by Brian Clarey, Sayaka Matsuoka and Gale Melcher

It’s here! The 2024 Primary Election Guide has info about every candidate in the primary election. Candidates are listed alphabetically by last name by party, with incumbents listed first if they are running for re-election.

For information we used the candidate’s own websites, news reports, social media accounts and campaign finance information.

In North Carolina, primary voters must accept the ballot for the party in which they are registered — i.e. Republicans vote in the Republican primary, Democrats in the Democratic primary, etc. Unaffiliated voters may choose which ballot to vote on.

Remember: Voters must show ID at their polling places in order to vote this year.

Acceptable forms of ID are: state-issued driver’s license or ID card, from NC or another state; passport book or passport card, NC voter ID card issued by a county board of elections; a student or government ID card; a military ID; or a tribal enrollment card issued by a federally recognized tribe. Voters over the age of 65 may use expired ID cards provided the card was not expired on their 65th birthday.

Early voting starts Thursday, Feb. 15 and runs through Saturday, March 2. Election Day is on Tuesday, March 5.

Voters can do same-day registration during the early voting period.

If you’re voting early, you can cast your ballot at any precinct. If you’re voting on March 2, you’ll need to find your assigned precinct here.

A TIP FOR VOTERS! The best way to comb through this list is to find your sample ballot online and then look up the individual races. Find your sample ballot here.

Also, we know that this guide super long so use the buttons below or use the “Find in page” tool by using the shortcut CTRL + F or going to your sidebar in your browser to search for specific candidates or races.


PRESIDENT (Incumbent: Joe Biden, D, since 2021)

Nikki Haley

A former governor of South Carolina and ambassador to the United Nations under Trump, Haley is the last challenger left standing against the former president. Both her parents were born in India, and she served in the South Carolina House from 2005-11.

Her platform is mostly standard conservative boilerplate: gun rights, low taxes, raising the retirement age, a closed border.

She differs from Trump in that, though she says she is pro-life, she is against a federal abortion ban. And she believes it is in the US interests to support Ukraine in the war.

She has not yet chosen a running mate for vice president.

Donald Trump

As president from 2017-2020, Donald Trump enhanced religion in education, reduced the food safety net, rolled back emissions standards for cars and factories, delivered a $1.5 trillion tax cut to individuals and corporations, rolled back rules put in place after the 2008 financial crisis and appointed three judges to the US Supreme Court, which then overturned Roe v. Wade.

He also disbanded federal pandemic-response protocols before the worst pandemic of the century before fast-tracking a vaccine that arrived in early 2021.

After he lost the 2020 Election, Trump refused to accept the results, inciting an insurrectionist mob to attack the US Capitol Building on Jan. 6, 2021. He still maintains that the election was stolen from him, without providing tangible evidence.

He is currently facing four criminal indictments: falsifying business records (NY), mishandling classified documents (Fla.), attempting to defraud the government and disenfranchise voters (Washington, DC) and election racketeering (Georgia). They amount to a total of 91 felony charges. He has asserted that as president he has “absolute immunity” from all criminal charges.

If elected, Trump has pledged to use the Justice Department to go after his political enemies, “obliterate the deep state” by purging thousands of federal employees, use US troops to protect the border with Mexico, end aid to Ukraine in its war against Russia, terminate the Dept. of Education, push an “only two genders” bill through Congress and send the National Guard to Chicago, among other promises.

He has not yet chosen a running mate for vice president.


Joe Biden

After decades in the Senate — 1973-2009 — Biden became vice president under President Barack Obama, serving two terms from 2009-17. He was elected president in 2021.

His biggest accomplishment is a $1.2 trillion infrastructure package, which includes bridges and roads, airports, public transport and high-speed rail, national broadband internet, waterways and energy systems as well as childcare and other initiatives.

He also pulled troops out of Afghanistan, canceled student loans for more than 3.7 million borrowers, expanded the IRS to go after high-dollar tax cheats, enabled Medicare to negotiate prices for prescription drugs, brought employment above pre-pandemic levels and took out Al Qaeda terrorist Ayman al-Zawahiri, successor to Osama Bin Laden, among other accomplishments.

Also on his watch: fentanyl deaths and gun violence increased, inflation rose and migrant encounters at the southern border have increased.

His running mate is current Vice President Kamala Harris.


Toad Anderson

No website

Anderson has virtually no online profile, and when we type his name into Facebook it switches the language to Farsi.

Charles Ballay

A physician from a New Orleans suburb, Ballay wants to reduce federal debt, streamline or eliminate federal taxes, reduce barriers to bringing private enterprise into infrastructure and revamp our healthcare system.

David (Trime Taveler) Dunlap

X: @trimetaveler24tter

Dunlap, of Melbourne, Fla., has virtually no online presence save for a “verified” Twitter feed where he touts his 65,568-page “Radical Restructuring Plan Pan-Americanism,” crypto and a flat-Earth theory. He also notes that he is “LibertarianAF.”

Jacob Hornberger

According to his website, Hornberger wants open borders, to repeal drug laws, abolish the FBI, Medicare, Social Security, the NSA, the IRS, the CIA and all sanctions and embargoes enforced by the US. He also supports untethering education and healthcare from the government, preserving gun rights and other bits of Libertarian orthodoxy.

Beau Lindsey

No website

As far as we can tell, Lindsey ran as an independent write-in candidate for Assessor of Property in Chattanooga, Tenn. in 2021. According to his Reddit profile, he likes hip hop, American Shorthair cats and Nintendo games.

Mike ter Maat

Ter Maat promises a “Gold New Deal” that eliminates the IRS, allows states to nullify federal legislation, end the Federal Reserve and Social Security, end qualified immunity for law enforcement and “phasing out” public schools, among other planks.

Lars Mapstead

Mapstead is running on an “Unrig the System” platform, which includes a Voter’s Bill of Rights, healthcare choice, re-igniting the economy, ending the federal drug war and qualified immunity, and “power to the people” by limiting presidential powers, heavily regulating Congress and “reining in federal agencies.”

Chase Oliver

Oliver, according to his website, is a “37-year-old Libertarian activist living in Atlanta” who has run for Georgia’s 5th Congressional District (2020) and the US Senate (2022) against Sen. Raphael Warnock and Herschel Walker, earning 2 percent of the vote in the latter. Called “the most influential Libertarian in America” by Rolling Stone in 2022, his platform includes immigration and justice reform, ending the drug war — all wars, actually — and a pro-gun, anti-death penalty position.

(photo by Mises Institute)

Michael Rectenwald

Rectenwald is an author of 12 books (The Great Reset and the Struggle for Liberty: Unraveling the Global Agenda and Springtime for Snowflakes, among others) and academic with a PhD from Carnegie Mellon University and a teaching position at NYU from 2008-19. According to right-wing think tank the Mises Institute, “he is a pundit and champion of free speech against all forms of authoritarianism and totalitarianism, including socialism-communism, ‘social justice,’ fascism, and political correctness.”

Joshua Smith

If elected, Smith plans to end the Federal Reserve, investigate the “Covid regime,” repeal all federal taxes, end “forever wars,” abolish the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and designate the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group.

US HOUSE DISTRICT 5 (Incumbent: Virginia Foxx, R, since 2005)

Democrat Chuck Hubbard is running unopposed in the primary and will advance to the November general election.

Virginia Foxx (i)

Foxx’s district runs from the western edge of Greensboro all the way to Boone. She is an unapologetic Trump ally with the positions to match: anti-abortion even in cases of rape or incest, anti-immigration, anti “Medicare for all,” anti-LGBTQIA2S+ rights. She’s for lower taxes, higher military spending, minimizing the federal role in public schools and pro gun. In the House, she voted against impeaching Trump (twice!) and voted to overturn the results of the 2020 Presidential Election. As of Dec. 31, 2023 she has raised just north of $1 million and had $2.9 million ending cash on hand.

Ryan Mayberry

Another Trump fan, Mayberry is a contractor and former Alexander County commissioner who veers from Foxx in that he does not talk about abortion or religion on his website. His positions include maintaining a strong military, closing our borders to all immigration and energy independence based on fossil fuels. As of the end of last year he has raised almost $20,000 and had $7,334 ending cash on hand.

US HOUSE DISTRICT 6 (Incumbent: Kathy Manning, D, since 2021, not seeking re-election)

Christian Castelli

An Army veteran with combat experience in Mogadishu, Castelli was command inspector general for the Army Special Forces until 2012. Since then he has owned a few small businesses; this is his second time running for this seat. In 2022, Castelli won the Republican primary, beating out Lee Haywood, but lost to incumbent Kathy Manning in the general by about 8 percentage points.

In his positions, Castelli ties fentanyl abuse to immigration, supports energy independence through domestic drilling, espouses “American exceptionalism” as foreign policy, vows to “protect the integrity of women’s sports” and insists upon a “rising tide of crime” even though crime has been in steady decline since the 1990s. He also touts an endorsement by former Gen. Michael T. Flynn, Trump’s former national security advisor who resigned after lying to the FBI about conversations with a Russian ambassador, for which he took a guilty plea resulting in a single felony count; Flynn was pardoned by Trump in 2020.

Castelli has raised more than $762,000, including a $500,000 loan from himself and had about $656,000 ending cash on hand.

Mary Ann Contogiannis

Contogiannis is a first-generation American (her parents emigrated from Greece and owned Acropolis restaurant in Greensboro, which her brother still runs) and physician with a cosmetic surgery practice on State Street. Like Castelli, this is Contogiannis’ second time running for this seat. In 2022, she came in third during the Republican primary behind Castelli and Lee Haywood.

She is a pro-life absolutist — with no exception for rape or incest — pro gun, “Back the Blue,” approves of “school choice” funded by the public schools budget and wants to “protect” women’s sports from trans athletes. Of note: There are currently about 15 openly transgender student-athletes in NC high schools, out of about 180,000.

As of September 2023, she has raised $121,000, including an $86,000 loan from herself and had about $116,441 ending cash on hand.

Bo Hines

Hines, 28, who played football at NC State and obtained a law degree from Wake Forest, ran for the 13th District in 2022, with Trump’s endorsement, on a slate with Madison Cawthorn, another young Trump acolyte. Hines won the primary but lost to Democrat Wiley Nickel in the general.

On his site his position statements are brief and vague: immigration reform, free speech, election integrity, the economy, “America first.” But he did not secure Trump’s endorsement this time around.

He’s raised about $380,000 as of September 2023, but has said he’s funding his campaign with a trust fund set up by his parents and has loaned his campaign more than $100,000. He had about $97,974 ending cash on hand.

Addison McDowell

The 29-year-old political newcomer — McDowell worked as a lobbyist and for Sen. Ted Budd, briefly — benefits from the endorsement of Trump and fundraising from NC political heavyweights that include Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger and other members of NC GOP leadership.

His website is devoid of policy positions and contains only a single article under the “news” tab announcing the Trump endorsement. 

McDowell has raised about $108,000 and had $101,748 ending cash on hand.

Jay Wagner

The former High Point mayor (2017-23) presided over a downtown renaissance that saw the construction of a ballpark, acquisition of a football club and other amenities while lowering the property-tax rate, which at one time was the highest in the state.

He believes the 2020 election was stolen, according to his website, vowing to outlaw ballot drop boxes. He’s pro gun, pro life, pro Israel and anti Hunter Biden, and he vows to protect children against “warped teaching about sex, boys in girls’ sports and… an extreme leftist agenda through curriculum.”

He has raised about $126,000, including a personal loan from himself of $50,000 and had $74,820 ending cash on hand.

Mark Walker

Walker’s political career began in Greensboro, where as a pastor at Lawndale Baptist Church he helped found Guilford County’s tea party PAC Conservatives for Guilford County in 2009. From there he was elected to represent the 6th Congressional District in 2014 until the district was redrawn for a Democrat in 2020. He has since announced runs for the Senate (withdrawn) and NC governor (withdrawn), and in 2019 was embroiled in a fundraising scandal concerning NC mega donor Greg Lindberg, who was convicted of bribery and conspiracy to commit wire fraud in 2019. Walker emerged unscathed.

Though he has at times spoken out against Trump, his website namedrops the former president a couple times and endorses his positions on the border wall, the tax code and immigration.

He has raised more than $445,000 and had $375,683 ending cash on hand.

US HOUSE DISTRICT 9 (Incumbent: Richard Hudson, R, since 2013)

Richard Hudson (i)

Chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee, Hudson is one of the more powerful Republicans in the House. As such, he has an A+ rating from the NRA and a 100-percent rating from the National Right to Life. He also voted to overturn the results of the 2020 election. His website uses just photos and headlines to describe his policy positions — “Creating Jobs,” “Protecting the Second Amendment,” “Cutting Spending,” “Environment” — but he was endorsed by Trump in 2022, so the shorthand should suffice.

As of September 2023, Hudson had raised $1.9 million and had that much as ending cash on hand.

Troy L. Tarazon

Tarazon is an Army combat veteran with a young family running on right-wing bedrock issues like “no compromise” gun rights, government overspending, school choice and a strong southern border without explicitly mentioning a wall. He also espouses Congressional term limits, and wants to strengthen Social Security while avoiding, with somewhat muddy reasoning, “placing the burden on us who already pay too much tax.”

He has not yet filed campaign finance information with the FEC.

US HOUSE DISTRICT 10 (Incumbent: Patrick McHenry, R, since 2005, announced retirement)

Charles Eller

Solar-energy consultant Eller, a first-time candidate, posts generic GOP policy positions on his site: “uncontrollable federal spending”; “there are only two genders”; “standing up for our Judeo-Christian values”; “the weaponizing of government.” No endorsements or news clips on his site yet, and no data has been filed with the SEC.

