporting HB 2.


  1. The Guilford County School Board races

Redistricting and newly partisan elections mean hotly contested and pivotal races for Guilford County School Board. Incumbent Democrats face challengers in Districts 2 and 5 as well as at large. Newcomers will take Districts 3, 6 and 7 regardless of who wins, while candidates for Districts 1, 4 and 8 are uncontested. Read more about the candidates on our website or in our upcoming voter guide.


  1. Debra Conrad vs. Marilynn Baker for NC House District 74 (Forsyth)

Democrat Marilynn Baker, who’s been endorsed by labor, teachers and LGBT groups, emphasizes election reform and expanding Medicare among other issues on her website. Meanwhile incumbent Republican Debra Conrad “opposes all tax increases,” brags about supporting laws to “restrict illegal aliens,” supported so-called Amendment One and emphasizes her support for charter schools and homeschooling on her website.


  1. The Forsyth County Commissioners District B

There are three seats available in Forsyth County’s rural District B, and they’re all currently held by Republicans: Richard Linville, Dave Plyler and Gloria Whisenhunt. Democrats Trent Harmon, Selester Steward and Bob Stitcher hope to knock at least one of the incumbents out this time around, but it’s an uphill battle.

  1. Guilford County Commission Districts 4 and 6

District 4 sees a rematch between Republican Commissioner Alan Branson and former commissioner Kirk Perkins. Voters unfamiliar with the two men can easily find more info online. In District 6, Democrat Rick Forrester of Greensboro challenges incumbent Republican Hank Henning of High Point in the only other contested race for Guilford County Commission. Find details about that one here.


  1. The judicial races (Triad wide)

There are a whole host of significant judicial races this election year with considerable influence on our criminal justice system. While there isn’t space here to tackle all of them, it’s worth visiting the Guilford or Forsyth counties’ board of elections websites to see who’s running where you live and then researching the candidates. Expect more from us on some of these contests coming soon.