We dropped our annual Legislative Guide this week, a few weeks after the 2023 NC Legislative Session ended, sure. But we were once able to plot the end of these sessions fairly easily — June or July, usually, and sometimes as late as August. This year the session ended in late October amid a flurry of controversy over the budget and other items on the agenda, so we didn’t have time to prepare the issue until now, with apologies.

We love this issue, in which we chronicle the actions of Triad reps in the House and Senate, highlighting the bills they sponsored and which ones became law. It’s the only way, besides combing through the NC General Assembly website, to see all of this information in one place. And, with an election on the horizon, it gives us a good sense of what these people actually did in our names.

Once cannot legislate without first getting elected, a truism we often recite to first-time candidates who have more ideas than strategy. And running for office is not the same thing as being in office, something we remind the more aggressive campaigners about if they make it through the gambit.

This year was a tough one for Democrats in Raleigh. A defection in the House by Rep. Tricia Cotham gave Republicans a veto-proof supermajority, ushering in a slate of oppressive laws on healthcare, elections, education and other pillars of our infrastructure.

For her efforts, Cotham got a new, Republican-heavy district carved for her around Charlotte, District 105. But as we pointed out, she’ll still have to win the election, and the district itself is rated R+2. And while no other Republicans are running, so she won’t have to survive a primary, three Democrats have thrown their hats into the ring, which means she’ll have to do some pretty fast talking to win the general election in November.

Of the officials we profiled, most are running for re-election again this year. Keep that in mind as you read this issue, and use their actions as criteria when you vote in the primary in March.

Because they can’t rule if they don’t win. And that part is up to us.

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