Pat Harrigan

Harrigan, a West Point graduate and Special Forces combat veteran, split his time growing up between the West Coast and a small town in Wyoming. Now he is a gun manufacturer. Naturally, he is bullish on Second Amendment rights; other policy positions on his website put him squarely at odds with Biden’s record on the economy, immigration, national security, election integrity and “protect[ing] the unborn.”

In 2022, he ran unsuccessfully against Rep. Jeff Jackson (D) in District 14. He has raised more than $860,000, including a $500,000 loan from himself. He had about $729,000 ending cash on hand.

Diana Jimison – website not yet active

The registered nurse first ran for this district in 2022, but only garnered 110 votes as an independent write-in candidate. Her campaign website is not yet live, but she has a Facebook presence in which she rails against current District 10 Rep. Patrick McHenry and others she deems RINOs, expresses anti-mask sentiments and seems to reject US aid to Ukraine in its war against Russia. The Hickory Daily Record has video of her speaking at a school board meeting in favor of banning a book, Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson, about a young, Black girl who vanished.

She has not filed campaign finance info with the FEC.

Brooke McGowan

A frustrated parent, McGowan says she decided to run after “children were (in large part) used and abused by first the lockdowns and mask usage, and then the vaccine mandates.” Anti-vax, anti-mask, she applauds Trump’s withdrawal from the World Health Organization. She believes the 2020 Election was stolen under the guise of Covid, and calls the Jan. 6 defendants “patriots” with a picture of Ashli Babbit, who was killed by a Capitol police officer while jumping through a broken window in the building.

She has not yet reported campaign finance info.

Grey Mills

As current NC House District 95 in Iredell, Rep. Mills sponsored bills allowing poll watchers to take a heavier hand in their roles as election watchdogs and other election issues. And he’s been endorsed by GOP leadership in Raleigh, as well as by Rep. Virginia Foxx.

There are no policy positions on his website, but there is a large gallery of photos of him in action on the House floor and posing with his family on vacations.

He has not yet filed with the FEC.


GOVERNOR (Incumbent Roy Cooper, D, since 2017)

Note: Incumbent Roy Cooper, a Democrat, has met the term limit.

Democratic primary

Chrelle Booker 

The mayor pro tem of Tryon, NC ran for US Senate in 2022 along with candidate Marcus W. Williams — both lost handily to Cheri Beasley, who in turn lost to Sen. Ted Budd during the general election. Booker is president of National Women in Government and a member of the National League of Cities. According to her website, her policy positions include fair housing, funding for education and housing, clean air and water, fewer hybrid and GMO agricultural products and “save the trees.” As of December 2023, she has raised $0.

Gary Foxx

Foxx’s website notes that he has had a career in law enforcement, without going into detail. His platform includes strengthening public education and law enforcement, raising the minimum wage, healthcare as a right, preserving the environment and championing diversity.

As of January, he has raised just north of $2,000 and had $25 cash on hand.

Michael (Mike) Morgan

A former senior associate justice of the NC Supreme Court, Morgan was one of the first five students to break the color barrier in New Bern public schools and while in law school was student body president of NC Central University before embarking on a decades-long legal career that included time in the state justice department and as a District Court judge.

He believes in strengthening public education, a “21st Century economy,” affordable healthcare, police reform, equal rights for women and the LGBTQIA2S+ community, and “defend[ing] democracy.” He also believes that climate change is real.

His campaign has raised almost $120,000 as of January, about $10,00 of which comes from a personal loan. He had $32,000 ending cash on hand.

Josh Stein

Like current Gov. Cooper before him, Stein is the current NC attorney general. In that role he has gone after corporate polluters and e-cigarette makers, brought home $50 million in federal opioid-addiction treatment money and chipped away at a backlog of untested rape kits, among other initiatives. He’s secured more than 100 key endorsements, including Gov. Cooper, Rep. Pricey Harrison, Forsyth County Sheriff Bobby Kimbrough, former Gov. Jim Hunt, the AFL-CIO president and dozens of former and current rotate and federal reps, judges, mayors, sheriffs and DAs.

His platform seems to be a continuation of Cooper’s work, wrangling against a GOP-heavy legislature and defending freedoms like abortion, education and voting. He has raised more than $16.9 million as of January and had about $11.4 million ending cash on hand.

Marcus W. Williams

Frequent candidate Williams ran for NC AG in 2016, losing to Josh Stein by about 7 percentage points, ran for governor in 1992, US Senate in 2008. He has run for state office more than once and was student body president at UNC-Chapel Hill in 1974. He is the author of The Capacity To Believe: Race, Media and Politics in the American South (2013).

He’s running on impartiality in the administration of justice and “sound judgment and integrity,” and calls himself a “fiscal tightwad.”

He has raised about $3,000 as of January and had $0 ending cash on hand.

Libertarian primary

Shannon W. Bray

Bray, a technology entrepreneur from Apex, has run for US Senate in 2020 and 2022. According to multiple news reports, Bray has been arrested multiple times, as recently as 2023, for assaulting his wife and threatening to kill her. He was also charged with manufacturing marijuana.

He believes in abortion up to 16 weeks, legalizing cannabis, election reform and a slew of law enforcement reforms that include ending most traffic stops, ending the drivers license “points system,” abolishing no-knock warrants, ending qualified immunity for officers, stripping most officers of firearms, ending embargoes on police body cameras, abolishing civil forfeiture and paying off police lawsuits from the police pension and retirement fund instead of tax dollars.

He’s raised $150.

Mike Ross

Ross, a certified financial planner from Charlotte, believes in “free market education,” which means redistributing the state education budget among parents and letting them send it to private schools as “the state will wind down the current monopoly on education.” He wants an immediate 20-percent raise for all cops, but also wants to end qualified immunity for them. He wants to end drug prohibition and government “interference” in healthcare. And he wants to “create an economic environment where innovative free market solutions that help the environment can thrive.”

He has not yet filed campaign finance reports.

Dale Folwell

Our current, two-term state treasurer from Forsyth County, Folwell has been active in local and state political circles for decades. He served in the NC House for four terms, including one as speaker pro tempore, and got his political start serving on the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School Board from 1993-2000.

As treasurer, he has fought for low prescription-drug prices and championed the NC Cash program, a website where people can find out if the state owes them money. Last month he divested state pension funds from ice-cream maker Ben & Jerry’s for “anti-Israel activity.”

Planks in his platform include law and order (crime in general is actually down in NC since 2019), school choice, the high cost of living and government transparency. He’s been endorsed by former Gov. Jim Martin and the State Employees Association.

As of his last campaign finance report in January, he had raised about $300,000 on top of a personal loan to his campaign for $1 million. He had $1.27 million ending cash on hand.

Bill Graham

An attorney and venture capitalist from Salisbury, Bill Graham was at the fore of the lawsuit against Camp Lejeune, defending Marines and their families affected by toxic water there. And he sued a Chinese company for dumping toxins on NC farmland; as governor he says he would make it illegal for the Chinese government or Chinese citizens to buy land in NC.

Other planks in the arch-conservative’s platform include fighting crime — “death penalty for fentanyl dealers and human traffickers” — repealing local food taxes and overtime income tax, establishing a “Parents Board of Education” in every school district and involving “industry leaders” in crafting curriculum at our public universities, and creating a “North Carolina Family Values Commission.” He also plans on “restoring the American Dream.”

He has been endorsed by Sen. Thom Tillis, though he hasn’t raised all that much — about $112,000, but has loaned his campaign $2.9 million for the primary. He had $161,000 ending cash on hand.

Mark Robinson

The first Black lieutenant governor in NC caught the public eye after airing his grievances with Greensboro City Council for canceling a gun show in the wake of a school shooting. He quickly became a GOP celebrity, appearing on conservative talk shows and rallies, and rode that wave to his current position, which he won in 2020 by three percentage points, or about 175,000 votes.

There are no position points on his website, but Robinson has been extremely vocal about abolishing the NC Board of Education, which as lieutenant governor he chairs, and supporting gun rights. He has called LGBTQIA2S+ North Carolinians “filth,” and is staunchly pro-life, though he admitted to paying for an abortion for his wife in 1989 and, since Roe v. Wade was overturned, has said he doesn’t want to talk about abortion anymore. He has called Beyoncé’s music “satanic,” said he “wouldn’t be surprised“ if the moon landing and 9/11 were faked, called climate change “junk science” and warns against a “New World Order.”

With an endorsement by Trump, Robinson leads the GOP money race with more than $9.9 million raised and $4.3 million cash on hand as of December 2023.

LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR (Incumbent: Mark Robinson, R, since 2021)

The Lieutenant Governor is the second highest elected official in the state and is the only elected official to have powers in both the legislative and executive branches of state government.

Note: Incumbent Mark Robinson is running for governor this year.

Democratic primary

Ben Clark

An Army brat, an Aggie and an Air Force veteran, Clark served in the NC Senate’s District 21 in the Sandhills region, for five terms, ending his tenure last year. His positions are boilerplate Democratic: women’s rights, workers’ rights, the environment, “protecting our democracy.” But he’s for the school voucher program, separating him from some of the others.

As of last year’s mid-year report, he had raised more than $14,000 and had $5,621 ending cash on hand.

Rachel Hunt

Currently serving in the NC Senate’s District 42 in Charlotte, Hunt sponsored bills to codify Roe v. Wade into NC law, restore master’s degree pay for teachers, increase the minimum wage to $15, bolster early-childhood education and create an independent redistricting committee, among others. She also served two terms in the House.

This campaign, her key issues are affordable healthcare and reproductive rights, public schools, protecting voter rights and expanding broadband access as an economic development tool. She’s earned dozens of key endorsements including Reps. Kathy Manning, Jeff Jackson, Alma Adams and Deborah Ross; pro-chice groups Lillian’s List and Emily’s List; a score of state legislators; a few mayors and councilmembers; the NC Sierra Club; and the NC AFL-CIO.

As of her last report in July 2023, she had raised more than $840,000 and hand $452,000 ending cash on hand.

Mark H. Robinson

No, not that Mark Robinson. This one’s from Sampson County, a Democrat and a Navy veteran who served two tours in Iraq, and is a businessman with an MBA from Duke and a BA from UNC-Chapel Hill. He spent 15 years working for Sikorsky Aircraft.

His website is short on policy positions and long on character references, but he says he’s visited all 100 counties to ask people what they want.

He has not yet filed campaign-finance information.

Deanna Ballard

Ballard, of Blowing Rock, served in the NC Senate’s 45th District from 2016-23. She’s known for fighting to keep schools open even in the early days of Covid, and has served on Lt. Gov. Robinson’s task force on indoctrination in education. Before her political career, she worked with Billy Graham Ministries.

Her No. 1 issue is “protecting kids from the woke agenda,” but also wants to emphasize skills training as opposed to college, along with other bedrock conservative positions: pro-life, pro-police, the deportation of immigrants, and preventing “biological males” from competing in women’s sports.

As of July she had raised about $193,000 and had $98,444 ending cash on hand.

Peter Boykin

Gays for Trump founder Boykin ran for the NC House in 2018 and 2022, and since rising to prominence in 2016, has organized and attended several pro-Trump rallies. In July 2019, he gave a speech at a Proud Boys rally in Washington, DC. He currently hosts a podcast, “Go Right with Peter Boykin,” and is active on Gab Social.

His platform is “America First,” but also pro-Constitution, especially the First and Second amendments, and pro-election integrity. To these he adds school choice, a strong criminal justice system, and abortions in case of rape or incest. As part of the gay community, he’s also for civil unions and supports animal rights, which separates him from the rest of the crop.

As of January he had raised about $6,000 and had $91 ending cash on hand.

Rivera Douthit

A former critical-care nurse from Mooresville, Douthit is now a minister and author of Christian self-help books. There are no policy positions on her website, but she’s got a merch tab. And according to her site, she’s part of the “Secret Ballot Movement,” which assures voters that their choices at the ballot box will not be publicly known.

As of December 2023, she has raised more than $16,000 and had $6,587 ending cash on hand.

Jeffrey Elmore

This past term in the NC House, where he represents District 94 in Alexander and Wilkes counties, Elmore sponsored lots of education bills: one raising the dropout age from 16 to 18, one designed to improve students’ performance in mathematics, one granting licenses to teachers who are licensed out of state. None of those passed, but he was able to turn the Alexander County Board of Education election from non-partisan to partisan. He’s ardently pro-life, and sponsored the legislation that repealed pistol-permit licensure in NC.

As of his last report in July 2023, he has raised about $85,000 and had $113,000 ending cash on hand.

Allen Mashburn

A Christian minister for more than three decades from Pinehurst, Mashburn believes that LGBTQIA2S+ North Carolinians are “a manifestation of moral decay.” He’s a big Trump supporter who believes in defending free speech, gun rights, “medical freedom,” the death penalty for migrants who bring fentanyl across our borders and is staunchly pro-life. He also wants to increase funding for memory-care facilities in our state.

He’s been endorsed by Steve Bannon, Veterans for Trump, Jenna Ellis, the New York Young Republican Club and several other figures from the far right.

He’s raised more than $86,000 and had almost $2,000 ending cash on hand.

Marlenis Hernandez Novoa

A former paramedic firefighter and business owner living in Raleigh, Novoa believes in affordable healthcare, improving school infrastructure and that law enforcement is the solution to the drug epidemic. Her tagline is: “Ready to shock North Carolina back to life.”

She’s raised about $11,700 as of January and had $1,200 ending cash on hand.

Jim O’Neill

The current Forsyth County district attorney, appointed in 2009 and elected three times, has few policy positions on his website save that he is against casinos and wants to extend police officers to private and faith-based schools. A prosecutor, he is tough on crime but also recognizes the connection between mental health, addiction and crime. As Forsyth DA, he presided over the death of John Neville in the Forsyth County Jail, in which he charged the corrections officers and a nurse. Ultimately, a grand jury indicted the nurse, but not the officers involved. In 2023, O’Neill dropped the involuntary manslaughter charges against the nurse. No one was held criminally responsible for Neville’s death. He is head coach for Reynolds High School lacrosse team.

