Whatever individual or party is in public office, we have to work with, organize and agitate them in order to win transformative political victories for our people. The Carolina Federation knows that when Democrats and progressives are in office, we have a much better chance of going on the offensive and winning. To that end, our endorsements help our people make important decisions about how we use our resources and how we communicate what we care about and why. By voting together with shared values, we build electoral muscle and political power.
Endorsements are not about deciding which candidate we like the most- as if we were shopping for shoes or ordering at a restaurant. Endorsements are about power, not preferences. Who do we want to engage with? Who is committed to advancing our values in office? Where do they fall short? The endorsement process helps us answer these questions and hold candidates accountable once they are elected.
In August 2020, representatives from New Hanover for All, Guilford for All, the Forsyth Freedom Federation, and Durham for All gathered together to make the Carolina Federation’s first statewide endorsements. We took this process very seriously because North Carolina is a Battleground State. What voters decide in North Carolina this November will impact the US Presidential race, control of the US Senate, the composition of ourState Legislature, and the future of redistricting across our state.
The Carolina Federation makes two types of endorsements. Our “offensive” endorsements are for those candidates we believe will actively fight to advance our issues, agendas, and values. Our “defensive” endorsements are for those candidates that will help defend us against the political designs of our most dangerous opponents. Imagine you are going into battle. You need both a weapon to fight your enemy and a shield to defend yourself from their worst blows. This is how we see the endorsements we’ve made below.
Why we support Chief Justice Beasley: Cheri Beasley is the first Black woman to serve as the Chief Justice of the high court. She has more than twenty years of experience as a judge. Chief Justice Beasley believes all North Carolinians should have access to swift and fair justice, no matter who they are, where they come from, or where they live. She has a strong track record of working for courts that are independent, fair and serve every person with dignity and respect. Justice Beasley is engaging teachers, administrators and officers to reform school discipline and keep kids out of the criminal legal system, and utilizing specialized “recovery courts” to connect people with mental health and substance use disorders with care and counseling instead of jail. She has a long history of supporting voting rights and equality. Justice Beasley ordered NC courts to stop evictions and foreclosures as part of the state’s coronavirus response, which kept more people in their homes.
Why is the office of Chief Justice Important? The Chief Justice leads the state Supreme Court, the highest court in NC, and has the power to set the rules for all NC Courts. The NC Supreme Court has the final say on important matters of state law like voting rights, workers’ rights, racial and political gerrymandering, the death penalty, private school vouchers, and challenges to laws passed by the NC General Assembly.
Why we support Yvonne Lewis Holley: Yvonne Lewis Holley grew up in Raleigh and was one of the first students to desegregate Wake County schools. She knows how to break down barriers, work across differences, and build strong relationships to win policies that improve people’s lives. Rep. Holley has been a legislator for eight years, and has worked with Democrats, Republicans and Independents to move important issues like access to healthy, affordable food in low-income communities, investing in teachers and public schools, and reforming the criminal legal system. She is running for Lt. Governor to fight for all North Carolinians - Black, white and brown, urban, rural, suburban, lifelong residents and newcomers - to earnfair paychecks that allow them to live with dignity, safe, affordable places to live, and transportation that serves their communities.
What is the office of Lieutenant Governor important? The Lieutenant Governor is the only elected official who is part of both the legislative and executive branches of government. This person serves on important boards like the State Board of Education, NC Board of Community Colleges, State Economic Development Board, and the Military Affairs Commission. The role also has the power to cast the tie-breaking vote in the NC Senate. In this election, the balance of power in the State Senate is on the line - so who wins the Lt. Governor’s race has big consequences.
Why We Support Jessica Holmes: Jessica Holmes was born and raised in Eastern NC. She was among the first in her family to attend college, and would be the first Black woman to serve as NC Commissioner of Labor. Holmes is an elected official who currently chairs the Board of Wake County Commissioners. Worker’s rights are deeply personal to Holmes; her mother lost a hand in a food processing plant because of dismal workplace safety standards. Holmes is running for NC Commissioner of Labor because she believes that no matter where we come from, what our color, or what we do for a living, most of us work hard and deserve dignified work, safe workplaces, and fair pay for our labor. Holmes is an employment and civil rights attorney and a labor policy expert who supports paid sick and parental leave, the right of workers to organize in unions, and the right of immigrants and other workers to receive the pay their employers owe them. In her time as a Wake County Commissioner, she has voted for affordable housing, a living wage for all county and school workers, paid parental leave, and increased funding for local public schools and the community college system.
Why Is the Commissioner of Labor Important? The Commissioner of Labor has the power to protect the safety, health, and wellbeing of NC’s working people. But today, certain politicians and lobbyists for big corporations are writing labor rules to benefit them and the wealthy few. We need someone in this role who will make sure government agencies work for working people - helping workers recover stolen wages, increasing job education and training programs, implementing workplace safety inspections, protecting workers from retaliation or firing when they file a complaint about their working conditions, and keeping workers safe during the pandemic.
Why we support Jenna Wadsworth: Jenna Wadsworth is the Democratic nominee for North Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture. She grew up on a farm and knows that it is the small farmers and farmworkers - Black, white and brown, NC born or immigrant - who are the backbone of our economy. Wadsworth’s policy platform supports the people who grow and pick our food and protects our state’s land, air and water. She believes farmers need access to new crops and sources of revenue. She supports legalizing hemp and cannabis production, increasing broadband internet in rural areas, and expanding the number of small meat producers and processors. Wadsworth also advocates increasing healthcare access in our rural communities through Medicaid expansion, more mental health counseling, and better rural hospitals. She will challenge the corporate pork and poultry industries who are underpaying workers, refusing safety measures during the pandemic, and polluting our soil and water.