He’s raised more than $89,000 and had about $85,000 ending cash on hand as of January.

Sam Page

Rockingham County Sheriff Page wears a cowboy hat in his profile picture. An Air Force veteran who began his law enforcement career with the Eden Police Department, Page led the Sheriffs for Trump movement in 2016. He wants to create state and national task forces for border security, trafficking and gang violence, back farmers against “crippling activist lawsuits” and raise teacher pay to national standards. He is for school choice and against “unnecessary government encroachment.”

He’s been endorsed by six current and former NC sheriffs, including former Guilford County Sheriff BJ Barnes. As of July 2023, he had raised about $44,000 and had about $30,000 ending cash on hand.

Ernest Reeves

A retired Army captain, Reeves has run for office many times: a US Senate primary against Kay Hagan in 2014, mayor of Greenville in 2015, the Senate again in 2016, Greensville mayor again in 2017, the NC House in 2018, the US House and Greenville City Council in 2019, NC governor in 2020 and the US House again in 2022. He has yet to win an election.

He believes in voting rights, higher state unemployment payments and addressing the solvency of Social Security, though that’s not strictly in the lieutenant governor’s purview. As of January 2024 he has claimed $1,700 in donations and had $0 cash on hand.

Hal Weatherman

Wake Forest University grad and political operative Weatherman founded the Electoral Education Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to election integrity and was chief of staff for former Lt. Gov. Dan Forest. Before that he worked for Forest’s mother, former Charlotte mayor and US Rep. Sue Myrick, an early member of the Tea Party Caucus in the 2000s. He also served on staff for former Rep. Madison Cawthorn. He calls himself a “principled limited government conservative — fiscal and social” whose main goal as lieutenant governor is to “remove the stigma our society has placed on working in the trades.” He also wants to elevate NC agriculture to the global market, establish continual monitoring of the State Board of Elections and pass a “Heartbeat Bill” outlawing all abortions. He is anti-union. He also wants to create a North Carolina Hall of Fame.

As of January, he had raised more than $400,000 and had more than $43,000 ending cash on hand.

Seth Woodall

UNCG grad Woodall is a lawyer from Eden in his first political race. He is not running for things so much as against them — he’s against “the cultural decline,” against climate extremists, against an open border, against inflation and against the overturning of Voter ID laws. But his key issue, according to a campaign video, is the “woke agenda against children.”

“When they started coming for our kids, I don’t care what any politician says, no one is going to push their agenda on me or my children,” he says in the video. “My daughters will not share a locker room with men. My sons will not be led to question their gender, and before anyone tries to tell you that this is not happening in North Carolina, they’re dead wrong. I’ve experienced this firsthand, and I have no doubt that many of you have stories of your own.”

He has loaned his campaign $1 million for the primary and had about that much in ending cash on hand as of January.

ATTORNEY GENERAL (Incumbent: Josh Stein, D, since 2017)

The attorney general is a constitutional officer responsible for representing state agencies in legal matters, supplying other state officials and prosecutors with legal advice and leading the North Carolina Department of Justice.

Note: Incumbent Josh Stein is running for governor this year.

Democratic primary

Satana Deberry

Satana Deberry currently serves as the elected District Attorney for Durham County, a position she has held since 2018. According to her campaign website, Deberry has implemented policies to reduce unnecessary pretrial incarceration and court involvement and “has worked to dismantle systems that restrict the lives of poor people, families, communities of color, and other marginalized and underrepresented groups.” She formerly served as a criminal defense attorney in her hometown of Hamlet, NC, general counsel for the North Carolina Dept.of Health and Human Services and executive director of the nonprofit North Carolina Housing Coalition. 

Her focuses include prosecuting violent crimes, forfeiture of guns used in crimes or in homes experiencing domestic violence, providing trauma-informed services to victims, certifying visas for immigrant victims of crime and expanding the use of restorative justice.

Deberry graduated from Princeton University and Duke University law school.

Deberry has raised more than $44,000 and had $30,000 ending cash on hand as of January.

Tim Dunn

Fayetteville-native Tim Dunn is a former marine, having served in the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan and Iraq, to name a few deployments. In 1994, he left active duty and began practicing law as a civilian attorney. He concentrated in civil, criminal and military litigation in state, federal and military courts and now represents juveniles facing criminal charges as well as representing veterans and law enforcement officers in “restoring their Second Amendment rights,” according to his website.

Dunn has raised more than $11,000 and had a deficit of $20 cash on hand by January.

Jeff Jackson

As a current Congressman, Rep. Jeff Jackson of North Carolina’s 14th Congressional district is likely the most well-known candidate in the attorney general race.

Jackson first took congressional office in 2023 but served as the representative for the NC Senate District 37, which covers Iredelle and Mecklenburg counties, from 2014-22. When he joined the state Senate in 2014, he became the second-youngest senator at the time.

In 2022, Jackson ran an unsuccessful bid for US Senate to replace Republican incumbent Richard Burr. While he raised $500,000 within 48 hours of his campaign announcement, Jackson ultimately suspended his campaign and endorsed Cheri Beasley who lost to Republican Ted Budd in the general election.

During his time as state senator and US Congressman, Jackson has pushed for expanding pre-K education programs, increasing teacher pay and expanding Medicaid, while fighting against gerrymandering and the anti-trans “bathroom bill,” HB2. He’s also known for being active on social media, namely Tiktok, where he posts explanatory videos about what’s going on in Congress.

Jackson also served in the army and was deployed to Afghanistan.

According to campaign finance records, Jackson has raised more than $2 million and had $1.8 million cash on hand as of December 2023.

AUDITOR (Incumbent Jessica Holmes, D, since 2023)

The Office of the State Auditor performs financial statement audits for the state of North Carolina, state agencies, state universities, community colleges and other units of state government. The objective of a financial statement audit is to determine whether an agency’s financial statements are fairly presented.

Note: Incumbent Jessica Holmes, a Democrat, and Libertarian Bob Drach are both running unopposed and advance to the November election.

Dave Boliek

Despite the fact that he was a longtime Democrat, Dave Boliek changed his party registration in mid 2023 and now promotes himself as a “conservative Republican” on his campaign website.

In an interview with NC Newsline, Boliek said that he “migrated to the Republican Party because [he] feel like the Democratic Party in North Carolina has left [him] behind.”

The fiscal conservative and traditional Christian currently serves on the UNC Board of Trustees, and formerly served as the chairman from 2021-23, notably during the Nikole Hannah-Jones controversy. NC Newsline reported that Boliek was just one of four of the 13 members of the board to vote “no” when it came to granting tenure to Hannah-Jones.

From 1998-2001, Boliek worked as an assistant district attorney in Cumberland County. After leaving, he worked in private practice, with success working “with DMV regulations, ABC regulations and consulting on health care matters,” according to his campaign website.

Boliek has raised more than $447,000 and reported having $395,000 ending cash on hand as of January.

Jack Clark

On his website Jack Clark argues that he is the only certified public accountant running for state auditor. At 32 years old, Clark is likely the youngest candidate in the race. Clark attended Duke where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Economics. He went on to work as an external auditor for Grant Thornton and currently works on budget policy in the General Assembly.

One of Clark’s platforms includes a willingness to be “agile and responsive to the changes happening in the audit profession” by modernizing tools used, “such as utilizing more data analytics.”

As of December 2023, Clark had riased more than $14,000 and had $9,420 cash on hand.

Charles Dingee

Charles Dingee began his professional career in banking and currently works as a realtor in Raleigh. He has served as a precinct chair in Wake County for the Republican party and served as chairman of the Wake County Young Republicans for two terms. He later became the first Vice Chair of the Wake County Republican Party and served as Chairman for the 13th Congressional District.

According to campaign finance reports, Dingee had raised more than $73,000 and had about $39,000 ending cash on hand as of January. In February, Dingee took out a loan of $20,000 to supplement his campaign.

Jim Kee

Former Greensboro City Councilmember (District 2 from 2009-13) Jim Kee initially had his eyes set on either Greensboro mayor or state lieutenant governor, according to reporting by the Rhino Times from February 2023.

According to the Rhino, Kee’s platforms at the time included lowering taxes, increasing business, a focus on affordable housing, supporting the police, increasing teacher pay and being anti-abortion.

His campaign website for state auditor is lean, with few platform details that relate to the position of state auditor. However, a photo of Kee with current State Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, who is running for governor this year, is posted prominently on the home page.

Kee is the executive director of Concepts Innovators CDC, Inc. which develops senior and veteran housing in Greensboro, as well as an aquaponics urban farm and solar farm. He is an NC A&T State University alum, and graduated with a bachelor of science degree in economics.

As of December 2023, Kee had raised about $2,900 and had $340 cash on hand.

Jeff Tarte

Former NC State Senator Jeff Tarte represented District 41 from 2013-19 and served as mayor of Cornelius from 2007-12. During his time as state senator, he chaired the Oversight Committee for more than 20 North Carolina state agencies, a role that included overseeing the Office of State Auditor, according to his campaign website.

Tarte currently works as a partner at Cribb Philbeck, LLC, a consulting firm in Charlotte. He was appointed to the Information Technology Strategy Board by NC Senate President Pro Tem. Phil Berger.

On his website, Tarte lists values like impartiality and independence as his mission.

“As your State Auditor, if the [Office of the State Auditor] finds financial mismanagement, waste, or fraud, I will report without apology, as this is my ultimate responsibility to the taxpayers of North Carolina,” he notes.

As of December 2023, Tarte had raised $41,000 and had $40,688 cash on hand.

Anthony Wayne (Tony Street)

No website

This is not Anthony Wayne’s first time running for state auditor. In 2020, Wayne filed for candidacy, ultimately losing to Democrat Beth Wood by less than 2 percentage points. And despite his nearly successful run, a past of criminal charges continues to plague Wayne’s 2024 campaign.

A quick Google search of Wayne’s name doesn’t yield a campaign website. Instead, articles by the News & Observer and even the Rhino Times outline Wayne’s troubled past, which includes misdemeanors of simple assault, stalking, resisting a public officer, disorderly conduct and communicating threats. According to the N&O, the charges date back to 2012 starting with the simple assault charge, which was ultimately dismissed. Perhaps the most serious charges relate to multiple stalking charges against Wayne, all against the same victim for occasions taking place in 2017 and 2018.

As of December 2023, Wayne had raised about $31,000 (including a $30,000 personal loan) and had $22,000 cash on hand.

COMMISSIONER OF AGRICULTURE (Incumbent: Steve Troxler, R, since 2005)

The commissioner’s primary goal is protecting, maintaining and enhancing the ability of agriculture to produce an adequate supply of food and fiber and to enforce regulations.

Steve Troxler (i)

Incumbent Steve Troxler has held the position of agriculture commissioner for the last 19 years. First elected in 2005, Troxler studied conservation at NC State University and grew tobacco, wheat and produce as the owner and operator of Troxler Farms.

Troxler was originally a member of the Democratic party but left in the late 1990s because of the party’s sentiment towards tobacco.

He’s the past president of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture and served as a former chairman of NASDA’s Food Regulation and Nutrition Committee.

As of January, Troxler had raised about $4,000 and had almost $14,000 ending cash on hand.

Colby (Bear) Hammonds

Conservative Colby Hammonds was raised on a cow-calf farm specializing in hay and row crops, according to his website. Like Troxler, Hammonds also graduated from NC State University, but with a degree in animal science. Hammonds also served in the military for 33 years with the army national guard and army reserves.

Today, Hammonds runs a small family farm, Hammonds Land & Cattle, in Wake County.

According to reporting by NC Newsline, Hammonds was denied a platform at public events controlled by allies of incumbent Steve Troxler in the lead-up to this year’s primary election.

In early February, Hammonds approached the Southern Farm Show at the State Fairgrounds to see if he could rent space to set up a booth for his campaign, to which he was told that there was no more space. Hammonds then asked if his opponent, incumbent Steve Troxler would have a booth. The organizer told Hammonds that he would not. But then, on opening day, Hammonds attended the event only to see a booth advertising Troxler and his campaign.

According to the organizer’s rules, the booth was rented out by supporters of Troxler and not the candidate himself. In this case the Tobacco Growers Association of North Carolina had rented the space to campaign on behalf of Troxler.

“The situation at the Farm Show is one of several political snubs Hammond said he has encountered while running for office,” NC Newsline reported.

On his website Hammonds includes supporting local farming initiatives, reducing government regulations on agriculture and reversing the trend of farmers’ land loss among his campaign platforms.

Hammonds has raised more than $1,700 and had -$65 cash on hand as of January.

COMMISSIONER OF INSURANCE (Incumbent: Mike Causey, R, since 2017)

According to the state website, the commissioner of insurance heads the state Department of Insurance, which regulates the insurance industry, handles insurance-related complaints and licenses insurance agents. The department also oversees fire safety and building inspections and workers’ compensation.

Natasha Marcus

NC Senator Natasha Marcus has been involved in state politics since she was elected to Senate District 41, which is in Mecklenburg County, in 2018 after beating her Republican opponent, Jeff Tarte, who is running for state auditor this year.

During her tenure, she has pushed to expand access to reproductive healthcare and served on the Commerce and Insurance Committee.

On her campaign website, Marcus states that she is standing up “against corruption, corporate greed and bad government.” Her priorities include ensuring rates are fair, coverage is as-advertised and valid claims are paid. She notes that unlike incumbent Republican Causey, who is running for re-election, she’ll make sure to hold public hearings so people can make their voices heard.

She has a bachelor’s degree in public policy from Hamilton College and a law degree from Duke University. After passing the bar exam in 1994, Natasha practiced law at Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey, and Leonard, LLP and clerked for a federal judge in Greensboro.

According to campaign finance reports, Marcus had raised more than $120,000 and had more than $200,000 ending cash on hand as of January.

David Wheeler

Businessman David Wheeler doesn’t have experience holding political office but has worked in multiple meeting and event management firms over the years.

On his website, Wheeler claims that if he were to be elected, he would reorganize the Department of Insurance so that “insurance companies will have 60 days to pay claims or be subject to a penalty that is paid to [customers], not the Department of Insurance.”

He also committed to appointing women and people of color to his leadership team and fighting insurance-rate increases. He envisions working with debt collection agencies to create repayment plans, canceling medical debt when possible, giving $5,000 tax credits to firefighters, streamlining building permitting for affordable housing and appointing a senior deputy commissioner for climate change issues as part of his platforms.

He had raised more than $14,000 and had -$7,500 ending cash on hand as of January.

Mike Causey (i)

Republican Mike Causey has held the title of insurance commissioner since 2017. 

On his website, he claims to be a “man of the people” who believes that more competition in the insurance industry will provide lower rates for consumers. However, many of his Democratic opponents have nicknamed him “Rate Hike Mike.” One important move by Causey will be watched in February as he votes to either approve or reject a request made by the state’s Rate Bureau to increase homeowners’ insurance rates by an average of 42 percent statewide.

On this issue, Causey has said that he would “fight for… consumers to ensure that any proposed increase is reasonable and actuarially sound,” but many municipalities across the state have pushed back on the idea and are calling for Causey to reject the proposal.

The public has until Feb. 22 to email their input on the Rate Bureau’s request to [email protected].

In addition to pushback for rate hikes, Causey also faces criticism for his hiring practices as reported by the News & Observer, which reported that the commissioner has made “hires and management moves that appear motivated by politics and personal connections.”

Causey had raised more than $167,000 and had $97,000 ending cash on hand as of January.

C. Robert Brawley

Former NC House Representative Robert Brawley threw his hat in the ring for state insurance commissioner, 20 years after he first ran for the seat.

Brawley represented the state’s 43rd House District from 1981-98 and represented the 95th House District in 2012. As a state rep, Brawley sponsored a bill that would allow lobbyists to give unreported gifts to state lawmakers and clashed with Sen. Thom Tillis, which led to him losing his bid for another term in 2014. In 2015, he ran an unsuccessful campaign for state governor.

According to Brawley’s website, he will focus on introducing insurance classes in high schools, enhancing building code safety and maintaining fair competition in the industry.

Brawley reported having $400 in his account as of June 2023.

Andrew Marcus

Unlike his Republican opponents, Andrew Marcus has never held political office. He started his career as a prosecutor and has worked as an insurance regulator, according to his campaign website. Marcus currently serves as a volunteer firefighter and lawyer in private practice.

On his website, Marcus blames increased prices, including insurance rates, on both President Joe Biden and current commissioner Mike Causey. He says he’ll crack down on insurance fraud and investigate the Chinese Communist Party’s influence on the industry. He also states that he would advocate for funding worker’s compensation for volunteer fire departments.

Marcus had raised more than $29,000 and reported having $27,973 cash on hand as of December 2023.

COMMISSIONER OF LABOR (Incumbent: Josh Dobson, D, since 2021)

The North Carolina Department of Labor is by law tasked with ensuring the health, safety, and general well-being of the state’s workforce and grants the commissioner wide-ranging regulatory and enforcement powers.

Note: Incumbent Josh Dobson, a Republican, announced that he is not running for re-election. Democrat Braxton Winston II was the sole member of his party to run and moves on to the November election.

Luke Farley

While Luke Farley is not a politically experienced candidate, he notes on his website that former Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry, who served for 20 years, has endorsed him. He also works as an OSHA lawyer in private practice.

According to his website, he will advocate for “free enterprise,” “common-sense regulation” and “cutting red tape.” One of the main issues Farley notes on his website is his opposition to pandemic workplace mandates being considered by the Dept. of Labor. The new rules would include a mask mandate, social distancing, paid time off for those wanting to get a vaccine and a requirement to keep workers who exhibit symptoms at home.

If elected, Farley said that he would “immediately start working to repeal any new mandates that are imposed.”

By January, Farley had raised more than $154,000 and had about $114,000 ending cash on hand.

Jon Hardister

Greensboro native Jon Hardister is likely the most well-known candidate running for labor commissioner. Hardister has represented the NC House District 59 since 2013 and has spent much of that time serving as the majority whip for the state House.

As a state representative, Hardister has toed the line as a Republican, often reaching across the political aisle to support bipartisan measures. He notably helped bolster the state’s alcohol industry and sponsored bills to protect law enforcement officials who speak out against corruption within their departments, ensure comprehensive civil rights education in schools and that would have established a child-care pilot program this past year.

According to his campaign website, he will focus on “cutting outdated and excessive regulations,” “investing in career-ready education programs” and “[opposing] overreaching from the federal government,” which includes investigating firings related to COVID-vaccine status.

As of December 2023, Hardister had raised $302,000 and had $426,724 cash on hand. In January, he added $100,000 to that through a personal loan.

Chuck Stanley

This will be Chuck Stanley’s second time running for state labor commissioner. In 2020, he ran in the Republican primary where he came in second to Josh Dobson, who went on to win the general election.

According to Stanley’s campaign website, he has worked as a volunteer firefighter, textile worker, sheriff’s deputy, solid waste director and in construction, the field in which he is currently employed.

If elected, Stanley said that he would “work with small, large and in between businesses/companies to make sure all employees/employers know the labor laws, the safety, and the responsibility of all” and would keep an “open-door policy at all times.”

As of January, Stanley reported having $1,236 cash on hand.

Travis J. Wilson

After losing an election for the Union County Board of Commissioners, Travis Wilson is throwing his hat in the ring for state labor commissioner. In the county race, Wilson came in seventh place, garnering close to 4 percent of the vote.

According to his website, Wilson will prioritize safety inspections and a free market. Wilson also links to a free eBook that he has written about his views on American politics.

Wilson has not filed any campaign finance reports.

SECRETARY OF STATE (Incumbent: Elaine Marshall, D, since 1997)

The secretary maintains the official journal of the North Carolina General Assembly and is responsible for overseeing land records, chartering corporations and administering some commercial regulations.

Note: Incumbent Elaine Marshall is the sole Democrat running and will automatically move to the general election in November.

Chad Brown

Conservative Christian Chad Brown explains on his website that he is anti-abortion and pro-Second Amendment rights. On his homepage, he notes that if elected as secretary of state, he would protect elections and “ensure that every vote is counted” and protect consumers from fraud and identity theft.

Brown has been endorsed by outgoing House Speaker Tim Moore and is close friends with Lt. Gov. Mark Robison, according to his Facebook page.

As of December 2023, Brown had raised $56,000 and had $33,161 cash on hand.

Jesse Thomas

Retired health plan CEO Jesse Thomas initially had chosen to run for governor but changed his mind to secretary of state in November, according to the Carolina Journal, a conservative news outlet.

According to his campaign website, Thomas “believes there is a silent wide middle ground majority between the two extremes which leans neither left nor right but forward” of which he is a part. As such, he caters to independent and unaffiliated registered voters.

For years, he worked as the CEO of the Medicaid Segment at Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC.

When it comes to fulfilling the role of secretary of state, Thomas states on this website that he would implement term limits for the role, would work to expand Medicaid, promote public-private partnerships and work on bolstering the economy.

As of January, Thomas had raised more than $155,000 and had $25,240 cash on hand.

Christine E. Villaverde

Trump-supporter Christine Villaverde was previously appointed as the Emergency Manager for North Carolina’s Judicial Branch, and currently serves as a member of North Carolina’s statewide Emergency Response Team.

A former law enforcement officer, Villaverde notes on her website that she was to “refocus education away from liberal Critical Race Theory doctrines, lower taxes to ensure the quality of life for our families, and protection of our constitutional liberties and freedoms that protect the democracy of America.”

The Secretary of State work does not primarily impact education issues or tax rates.

As of December 2023, Villaverde had raised more than $29,000 and $22,631 cash on hand. In January, she took close to $20,000 in loans for her campaign.

SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION (Incumbent: Catherine Truitt, R, since 2021)

The North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction is the elected head of the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and oversees the public school systems of the state.

Kenon Crumble

As an assistant principal at Panther Creek High School in Cary, candidate Kenon Crumble asserts that he comes with a “profound understanding of the challenges and opportunities within our school systems.”

As part of his platform, Crumble lists funding underserved schools and districts, allocating resources to special education, focusing on teacher recruitment and retention, investing in early childhood education, funding educational technology and innovative educational programs.

On his website, he outlines detailed strategic plans for each of his platform points. Crumble has raised less than $2,000 according to campaign finance reports.

CR Katie Eddings

Educator Katie Eddings has been teaching since 2004 and has served as a social studies teacher and an assistant principal. Currently, she is teaching Personal Finance at Lee Early College. 

According to her campaign website, Eddings’ platform consists of teacher retention and recruitment, creating a competitive pay structure for educators, ensuring school safety and increasing mental health support in schools. Eddings has raised $375 and had $112 cash on hand according to campaign finance reports.

Maurice Mo Green

Former Guilford County Schools Superintendent announced his bid for State Superintendent of Public Education back in October. According to reporting by Education NC, Green has been a lawyer, a district superintendent and a philanthropist. He served as Guilford County’s superintendent from 2008-15 and as the executive director of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation from 2016-23.

While Green doesn’t list specific platforms on his website, he has been endorsed by the NC Association of Educators, former NC Superintendent of Public Education June Atkinson, former Gov. Jim Hunt as well as Gov. Bev Perdue. Green has raised more than $227,000 as of January and had $197,000 cash on hand.

Catherine Truitt (i)

Incumbent Catherine Truitt, who began her teaching career as a high school English teacher, has served as Superintendent of Public Instruction since 2021 Previously she served as senior advisor on education to former Gov. Pat McCrory from 2015-17. She has been the chancellor of the online Western Governors University North Carolina since its establishment in 2017.

During her tenure, she helped pass SB 220, or the Reopen Our Schools Act. She also advocated for anti-CRT bills teaching teachers in a phonics-based approach for teaching reading. As the incumbent, Truitt has raised more than $280,000 and had $208,000 cash on hand as of January.

Michele Morrow

Conservative Christian and staunch Trump-supporter Michele Morrow served as a camp nurse and missionary in Mexico before moving to NC and teaching high school nine years ago. According to her campaign website, she has 16 years of classroom homeschooling experience.

She previously ran for a school board seat in Wake County in 2022, finishing in second place out of three candidates.

In past social media posts, Morrow has made racist and disparaging comments against Muslims, calling Islam “a political cult.” A website that opposes Morrow’s run for the state seat has a video of Morrow at the Jan. 6 insurrection in Washington DC. In the video, she said “we are here to take back America and we are here to stop the steal.”

Morrow had raised more than $7,800 and had $4,000 cash on hand as of January.

TREASURER (Incumbent: Dale Folwell, since 2017)

The state treasurer is responsible for overseeing the financial operations of state government, including the state’s retirement system.

Note: Incumbent Dale Folwell is running for governor this year.

Democratic primary

Gabe Esparza

Businessman Gabe Esparza has worked in the corporate world for years, starting at the Walt Disney Company and then at American Express for 13 years. Afterwards, he worked as an angel investor and helped finance RapidSOS, a technology company that worked with the 911-emergency system. Most recently he has worked as a senior official at the US Small Business Administration leading the Office of International Trade.

According to reporting by NBC News, if elected, Esparza would address the state healthcare plan, the $114 billion state pension fund for retirees and strengthen state finances on local, city and municipality levels for education.

As of December 2023, Esparza had raised more than $263,000 and had $181,636 cash on hand.

Wesley Harris

Rep. Wesley Harris has represented House District 105, in Mecklenburg County, since 2018. During his tenure, he has sponsored bills that would increase funding for child care, allow for renewable energy tax credits and start certain school employees across the state at $15 per hour minimum wage.

In his run for state treasurer, Harris states that he would work to protect the state’s strong bond rating, ensure the health of the state pension fund and take “culture war nonsense” out of the treasurer’s office.

Harris has raised more than $330,000 and had $160,000 cash on hand as of January.

Brad Briner

In November 2023, Briner, who lives in Chapel Hill, was appointed to the UNC Board of Trustees by Senate Pro Tem Phil Berger. Most notably, Briner works as the investment manager for New York billionaire Michael Bloomberg according to his LinkedIn profile.

On his campaign website, Briner lists protecting the state’s bond rating and improving the performance of the state pension and health plan as his priorities.

As of December 2023, Briner had raised $536,000, which included a $500,000 loan to his campaign. He had $533,000 ending cash on hand.

AJ Daoud

Republican AJ Daoud started his career in public service as a police officer and then owned  a small funeral home in Pilot Mountain. He currently owns eight funeral homes in three states, according to the Mt. Airy News.

In 2016 and 2020, Daoud served as a delegate to the Republican National Convention and was a former GOP chairman of the 6th Congressional District.

As of December 2023, Daoud had raised more than $103,000 and had $99,826 cash on hand.

Rachel Johnson

Rachel Johnson’s campaign website notes that Johnsons ran a “small, family-owned business in Davie County in recent years” and worked in retirement services.

As of December 2023, Johnson had $1,683 cash on hand.

NC SUPREME COURT ASSOCIATE JUSTICE SEAT 6 (Incumbent: Allison Riggs, D, since 2023)

Allison Riggs (i)

Allison Riggs was appointed to the Supreme Court in 2023 by Gov. Cooper — who has endorsed her for this year’s election —  after she previously served as a judge on the Court of Appeals. Prior to the bench, she worked as the co-executive director and chief counsel for voting rights at the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, as well as a staff attorney and senior staff attorney, according to her online bio. She is a civil rights litigator and community lawyer who served as lead counsel in voting rights cases, including twice before the US Supreme Court. She also noted in a news piece that she was the lead counsel in the NC Supreme Court case that struck down partisan gerrymandering as unconstitutional and in the Fourth Circuit case striking down the 2023 voter law as unconstitutional.

On her campaign website, she lists a number of her opinions during her time as associate justice including reversing a lower court’s opinion to deny suppressing evidence that was collected by police during a traffic stop. Riggs also ruled in favor of news outlet WBTV in Charlotte over city council when she ruled that certain records that the city held were subject to disclosure under the Public Records Act.

As of January, Riggs had raised more than $369,000 and had $282,000 cash on hand.

Lora Christine Cubbage

Lora Cubbage currently works as a Superior Court judge, a position she was appointed to by Gov. Roy Cooper in 2018. Prior to that, she worked as an assistant district attorney in Guilford County and then as assistant attorney general. According to her campaign website, Cubbage spent 17 years working as a barber before working in law. She graduated from NC A&T State University and then from UNC-Chapel Hill School of Law.

On her campaign website, Cubbage noted that she brings “profound understanding of the laws governing cases, especially in civil rights and voting rights.”

Cubbage has been endorsed by the African-American Caucus of NC and the Guilford County Simkins PAC. Cubbage noted in a questionnaire that she will vote for President Biden in the primary election.

As of December 2023, Cubbage had raised more than $8,700 and had $76.62 cash on hand.

NC COURT OF APPEALS JUDGE SEAT 15 (Incumbent: Hunter Murphy, R)

The NC Court of Appeals is the state’s intermediate appellate court that reviews the proceedings that occurred in trial courts for errors of law or legal procedure. 

Hunter Murphy (i)

X: @Hunter_4Judge

Hunter Murphy was first elected to the NC Court of Appeals in 2016 after narrowly beating  Democrat Margaret P. Eagles in the General Election. According to multiple news reports, Murphy, who was a trial attorney from Haywood County, was censured in 2020 for enabling a toxic work environment. According to NC Newsline, a friend who Murphy hired as his executive assistant, started bullying and harassing coworkers and exhibited “a pattern of making lewd or sexually inappropriate remarks in the workplace.” Reports note that Murphy also participated in making jokes and inappropriate comments.

In 2023, Murphy ruled against a woman’s parental rights stating that “life begins at conception.” The controversial opinion was ultimately withdrawn.

As of January, Murphy had $1,896 cash on hand.

Chris Freeman

Chris Freeman currently works as a Rockingham County District Court judge, a position he’s held since 2014. Prior to that, Freeman worked as an assistant district attorney in Rockingham County and as an Air Force Reserve officer. According to his campaign website, Freeman aims to “bring [his] steadfast commitment to conservative judicial philosophy.” He is an active member of his local church, volunteers for a fire department and obtained his bachelor’s degree from High Point University and his law degree from Regent University. 

As of December 2023, Freeman had $18,891 cash on hand.


Editor’s note: New maps have been drawn for the 2024 elections. View them here.


Superior courts hear civil and criminal cases, including felony cases and civil cases over $25,000.

Tab Hunter

No website

Tab Hunter currently works as an assistant district attorney in Robeson County and worked in Georgia prior to that. He’s also worked as an assistant public defender, staff attorney and private practice attorney in various NC cities. While Hunter does not have a campaign website, in a previous notice of candidacy to seek nomination for District Court judge, Hunter wrote that he would try his “very best to treat all persons, including attorneys, law enforcement officers, public defenders, civil litigants, criminal defendants, corporate executives, juveniles, prosecutors, witnesses, public officials, victims, jurors, business owners, judicial colleagues and court staff with dignity and courtesy, and expect that others to do likewise.”

Georgia Nixon

The daughter of Greek immigrants, Nixon said during a recent candidate forum that as a judge, she would practice fairness and “create an environment where everybody will be heard.” Nixon was sanctioned in 2013 by the state bar for her actions relating to two separate cases. In the end, Nixon’s general good standing and good behavior kept her from having her license suspended. Nixon currently runs her own private practice and has served on Jamestown Town Council for 12 years. She’s been practicing law since 1991. When asked about minors turning to the courts to seek abortions in NC, Nixon said she is pro-choice.


District courts hear cases involving civil, criminal, juvenile, and magistrate matters.


Walter Trip Baker III

Walter Trip Baker was first appointed to district court in 2023 by Gov. Roy Cooper. Prior to that, Baker served as an assistant district attorney in Guilford County and was a solo practitioner at Baker Law Offices. In total, he has 20 years of legal experience.

During a candidate forum, Baker said that his philosophy of law is to take his time and to do research and “lean” on other attorneys if needed to make a decision in a case. He said that he is pro-choice and has presided over hearings involving minors seeking abortions in the state.

If elected, he said he would “treat every case as important as the one before and the one after, to be accessible, to show up early, put in the time and to not get ‘black robe’ syndrome.”

John Parker Stone

According to his website, John Parker Stone has been an assistant district attorney in Guilford County for more than a decade.

He said that during the time, he has “developed a reputation for being professional, consistent, and fair.” His favorite part about being in the DA’s office is being in the courtroom, Stone said. 

“I have handled all types of criminal cases, from murder to felony larceny to habitual DWI,” Stone said. “Due to the variety of cases I get, I have dealt with all sorts of hearings and motions and issues.”



Moshera Mills

Moshera Mills

Moshera Mills is a UNCG graduate who worked in the assistant district attorney’s office, as a magistrate judge and currently practices family and criminal law. Mills was sanctioned by the state bar in 2014, as a censure. According to the disciplinary order, Mills was censured in a cast that involved her representing a client who filed an action for return of legal fees. Mills then represented that the client’s fee petition had been dismissed, which was not true. 

She also ran for District Court in 2020 and lost to Brian Tomlin, who now represents Seat 13 after the changes in the maps.

When asked about minors turning to the courts to seek abortions in NC, Mills said she is pro-choice.

During a campaign forum, Mills said that she is passionate about children and would increase programs like the Children’s Law Center which allow judges to appoint a third-party entity in custody matters to interview the child and the school and bring a report to court if she were able to make changes to the judicial system. She said if elected, she would work to “treat people with kindness and with respect.”

Charlene Y. Armstrong

Charlene Armstrong has worked for 27 years as an attorney, 18 of those years in Guilford County. When asked about minors turning to the courts to seek abortions in NC, she said that she is pro-choice and that she’s represented “young ladies who need to have that decision made for them and it was heart-wrenching when judges decided for whatever reason not to approve that decision because the judges had whatever opinion, and these young ladies’ plans for their future and they could not talk to their parents about it.” Armstrong said that she views herself “as a servant” and that she would work “to make people’s lives better based on their interaction” with her if elected.



Kelvin Smith (i)

Incumbent Kelvin Smith was first elected to district court in 2020 after beating opponent Gavin Reardon in the election. He was then appointed by Gov. Cooper to a different vacant seat. As an African-American male, Smith said during a candidate forum that he understands that the criminal justice system disproportionately affects African Americans and African-American men and that’s why he ran for the seat.

When asked about minors turning to the courts to seek abortions in NC, Smith said that “a lady justice, allegedly, is blind. So your personal perspective should not matter whether you’re pro-life or pro-choice.”

Democrat ShaKeta D. Berrie speaks during the Feb. 6 judicial campaign forum at Elon Law School. (photo by Sayaka Matsuoka)

ShaKeta D. Berrie

ShaKeta D. Berrie graduated from Elon Law School in 2016 and currently works as an assistant public defender serving indigent criminal defendants in Guilford County.

When asked about minors turning to the courts to seek abortions in NC, Berrie said that she is pro-choice and that as a former teen mom, she understands where young parents may be coming from. She pointed out how the district courts are inefficient and her judicial philosophy is “empathy, understanding and humility.”

Democrat Cynthia Hatfield speaks during the Feb. 6 judicial campaign forum at Elon Law School. (photo by Sayaka Matsuoka)

Cynthia Hatfield

Sixty-year-old attorney Cynthia Hatfield has been practicing law for 35 years and has been working in District Court for 34. She’s concerned about the civil court backlog and called on judges to keep better track of cases. She said she’s been “schooled by the best” when asked about humility and noted that she’s pro-choice but that the “law needs to be followed.”

On her judicial philosophy, Hatfield said that she tries to put herself in the shoes of the people that come before her to figure them out and understand them.

According to their website, Hatfield works as part of a family firm with her parents, who are also attorneys.



Brian Tomlin (i)

Incumbent Brian Tomlin was appointed to an open seat in 2019 by Gov. Roy Cooper and was then re-elected in 2020 after winning the primary election against Moshera Mills.

Tomlin has worked as a lawyer and a judge for a combined 27 years. Prior to that, he worked as a news reporter for 11 years, five of them at the News & Record. On his website, he notes that during his time practicing law, he’s seen “the darkest sides of the human population” but that he’s “hopeful for our future.” And “after 23 years of taking sides in these kinds of fights,” Tomlin said he was “given the chance as a judge to referee them.”

Tomlin said that he has never held anyone in contempt of court which he says is “probably a little unconventional.”

Gabriel Kussin

Assistant public defender Gabriel Kussin hails from Durham and said he was inspired to go into law after working in Latino advocacy organizations. He graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill School of Law in 2015. He states that he is running as the first Latino judge in Guilford County (his mother “fought for Puerto Rican justice” according to his campaign website.)

If elected, Kussin would advocate for more driver’s license restoration projects. He said he is pro-choice and has worked with Planned Parenthood and volunteered at the local abortion clinic. He said he hopes to bring a sense of humility to the role if elected by reminding himself that in court, many people are “dealing with the most important thing in their lives at that moment.”



Tomakio S. Gause

Tomakio Gause first ran for District Court in 2020 and lost to Carolina Tomlinson-Pemberton in the primary election. Gause has worked in private practice for the last 13 years and has worked in law for 18, representing indigent criminal and civil clients. She said she is pro-choice and that she would reach out to other attorneys if there’s anything she doesn’t know while sitting as a judge, “because I don’t know everything and I’m perfectly fine admitting I don’t know everything,” she said. 

One of her biggest issues is making sure that pro se litigants, or those who choose to represent themselves, are better prepared by the time they come to court. She said she’d like to fix the process to save them and the court time.

Stephanie Goldsborough

Attorney Stephanie Goldsborough has been practicing law for 20 years and started her career at the Legal Aid Society in Winston-Salem, representing domestic violence victims. She now works as a criminal defense attorney. She said she was pro-choice and that even as a judge, it’s important to have humility.

Her judicial philosophy is to not judge a book by its cover.

“No matter what people come into the courtroom, no matter what they look like… giving them the opportunity to be heard… is incredibly important,” she said.

She has been endorsed by the African American Caucus of Guilford County, according to her website.

William H. (Bill) Hill, Jr.

Attorney William H. Hill, Jr. has served as a prosecutor in NC for 26 years, 19 of them in Greensboro and five in High Point. He’s also worked as an assistant district attorney in several counties including Guilford.

Online, Hill Jr. noted that he worked in the Juvenile Court system in the early stages of his career and that continues to impact his work because “family law, criminal law, and juvenile issues often touch upon each other.”

If elected, Hill said that he would make sure to not embarrass or belittle attorneys in the courtroom.

“We all have made mistakes,” he wrote. “We can appreciate those that remember what it was like before taking the bench.”

NC HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES DISTRICT 59 (Incumbent: Jon Hardister, R, since 2013)

Note: Incumbent Jon Hardister has entered the race for NC Labor Commissioner.

Alan Branson

Former Guilford County commissioner Alan Branson is back in the political race as a candidate for House District 59, which covers southern and eastern portions of Guilford County.

Branson, a staunch conservative who pushed for lowering taxes and increasing police in schools, served on county commission from 2012-20 before ultimately losing the seat to Democrat Mary Beth Murphy. 

As a state representative, Branson states on his website that he would “support economic development and continued job growth,” “funding and support of all men and women in uniform” and “ensure the safety and efficiency of… public schools.”

Branson has been endorsed by incumbent Jon Hardister, who is running for state labor commissioner this year, as well as former Guilford County Sheriff BJ Barnes and fellow past county commissioners Jeff Phillips and Justin Conrad.

Branson reported a deficit of $1,495 by the end of December 2023.

Allen Chappell

Retired US Army Special Forces veteran Allen Chappell says on his website that he was motivated to run for office after listening to the “widespread frustration” from community members about the Democratic party after moving to Guilford County in 2014.

As his priorities, he lists “government accountability, the economy, lower taxes, parental voices in education, energy independence that includes nuclear, solar, and fossil fuels, as well as a commitment to the military and law enforcement.”

He uses dog-whistling language that relates to transgender rights and a diverse education by calling for “protecting women’s sports” and “woke initiatives.”

Chappell reported $961 cash on hand in December 2023.

NC HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES DISTRICT 60 (Incumbent: Cecil Brockman, D, since 2015)

Democratic primary

Cecil Brockman (i)

Rep. Cecil Brockman has been the representative of House District 60 since he was first elected to the seat in 2015 when he was just 30 years old, making him one of the youngest, and only openly bisexual, state representatives at the time.

During his tenure, Brockman has pushed for legislation that would enact police reform, offer free lunch for students, support esports at community colleges, expand the state’s pre-K program and establish an independent redistricting process. But in the last year, Brockman has exhibited some curious behavior that has some wondering where his political priorities lie.

In March 2023, Brockman was noticeably absent during a veto override vote for SB 41 or a bill, now law, titled “Guarantee 2nd Amendment Freedom and Protections.” In addition to repealing pistol purchase permits, the bill allows concealed carry on some school grounds outside of school operating hours. In February 2023, Brockman was also absent from a vote on SB 40, “Pistol Purchase Permit Repeal.” Other votes he was absent from include ones for bills that reduced barriers to state employment or to allow more nurses in public schools. The striking thing here was that for all absences, he was joined by Reps. Michael Wray and Tricia Cotham, the latter of whom switched parties to Republican last year. And in another surprising twist, all three representatives did show up for a vote in March 2023 to vote in favor of a bill that requires sheriffs to cooperate with ICE, putting undocumented immigrants at risk.

In late February, news outlets began reporting that both Brockman and fellow Democrat Michael Wray had campaign mailers that were sent out on their behalf by the Carolina Leadership Coalition, a conservative nonprofit with deep ties to both North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore and a political action committee that supports House Republicans.

In interviews, Brockman said that he had no idea that the mailers were being sent out and that it’s illegal for candidates to coordinate with organizations during election season.

On his website, Brockman lists jobs and the economy, education and healthcare as his core priorities. He’s been endorsed by many prominent Black politicians including former High Point Mayor Bernita Sims, current High Point City Councilmember Michael Holmes and Guilford County Commissioner Carlvena Foster.

As of December 2023, Brockman had $36,920 cash on hand.

James Adams

Former two-term president of the High Point NAACP James Adams threw his hat into the NC House race to advocate for public schools, create job opportunities, affordable housing and ending food deserts, according to his website.

As an advocate for public schools, Adams is against the private school voucher program. He also states that he would work to reinstate the Earned Income Tax Credit, a federal tax credit for working people with low and moderate incomes.

In contrast to Brockman’s absences from the gun permit bill votes, Adams states on his website that he supports comprehensive background checks, “including local sheriffs issuing permits for handguns.”

Additionally, he supports the decriminalization of marijuana, ending solitary confinement, ending suspension of driving privileges for failure to pay court fees.

In terms of representation, Adams calls Brockman out directly, noting that the incumbent has missed “44 percent of voting sessions in Raleigh.”

Adams has been endorsed by former Guilford County Commission Chair Dot Kearns, High Point City Councilmember Amanda Cook and former Guilford County Democratic Party Chair Nicole Quick. 

As of December 2023, Adams had $9,772 cash on hand.

NC HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES DISTRICT 62 (Incumbent: John Faircloth, R, since 2019)

Note: Incumbent John Faircloth has noted that he is not running for re-election.

Jaxon Barber

At just 20 years old, Jaxon Barber is likely the youngest candidate running for office in the Triad this year. According to his website, Barber attended GTCC from 2021-23 and received a mechanical contractors license.

His priorities include controlling government spending, ending access to abortion in NC, bolstering school choice, standing for “biblical values in the public square,” and fighting to “defend and restore the traditional family unit.”

As of December 2023, Barber reported $2,085 cash on hand.

Michelle C. Bardsley

This will be Republican Michelle Bardsley’s third time running for political office. In 2020, she ran an unsuccessful campaign for a seat on the Guilford County School Board, ultimately losing in a close race against unaffiliated candidate Deborah Napper. Then, in 2022, Bardsley ran for NC House District 57 against incumbent Ashton Clemmons, who won by more than 10 percentage points.

Bardsley is an educator who currently serves as an instructional coach at a K-8 charter school. She previously taught in Guilford County Schools for 12 years, eight of those years at Grimsley High School and four years at the Academy at Smith. She supports workforce development programs, lowering income taxes, supports the right to bear arms, and “parents’ educational choices” in schools, which has come to be synonymous with conservative pushes against diverse books and the teaching of Black history in classrooms.

As of December 2023, Bardsley reported $10,999 cash on hand.

John M. Blust

Former State House Representative John Blust, who represented House District 62 from 2004-18 and District 27 from 2001-03, announced his run for his old district on X, formerly known as Twitter, last year. But this year’s map will look different from the one he previously represented. Due to the court’s redrawing of the districts, for the 2024 elections, District 62 will largely cover the northwestern area of Guilford County.

According to reporting by the News & Record, Blust was inspired to run after opposing casino authorization in the state budget and the de-annexation of land in Summerfield. 

During his tenure, Blust voted for lower taxes, more gun rights and the decrease of abortion access. According to his website, he received the endorsement of the NRA every election.

This go around, Blust is prioritizing defunding diversity and inclusion programs in schools, curbing abortion access and decreasing gun regulation per his campaign website.

As of January, Blust had raised more than $14,000 and had $8,822 in cash on hand.

Britt W. Moore

High Point City Councilmember Britt Moore is looking to move from local to state politics after serving on council from 2010-14, and again from 2017-present. For four years, he served as mayor pro tem.

According to his campaign website, he has been endorsed by the seat’s incumbent John Faircloth, who is not running for re-election this year. He has also served on High Point’s Furniture Market Authority committee, the High Point Theatre Advisory Board and on the National League of Cities’ Community and Economic Development Committee.

On his website, he lists promoting job creation by reviving American manufacturing, strengthening career readiness programs and investing in modern infrastructure as key points on his platform.

Moore had raised $10,773 as of December 2023.

Ann Schneider

Like opponent Britt Moore, candidate Ann Schneider is looking to take her experience in local government to the state level. Schneider has served on Oak Ridge’s Town Council for six years, including four years as the town’s mayor. She points to her time in leadership as paving the path for this campaign, stating on her website how she has “built strong relationships with local leaders and with representatives in Raleigh, who awarded more than $9 million to Oak Ridge” during her tenure as mayor.

Her priorities include lowering taxes, defending parents’ rights in schools, maintaining a strong military and “common-sense housing growth.”

As of December 2023, Schneider had $6,000 in her campaign account.

GUILFORD COUNTY COMMISSION, DISTRICT 6 (Incumbent: Brandon Gray-Hill, D, since 2023)

Note: Democrat Brandon Gray-Hill is running unopposed and moves on to the November election.

Demetria Carter

No website

In 2022, conservative Demetria Carter roared onto the local political scene and ran for Guilford County School Board last year among a slate of candidates who banded together to run on a platform that opposed the current Democratic school board. Among them, Carter was the most extremist candidate, stating at campaign events that America is not a racist country, calling critical race theory “a pernicious fraud” and ranting against LGBTQIA2S+ rights on her campaign Facebook page.

She lost in the general election to Democrat Alan Sherouse.

Maritza Gomez

Not much information could be found about Maritza Gomez, who is listed as part of High Point’s Human Relations Commission.

GUILFORD COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION, DISTRICT 7 (Incumbent: Bettye T. Jenkins, D, since 2020)

Democratic primary

Bettye T. Jenkins (i)

Incumbent Bettye Jenkins has served on the Guilford County school board since 2020, when she beat incumbent Byron Gladden for the seat. Jenkins currently serves as the vice-chair and has called for more state funding for local schools and higher teacher pay.

“Both our teachers and our frontline workers deserve raises to their salaries that allow them to provide [for] their families,” Jenkins told TCB in August 2023. “We cannot afford to be the No. 1 state in business but last in educating children.”

However, Jenkins was part of the school board when cafeteria workers for the school district went on strike last year over low pay and limited promotions.

Jenkins formerly worked for Guilford County Schools as a teacher’s assistant, school social worker and community service works coordinator.

Anthony Izzard

This is Anthony Izzard’s second time running for political office. In 2022, Izzard ran in the Democratic primary for Guilford County Commission, where he came in last place, garnering 14.9 percent of the vote.

This go-round Izzard is running for school board and making transparency of school funds, increasing tutoring programs and increasing resources for students, priorities for his campaign.

Izzard has worked as a fatherhood coordinator in which he works with fathers and families on workforce trainings, mental-health training for various organizations around Guilford County.

He has volunteered with the Guilford County Parks and Recreation Commission, Greensboro Parks and Recreation Commission, the NAACP, the Southside Reunion Executive Committee and the Greensboro Human Rights Commission, according to his campaign website.


Editor’s note: New maps have been drawn for the 2024 elections. View them here.



Shonna R. Alexander

According to her website, attorney Shonna Alexander grew up in Winston-Salem and passed the bar in 1999. She also previously served as a magistrate judge.

“During that process we are taught to put our feelings aside and to be fair,” Alexander said during a candidate forum.

In 2008, Alexander was suspended from practicing law for three years, but was able to get reinstated after one year due to good behavior. The suspension stemmed from the years 2005-06 in which Alexander failed to appear in court multiple times on behalf of one client and was unresponsive to another client. 

On her website, Alexander also states that she has worked as a registered nurse since 2007. That experience has affected how she views her job both in the doctor’s office and as an attorney.

“The same way I serve at the bedside, I serve my clients in the courtroom and as a district court judge, I would certainly serve this community,” she said. 

Andrew Keever

No website

Andrew Keever, whose parents were both ministers, has run for District Court in 2012 and 2014.

“Service to the community is a passion of mine and I learned that from my family,” Keever said during a candidate forum. He said that he brings 25 years of experience, 16 of those years as a public defender. He is currently the senior public defender for Forsyth County and also practices in Juvenile Court, which he says brings additional experience to his role.

“Fair, impartial, experience, that’s what I would bring to the district court bench,” Keever said.

Lauren A. Tuttle

Lauren Tuttle, who went to law school late in life, is currently employed as an assistant public defender and has worked in private practice in family and civil manners. She said she’s running for judge to be an impartial and independent voice on the bench.

“I believe that what Forsyth County needs is a judge that they can trust,” Tuttle said during a candidate forum.

Tuttle said that as a public defender, she works with all kinds of people from across the county which has helped her to “meet people where they are.”

Tuttle said that one of her core drives is to be of service, which is why she’s seeking to serve on the bench.

NC STATE SENATE DISTRICT 31 (Incumbent: Joyce Krawiec, R, since 2014)

Note: Krawiec has announced that she will not run for re-election and has endorsed Dana Caudill Jones who is running unopposed as a Republican.

Democratic primary

Laurelyn Dossett

In December, TCB sat down with folk singer and activist Laurelyn Dossett about her decision to run for political office. During our conversation, Dossett noted that she had been eyeing the district, which has been represented by Republican Joyce Krawiec since 2014, for some time.

“I had been recruited to do this by the Senate Caucus and the governor, and so it came up over a year ago and I just couldn’t even imagine it; just couldn’t imagine it,” Dossett said. “[But] it kind of kept coming up; I did a new-candidate training this summer.”

While Dossett doesn’t have experience holding political office, much of her work has been politically charged.

In March 2012, she wrote a political ballad against Amendment 1 and she’s been active in political circles ever since.

On her campaign website, she pushes against hyperpolarizing political narratives and instead rallies around the idea that “there is no us and them.”

“She knows we all just want the same things:  a job we can take pride in that supports a family, a community where we all feel safe, good schools for our children, a lifestyle we can afford, and to be treated with dignity and respect for who we are and what we believe,” her website reads.

On her platform are items such as building strong local public schools, pushing back against big insurance and drug companies, protecting reproductive health care, fighting for environmental protections, expanding affordable housing and increasing the minimum wage.

As of December 2023, Dossett had raised more than $8,600 and had $7,431 cash on hand.

Ronda Mays

Democrat Ronda Mays is the former president of the Forsyth County Association of Educators and used to work for Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools. Currently, she works as a school social worker in Stokes County, according to reporting by WFDD.

On her website, she lists equitable access to education, high-speed internet access, Medicaid expansion, affordable housing, and increasing food access as per priorities.

“I am just very passionate about public education, about voting rights, about housing, and about medical coverage and mental health treatment and availability,” Mays told WFDD. “Because those are issues that really eat at me because I can’t stand to see people not have a quality education. Our children deserve that because they are our future.”

And although she has never held political office, Mays says on her website that she has volunteered and worked on various political campaigns and has served as an assistant, judge, and chief judge on Election Day.

As of December 2023, Mays had $38 cash on hand.

NC STATE SENATE DISTRICT 32 (Incumbent: Paul Lowe, D, since 2015)

Democratic primary

Paul Lowe (i)

Rev. Paul Lowe of Shiloh Baptist Church in Winston-Salem has been senator for District 32 since 2015. During his tenure, he has sponsored bills that would have helped Black farmers, made police footage more readily available, legalized medical marijuana in NC and prohibited the release of mugshots to the public and media.

On his website, he lists expanding healthcare, funding school bonds to improve infrastructure and workforce development as his priorities if re-elected.

In 2019, Lowe apologized after grabbing and throwing NC Newsline reporter Joe Killian’s phone after a budget meeting that got heated when Killian attempted to record the legislators’ reactions.

As of January, Lowe had not reported any campaign finance numbers.

Gardenia Henley

Gardenia Henley is no stranger to politics. In 2012, she ran for governor but lost in the primary election. In 2014 and 2016, she ran for the US House to represent District 12 and lost in the primary both times. In 2020, she ran for NC House District 75, and again, lost in the primary. In 2022, she ran for Forsyth County Commission and came in last place during the primary.

Despite Henley’s losses over the years, she touts a strong political background as an inspector general officer who was appointed by former President Bill Clinton. 

If successful, Henley notes on her website that she would push for more funding for teachers and support staff in schools, advocate for more police, nurses, counselors and social workers in schools and push for drug and crime prevention and tackling chronic homelessness.

Henley had $313 as of December 2023.

NC HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES DISTRICT 72 (Incumbent: Amber Baker, D, since 2021)

Democratic primary

Amber Baker (i)

Two-term representative Amber Baker first won her seat in 2021. During her tenure, she has pushed for the expunction of certain eviction records from public records to make it easier for people to access housing, advocated for a tax credit for solar panels and pushed for making it illegal to refuse employment or fire someone over a hairstyle.

Baker has served for more than a decade as the principal at Kimberley Park School in Winston-Salem.

As of December 2023, Baker had $9,748 cash on hand.

Marcus D. Pearson

Winston-Salem State University football coach and Carver High School social studies teacher Marcus Pearson notes on his website that he was driven to run for political office by his two daughters who he has raised by himself.

“My two daughters helped me learn more about social justice and inspired me to get out to help initiate change in social justice one day at a time,” the site states.

His platform includes advocating for public schools, supporting reproductive health access, raising the minimum wage to $20 per hour and reforming healthcare access.

Pearson has not filed any campaign finance numbers.

NC HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES DISTRICT 74 (Incumbent: Jeff Zenger, R, since 2021)

Note: Incumbent Jeff Zenger, a Republican, is running unopposed and advances to the November election.

Democratic primary

Amy Taylor North

According to her campaign website, Amy Taylor North has volunteered for a Congressional campaign in the past and is passionate about funding public schools. She advocates for free community college for the first two years, protecting reproductive rights, increasing teacher pay, more environmental protections and pushing for gun safety through background checks, permits and banning assault-style weapons. 

Despite this being her first time running for office, she’s been endorsed by Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines, Mayor Pro Tem Denise Adams, Rep. Evelyn Terry and Sen. Paul Lowe.

Mack Wilder

Veteran Mack Wilder notes on his website that he would support veterans; raise pay for law enforcement officers, teachers and bus drivers; and protect abortion rights if elected. Wilder also supports expanding voting rights and health care.

Wilder currently works for a construction company as a commercial superintendent. 


FORSYTH COUNTY COMMISSION DISTRICT B (Incumbents: Richard Linville, R, David Plyler, R, Gloria Whisenhunt, R) – VOTE FOR 3

Note: Incumbent Don Martin’s term does not expire this year so he does not have to run for reelection. On Feb. 8, incumbent David Plyler announced that he will not seek another term, despite filing for re-election in December. 

Democratic primary

Valerie Brockenbrough

Brockenbrough is an entrepreneur who runs Zoë b Organic and helped found Community for Public Schools, a group of parents, educators and other community members involved in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools. She served as the board president of Piedmont Environmental Alliance for two years. Brockenbrough wants to invest in school buildings and push for a school bond on the ballot in 2024, “properly fund” the sheriff’s office and jail and create a “holistic plan” for housing.

Brockenbrough, and fellow Democratic candidates Kendall Fields and Marsie West, are running on a collaborative platform together.

As of December 2023, Brockenbrough’s campaign had $96 in cash on hand.

Curtis Fentress

Fentress is the director of marketing at Ecolab Inc. and is a volunteer coach with NC Fusion Youth Soccer. He’s also a startup mentor with Winston Starts and has a master’s degree in business administration from UNC-Chapel Hill. According to his website, Fentress feels that the most important issue for Forsyth County is “fully funding WS/FCS with equal opportunity and treatment for all students top of mind.”

As of December 2023, Fentress had $100 in cash on hand.

Kendall Fields

A social studies teacher at Parkland Magnet High School, Fields is a lifelong resident of Forsyth County. He was previously the assistant manager at Hanna’s Café and aims to provide a “fresh perspective” on the board.

His platforms include economic development (“a fresh economic horizon instead of dwelling in our agricultural past”), education (financial incentives for advanced degrees and a more critical look at charter schools) and housing (“promoting increased housing initiatives”).

Fields, and fellow Democratic candidates Marsie West and Valerie Brockenbrough, are running on a collaborative platform together.

As of December 2023, Fields had $1,157 in cash on hand.

Marsie West

West is a senior consultant with the Enosys Group, a business consulting firm. She was the vice president of Wachovia Bank from 1990-94. Her previous experience as a civil servant includes serving as a town meeting member for Reading, Mass. from 2005-15 and serving as the finance committee’s chair and vice chair for several years. She was on the Reading Board of Selectmen from 2013-15.

Her key priorities include strong public education, affordable housing, economic development and transparent government.

West, and fellow Democratic candidates Kendall Fields and Valerie Brockenbrough, are running on a collaborative platform together.

As of December 2023, West’s campaign had $202.97 in cash on hand.

Richard V. Linville (i)

Linville was first elected in 1980 and was the chair of the board from 1985-86. A farm owner, Linville’s community service includes the NC Association of County Commissioners Agricultural Committee, Transportation Advisory Council and North Carolina Agricultural Steering Committee. Linville attended East Forsyth High School and the Richard V. Linville General Services Complex that houses grounds, maintenance, automotive services, and custodial services is named after him. In 2022, Linville made the first official drive on a new section of Winston-Salem Northern Beltway. Linville owns multiple vacant lots and buildings in Forsyth County according to property records. In September, Linville and fellow Republican Gloria Whisenhunt voted against giving detention officers the same level of pay increases as deputies.

In the general election in 2020, Linville received 68,405 votes compared to Whisenhunt’s 70,919 and Plyler’s 75,554. Linville narrowly defeated challenger Christopher Smith, Democrat, who received 58,344 votes.

As of December 2023, Linville had $0 in cash on hand.

Gloria D. Whisenhunt, (i)

Whisenhunt was initially elected in 1996 and has served as chair and vice chair of the board. Before that, she was on the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Board of Education from 1990-96. Whisenhunt was previously a cosmetologist.

As TCB reported in 2017, Whisenhunt and most of her fellow colleagues voted to approve a contract with medical care company Correct Care Solutions to provide services in the county jail despite the company’s history of inadequate healthcare and a string of inmate deaths. During the contracting process, Whisenhunt said that “hospitals have a death every day. They have lawsuits every day. Any time you’re in the medical field, there’ll be deaths.”

 Years later, Correct Care Solutions changed its name to Wellpath. In 2019 when John Neville was killed in the county jail, Wellpath was the contracted health provider and was sued by the Neville family in addition to the nurse and detention officers involved. The case against both the nurse and Wellpath were dismissed in 2023.

Whisenhunt also owns several properties in Forsyth County, including Forest Wind Apartments in Kernersville, and evicted tenants during the pandemic according to previous reporting by TCB in 2020. Whisenhunt said she would not support a local moratorium on evictions or financial relief for renters. “These folks who have rental property, that’s their livelihood,” she said. “How people choose to make their living is their choice, and nobody’s offering any of us relief because of people not paying rent.” When asked whether she and her husband still have to make mortgage payments on the property, Whisenhunt replied, “That is none of your business.”

As of December 2023, Whisenhunt’s campaign had $2,701 in cash on hand.

Terri Mrazek

“Individual Freedom, Limited Government, The Rule of Law, Peace through Strength, Fiscal Responsibility [and] Free Markets” are among the things that Mrazek wants to “protect,” per her campaign website. She’s also opposed to raising taxes and will “never support any plan to defund the police.” Mrazek was the unopposed Republican nominee for an at-large seat on the board of commissioners in 2022 but lost in the general election to Dan Besse. She also ran in 2020 but came in last during the Republican primary election. 

As of December 2023, Mrazek had $991 in cash on hand.

Ralf Walters

A former reporter and managing editor of the Tarboro’s Daily Southerner, Walters ran for the NC House District 10 seat in 2020 and lost in the Republican primary, coming in last.

Walters is the vice chairman of the Forsyth County GOP and was also their communications director. 

Per his campaign website, Walters is pushing for education reform, stopping youth violence and drugs, lowering taxes and funding law enforcement.

As of December 2023, Walters’ campaign had $736 in cash on hand.

Gray Wilson

Wilson is a US Army veteran and has practiced law in Winston-Salem for 47 years, most recently with Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP. He also taught trial advocacy at Wake Forest University School of Law and authored North Carolina Civil Procedure. 

Per his campaign website, Wilson feels that the city’s police department and sheriff’s office are “undermanned and overwhelmed with the spike in violent crime,” and that they need to be “supported” and offered competitive salaries. 

FORSYTH COUNTY REGISTER OF DEEDS (Incumbent: Lynne Johnson, D, since 2016)

Democratic primary

Lynne Johnson (i)

Johnson has held the role sinjce 2016 and ran unopposed in both the primary and general elections in 2020. Johnson worked in the Register of Deeds office for nearly three decades starting in 1986. She also worked in the Forsyth County Clerk of Superior Court office.

As of December 2023, Johnson had not reported any campaign contributions.

Brittany Bailey

In 2016, Bailey started working for the Forsyth County Register of Deeds Office, and between 2020-21 she worked as a teacher. She’s now with Keller Williams Realty and is also a notary public. Bailey says she’s an “advocate for education.” As of December, Bailey raised $893 in individual campaign donations.

WINSTON-SALEM MAYOR (Incumbent: Allen Joines, since 2001)

Democratic primary

Allen Joines, (i)

Joines has a long history with the city. His first city job started in 1971 as assistant to the city manager. His other positions include evaluation director, public safety coordinator, development director and deputy city manager. Joines unseated incumbent Mayor Jack Cavanagh in 2001 with 78 percent of the vote and has served as mayor ever since. Joines ran unopposed in the 2005, 2009 and 2016 general elections. In 2013, Joines swept 84 percent of the vote compared to Republican James Lee Knox’s 15 percent, and in 2020 he gathered 71 percent of the vote as opposed to Republican Kris McCann’s 27 percent.

Joines is also the president of the Winston-Salem Alliance, where he earned a salary of $217,506 in 2022. As of July 2023, Joines’ campaign had $14,519.11.

When Joines announced his run for re-election last year, he lauded new initiatives that had launched during his tenure such as WSPD’s real-time crime center. He also touted the amount of affordable housing produced during his tenure. The city set a goal of creating 750 new affordable housing units per year, generating 450 in 2022.

“I’m just saying, why change something when it’s working?” Joines told WXII in November.

As of December 2023, Joines’ campaign had $119,940 in cash on hand

JoAnne Allen

Allen is the president of local activist group Action4Now. She grew up in Winston-Salem and attended Florida Coastal School of Law. This marks Allen’s third attempt to unseat Joines. She first challenged him in the 2016 general election as a write-in candidate. They faced off again in the 2020 primary election, with Allen ultimately raking in 11,974 votes to Joines’ 26,955. Allen often speaks out on issues during the monthly public comment period at city council meetings and has accused multiple city leaders of corruption. She claims that Joines backs business interests over the average person “out here in the city working a 9 to 5 job,” and says that much of downtown development is coming at the expense of the city’s Black and Brown communities.

As of December 2023, Allen had $1,505 cash on hand.

Frankie Gist

In 2012, Gist started an outreach organization called HOPE Dealers Outreach after teenager Trayvon Martin was murdered by George Zimmerman. The group aims to point kids in a positive direction and combat police brutality and gun violence by offering educational programs, back to school drives and hosting protests. 

“At 16 I was looking at three years in prison,” told TCB in 2021. “I’d joined a gang and got three charges in three months.” Thanks to a judge who told him that his slate would be wiped clean if he stayed out of trouble for a year, he changed his ways and didn’t have to serve any time.

Gist thinks that the city should be putting more money into programs that will combat gun violence and into shelters and programs for the unhoused. As someone who experienced evictions and stayed in hotels with his mother, Gist said that the city needs to “sit down and create a plan of action, a real plan of action,” for affordable housing, and that jobs are a part of this. 

As of December 2023, Gist had not reported any campaign contributions.

WINSTON-SALEM CITY COUNCIL EAST WARD (Incumbent: Annette Scippio, D, since 2018)

Democratic primary

Annette Scippio, (i)

In 2018, Scippio replaced Derwin Montgomery, who had just been selected as the state’s representative for the 72nd District. She secured the Democratic nomination in the 2020 primary and ran unopposed in the general election. She’s the vice chair of the Community Development, Housing and General Government Committee and a member of the Public Works Committee. Scippio grew up in the city’s historic Reynoldstown neighborhood, where she recently conducted a walkability study

In February 2023, Scippio pushed back against the council’s decision to demolish three historically Black-owned buildings on North Liberty Street, likening their demolition to how Black neighborhoods were destroyed during urban renewal projects. 

Phil Carter

Carter is a local activist who works with tenants’ rights group Housing Justice Now, Crystal Towers United and the advocacy group Coalition for Accountability and Transparency. 

He ran for the seat in 2020 but was defeated in the primary. He ran for county commissioner in 2022 as well, where he was also defeated in the primary.

At TCB’s candidate forum Carter stated that he’s running because of how infrastructure has impacted his ward.

“The East Ward is across 52, and you all know what that means,” he said. When Highway 52 reached Winston-Salem in the ‘40s, it cleaved the city down the middle and cut off many neighborhoods in the east from resources and opportunities that lie on the other side of town. 

Carter is pushing for economic empowerment, housing stability and a “community that has a voice with its governance.” The city should be spending more money on housing, particularly low-income housing, according to Carter.

“When a person doesn’t have a stable house to live in,” things like “depression, anxiety, drug usage and criminality” can happen to them, Carter said.

If elected, Carter said he would hold quarterly meetings with the constituents. To tackle affordable housing and homelessness issues, Carter said that the city needs to use a dual model of “intervention and prevention.”

Jared D. Lamkin

This is Lamkin’s first time running for office. Lamkin was a counselor at Winston-Salem State University where he was a sport psychological liaison for student athletes until February 2023. He’s now a sport psychologist at ZonedINN.

Christopher Taylor

This Queens-born and Wilmington-raised candidate is an alumnus of Winston-Salem State University, where he double-majored in political science and psychology. He’s currently the equitable and economic engagement coordinator for Neighbors for Better Neighborhoods. He was also a political organizer for both of former President Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns.

The first-time candidate states that he wants to “bring together the city of Winston-Salem and city departments in partnership with community stakeholders to collectively set out a plan to address housing,” adding that he’s advocating for the city to approach this issue with the “asset based community development model.”

Taylor also wants to invest in youth-based initiatives, and says that he’s “imagining summer police and fire academies but with work stipends for teenagers and preteens.” According to Taylor’s website, he’s advocating for Winston-Salem to align with the federal government’s Justice40 initiative, which aims for “40 percent of the overall benefits of certain federal investments flow to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, underserved, and overburdened by pollution.”

Taylor said that he’s interested in municipal bonds for housing and that people need to “listen to the unhoused…people who are actually going through these experiences.”

WINSTON-SALEM CITY COUNCIL NORTH WARD (Incumbent: Denise “D.D.” Adams, D, since 2009)

Democratic primary

Denise “DD” Adams, (i)

Adams has held the North Ward seat since 2009. On council she’s currently holding the roles of mayor pro tempore, vice chair of the Finance Committee and chair of the Community Development, Housing and General Government Committee. 

Adams formerly served on the board of the Housing Authority of Winston-Salem, and last year councilmembers authorized a $4.8 million deal to create The Residences at Indiana Avenue, securing 180 units of affordable housing for the North Ward. 

In 2018, Adams ran for US House District 5, securing the Democratic nomination during the primary election. However, she was ultimately defeated by Republican incumbent Virginia Foxx in the general election.

At TCB’s candidate forum, Adams said that one of the things the city should be spending more money on is housing. As for how to tackle the issue of homelessness, Adams said that it all comes down to “collaboration” with other stakeholders and nonprofits.

And Adams wants people who are facing homelessness to have a seat at that table.As of December 2023, Adams’ campaign had $74 in cash on hand.

Eunice Campbell

This is Campbell’s second foray into the race for the North Ward seat. She garnered nearly 25 percent of the vote in the 2020 primary election. Campbell also ran for WS/FC Schools school board in District 1 in 2018 but was defeated in the Democratic primary by Malishai Woodbury and Barbara Hanes Burke.

Winston-Salem has received money from the state to be spent on housing, but at TCB’s candidate forum Campbell said the city should be spending more of their own money on building more units and “actually put money in the budget for housing.” If elected, Campbell said she would come up with a “comprehensive plan” for dealing with flooding that occurs in the area. As of December 2023, Campbell had $75 in cash on hand.

Kymberli Rene Wellman

Wellman, a first-time candidate, is a 20-year veteran of the Winston-Salem Police Department according to the department’s Facebook page.

At a candidate forum on Feb. 15, she spoke on how her career as a police officer has led her to where she is today. “A few years ago, I realized one day that I was part of the problem,” she said. Wellman said she got a call about an unhoused person, so she picked him up and “drove him to the other side of town.” 

“They’re no longer my problem, they’re somebody else’s problem.” That day was “life-changing” for her, she said, adding, “I was part of the problem, so I decided to become part of the solution.” Since that day, she has “volunteered endlessly on feeding the homeless.”

“And by doing that, I’ve really gotten to know them, know their situations…Everybody needs a little empathy, and that’s what I’m here for,” she said.

As of December 2023, Wellman has not reported any campaign contributions.

WINSTON-SALEM CITY COUNCIL NORTHEAST WARD (Incumbent: Barbara Hanes Burke, D, since 2020)

Democratic primary

Barbara Hanes Burke, (i)

Burke is running for her second term in the ward that her late mother-in-law Vivian Burke led for more than 40 years. During the primary election in March 2020, Burke rallied the Northeast Ward’s support with 57 percent of the vote, defeating challengers Morticia “Tee-Tee” Parmon and Keith King. Burke ran unopposed in the general election, garnering 84 percent of the vote. 

Burke previously worked as an administrator and teacher for Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools and formerly served as the vice chair of the WS/FCS Board of Education. 

Quality affordable housing, particularly in her ward, is one of the top priorities that Burke often brings to council discussion. Last year, council signed off on bringing 216 units to her ward. Burke hosted a gun violence briefing in February 2023 and partnered with the Winston-Salem Police Department to hold a gun buyback event in November 2021 in an effort to keep weapons off city streets.

At TCB’s candidate forum, Burke said she thinks that city spending should be most focused on housing, permanent supportive housing and low-income housing, while making sure that they are in reach of resources. As of December 2023, Burke’s campaign had $0 in cash on hand.

Paula McCoy

McCoy runs McCoy Enterprises, a consulting and coaching firm that specializes in organizational and community development. Previously, she served as the executive director of Neighbors for Better Neighborhoods and as a board member of the Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County and Habitat for Humanity of Forsyth County. 

According to her campaign website, she wants to “implement zoning reforms to encourage the development of affordable housing,” support community policing models, and invest in public transit, arts and culture. McCoy ran for the Northeast Ward seat in 2020, gaining 10 percent of the vote in the general election.

At TCB’s candidate forum, McCoy said that she thinks that the city should be spending more on neighborhood resources and wants residents to “have a voice,” adding that “top-down decision making hasn’t worked in our community.” People are “hurting” and “in pain,” McCoy said; that’s her No. 1 concern for her ward, and what she hopes to change. “I think we really need to take a look at addressing poverty in our community.” As of January, McCoy’s campaign had not raised any funds.

WINSTON-SALEM CITY COUNCIL NORTHWEST WARD (Incumbent: Jeff MacIntosh, D, since 2013) 

Note: Incumbent Jeff MacIntosh announced that he would not be running for re-election this year.

Democratic primary

Regina Hall

Hall is the executive director of Boston-Thurmond community network. She previously worked as the reintegration and youth development manager with the city and helped coordinate the Winston-Salem Urban Food Policy Council. She was also the 12th Congressional District’s district liaison for the US House of Representatives. She also worked as a program administrator for Successful Outcomes After Release, or SOAR, a city program that temporarily employs former offenders and gives them work experience in routine labor and clerical jobs.Hall wants to address issues like gun violence, poverty, climate, hunger and food insecurity, housing and more. 

At TCB’s candidate forum, Hall said that she is a “lifelong resident” of Winston-Salem, a product of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County public schools and has lived in five of the city’s eight wards. 

“I believe that the city should tackle public safety, housing, poverty, provide small business support and engage citizens,” Hall said. Hall thinks that the city should be spending more money on workforce development programs like SOAR and  that trash collection could be handled a bit better.As of December 2023, Hall’s campaign had not raised any money.

Bob Hartwell

Hartwell served four terms as a Democratic state senator in Vermont. Hartwell told TCB that he advocated for passage of Vermont’s 2009 Marriage Equality Act by working with State House members to override Gov. Jim Douglas’ veto of the bill, passing it into law. This made Vermont the first state in the country to allow same-sex marriage through legislative action instead of a court ruling, according to the New York Times. Hartwell is currently serving his second term on the city’s Recreation and Parks Commission; his term ends in May 2024.

At TCB’s candidate forum, Hartwell said that if he’s elected, he’s interested in a variety of projects, from a municipal bond to creating a civilian conservation corp to address climate change. Hartwell thinks that another big issue is filling law enforcement positions and that the city needs to “create an environment where people want to go into law enforcement.”

Hartwell also noted that too many accidents are occuring in his ward due to speeding, bad road design. Affordable housing and homelessness are related, Hartwell said. “Drug abuse, alcohol and all the despair that comes with homelessness, that gets addressed when you put a roof over their head first.”As of December, Hartwell’s campaign had $701.28 in cash on hand.

Herbert Burns, Jr.

Burns is a Christian author and architect who is running on a platform of support for police, businesses and fiscal conservatism. He’s a past board member of Youth Opportunity Homes, Inc. and the facilities planning committee of the local United Way. He also served as Interim Dean of Engineering at Forsyth Technical Community College. Burns is the author of multiple books that focus on themes like faith, the Bible and the United States of America, including Route 66: Have You Found Your Route in Life?, Never Stop Teaching and Leading: Help Heal Our Nation, Never Stop Asking, Discovering and Sharing and Never Stop Pursuing God’s Mission and Vision for You, as well as a “prophetic science fiction book” called The Towers: In a World You Could Not Imagine!

At TCB’s candidate forum, Burns said that as an architect, he understands zoning. If elected, Burns said that he’d seek stronger communication with citizens and wants to bridge the divide between neighborhood associations and councilmembers. Burns had a softer approach to affordable housing and homelessness than his Republican counterpart, saying that the unhoused need to be connected with organizations and services that can help them.As of December 2023, Burns’ campaign had $177.37 in cash on hand.

James (Jimmy) Hodson

During the 2016 primary race for this same seat, Hodson narrowly lost the Republican nomination to Eric Henderson. Henderson received 1,327 votes to Hodson’s 1,266, but ultimately lost in the general election to Jeff MacIntosh. Hodson also served in the US Army. He’s lived in Winston-Salem since 1995 and is a product manager at Noregon Systems, a software development company in Greensboro. He’s also been a board member of United Family Church for more than eight years. Hodson’s “foremost goal” is the “safety and security” of city residents and promises to support the police department, according to his website. 

Hodson thinks that the city should be investing more money in public safety to make sure that the police department is staffed if “some kind of disaster comes to our town.”

He believes that affordable housing and homelessness are two separate issues and that “homeless people are not looking for affordable housing” because “they couldn’t afford it anyway.” Given his views, he doesn’t support the housing first model.

As of December, Hodson has not reported any campaign contributions.

WINSTON-SALEM CITY COUNCIL SOUTH WARD (Incumbent: John Larson, D, since 2016)

Democratic primary

John Larson, (i)

Incumbent John Larson is running for his third term. A resident of the South Ward for 47 years, Larson was a captain in the US Army from 1972-75 and vice president for Restoration at Old Salem Museums and Gardens from 1991 until he retired in 2016. In June, TCB sat down with Larson and his campaign co-chair John Merschel to talk about Larson’s work on city council over the last several years and their game plan for election season. 

“I’m not a lone wolf,” Larson said, adding that his advisors help him understand “what’s going on in the city and how I need to vote…I don’t believe in just making a decision myself in a vacuum.”

On council, Larson often asks for items to be pulled from the consent agenda — items that are considered routine and approved with a swift motion — so they may be discussed and understood by the public. He’s also pushed for the city to buy more environmentally-friendly vehicles.

Larson said that the city can’t “scrimp” on basic responsibilities like fire, police, garbage collection and more. He noted that the “police have taken a beating over the last several years, politically and economically, and that he would “never scrimp on our health and safety issues.”He also said that many complex issues like housing, jobs and food deserts are interconnected. As of December 2023, Larson’s campaign had $20,261 in cash on hand.

Carolyn Highsmith

This is Highsmith’s third time running for city council. During the March 2016 primary election, Highsmith rang in six more votes than Larson, who came in second. Due to the tight numbers, Larson demanded a recount, which found that 31 voters received ballots for other ward districts and 12 ineligible votes were submitted. A special election was held in June 2016 and Larson received 962 votes to Highsmith’s 562, securing Larson’s place as the Democratic nominee for the South Ward. Highsmith faced off against Larson again in the 2020 primary election, losing to Larson by about 800 votes.

Highsmith is a member of the Coalition for Accountability and Transparency, a local advocacy group. She’s also a neighborhood, community and public school activist. She’s running on a platform of improving public safety by supporting police and fully funding the BEAR Team, a team of mental health professionals that serve as an alternative to police response. She’s also passionate about quality and affordable housing, sustainability and city infrastructure. ” When it comes to city spending, Highsmith said that she would like to look at the budget “line by line” and find out where they are “actually achieving outcomes.”

She also believes that city workers should be receiving adequate salaries. The current minimum wage for Winston-Salem’s city employees is $15.45, meaning that a 40-hour work week can earn many Winston-Salem city employees a little more than $32,000 annually. Highsmith added that they could be using city recreation buildings as shelters for the unhoused at night. 

As of December 2023, Highsmith has not reported any campaign contributions.

Vivian Joiner

Joiner, who has lived in the city for 25 years, is the owner of the southern comfort food destination Sweet Potatoes, nestled in downtown Winston-Salem. As a community business owner, she touts the power of gathering and listening. On her website, she explains how “for years until COVID, [Sweet Potatoes] had a large table [they] called the “Community Table” where folks would sit with others they may not know but would leave learning that oftentimes our differences bring us together.” 

A few of the issues Joiner wants to tackle include food insecurity and affordable housing. 

“Here in Winston-Salem I’m asking that we talk about homelessness, I’m asking that we define and understand what homelessness is,” she said about her priorities at TCB’s candidate forum. “It is not necessarily someone that has a mental issue.”

Joiner also addressed the issue of homelessness, stating that the city needs to “work on those encampments.” In a direct jab to Republican Jimmy Hodson, Joiner asserted that “unlike some people might think” not all homeless people are drug users; “they’re not all addicts, they’re not all alcoholics.”She’s been endorsed by retired district court Judge Denise Hartsfield and as of December, her campaign had $1,070 cash on hand.

Adrian Smith

Smith is the owner of Robert Rust Foods as well as the co-owner of Village Fabric Shop in Reynolda Village. Smith grew up in Winston-Salem, and this is his first time running for political office. Smith is also a partner at Equilibrium Impact Ventures, a venture capital fund investing in Black and Brown led companies. 

In an interview with TCB in September, Smith told TCB that if he’s elected, he wants to create specific goals for the city that center around sustainability and the social determinants of health — things like access to food and healthcare, civic engagement and affordable housing.

At a candidate forum, Smith’s campaign manager Hasan Pyarali said that the city should be spending more on housing and solar energy.

“Adrian is running to address climate change, affordable housing and public safety,” Pyarali said. “We’ve been spending more and more on energy, and it’s been less and less reliable,” claiming that if the city switched over to solar energy, they’d save more than $750,000 annually. “We’re gonna bring the money back to you and put you guys in homes.”

Pyarali also said that the city needs to bring the police force back up to snuff and make sure people are safe. “You shouldn’t have to look over your shoulder when you’re walking home at night. You shouldn’t have to worry about the police not being trained in a domestic dispute,” he said.By December, Smith’s campaign had $4,394.15 in cash on hand.

By December, Smith’s campaign had raised $9,144 in contributions.

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