Why is the office of Commissioner of Agriculture important? The Commissioner of Agriculture has the power to help and protect the farmers and agricultural businesses that grow and produce our food. This office also has the power to implement dozens of laws that protect consumers and the environment. Today, big hog corporations and other agriculture giants are crowding out small farmers, underpaying workers, ignoring workplace safety conditions, and polluting our soil and water. The politicians who support these corporations with tax breaks and lucrative policies pit us against each other based on our race, where we come from, and whether we live in rural or urban areas. We need a Commissioner of Agriculture who will bridge the rural/urban divide to ensure that our small farmers can thrive and that all North Carolinians have access to locally grown, health and affordable food.
Why we support Jen Mangrum: Jen Mangrum’s parents were elementary school teachers and Jen followed in their footsteps, teaching elementary school children for 14 years in Onslow and Guilford counties. Her experience taught her that no matter what we look like, where we live, or what’s in our wallets, most of us want our public schools to inspire imagination, cultivate critical thinking, and help our children live fulfilling lives. As State Superintendent, Jen will raise teacher pay and push for a living wage for all public school workers. She’ll fight to make sure that every public school has the materials, healthy meals, Pre-K and after-school programs, nurses, psychologists and social workers kids need to succeed. She will help school districts address systemic racism by increasing the focus on trauma informed and restorative practices when students make mistakes, evaluating schools in ways that don’t punish or stigmatize students from poor and working class communities, and prioritizing recruitment of teachers and administrators of color.
Why is the office of State Superintendent important? The Superintendent is in charge of the state’s public school system, managing things like curriculum development, instruction practices, after-school and support programs, and school funding. This role has the power to ensure that every child, whatever their color, background or zip code, is learning in a supportive environment that respects their humanity and responds fairly to mistakes and mis-steps. Certain politicians in Raleigh have been fueling divisions so they can take resources away from our public schools to fund for-profit and private schools. Then they blame teachers, parents and students for the challenges inside schools that have been deprived for so long. They send police into schools to monitor students who are Black, brown, LGBT or disabled while ensuring that well-resourced schools with mostly white students have money for computers, teacher training, and parent engagement. We need a State Superintendent who will stand up to these tactics and rewrite the rules so that every school has the teachers, materials, strategies, programs, and emotional support to set all kids up for success.
Why we support Roy Cooper: Roy Cooper is running for re-election as NC Governor against a far-Right, Republican challenger. From his first day in office, Gov. Cooper has advocated for better teacher pay and more funding for our public school classrooms in the state budget. He has been a crucial line of defense against right-wing legislation coming out of the General Assembly, vetoing several radical or dangerous bills. Cooper is fighting to expand Medicaid, which would bring healthcare to more than half a million North Carolinians. While some politicians have tried to divide us over wearing masks, or called on us to sacrifice our health for corporate profits, Cooper has called us to work together so we can beat the virus and recover from the pandemic. He has supported paid sick leave, increasing unemployment benefits and relief payments, and a relief fund for rent and utility assistance to help people avoid eviction.
Why is the office of Governor important? The Governor is the top elected official in North Carolina. The Governor has the power to either enact or veto bills and the state budget and to convene special legislative sessions. The Governor has far-reaching oversight and appointment powers for state agencies, boards and commissions that oversee things like elections, veterans affairs, the environment, transportation and public health and safety. The Governor can grant pardons, commute prison sentences, declare a state of emergency and request relief during disasters, and has the final say over how to administer loans from the federal government.
Why we support Cal Cunningham: Democrat Cal Cunningham is running against Republican incumbent Thom Tillis for US Senate. The North Carolina race for US Senate is one of the most competitive in the nation and could swing control of the Senate. Cunningham supports progressive issues like expanding healthcare to half a million North Carolinians and making it more affordable for all, raising the minimum wage, increasing and expanding unemployment insurance, protecting reproductive freedom, passing equal pay for equal work, lowering the cost of college, and investing in public education.
Why is the US Senate important? The Constitution gives Congress the sole power to pass federal laws and declare war, the right to confirm or reject Presidential appointments of judges and other government officials, and substantial power to investigate corruption and wrong-doing in government. Under conservative leadership, the US Senate has become one of the most anti-democratic institutions in our country, refusing to exercise its power to hold the President and executive branch accountable, blocking bi-partisan legislation like COVID relief passed by the US House, and ramming through hundreds of appointments of conservative judges to federal courts.
Why we support Biden/Harris: The stakes in the race for President are higher than ever: beating back COVID, saving Black lives, freeing immigrant adults and children from cages, rescuing healthcare for millions of people, reproductive freedom, LGBTQ people’s rights, the future of our judicial system, and of democracy itself.
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris take coronavirus seriously and have a progressive political platform that includes reversing the billionaire tax cuts, creating a $100 billion affordable housing trust fund, making community college free, expanding healthcare, and creating good paying, public sector jobs.
Why is the Presidency Important? The President is the commander in chief of the US military and the head of the Executive Branch of government. This role has the power to sign or veto legislation passed by Congress. The President appoints the people in charge of all executive departments and federal agencies, such as the US Postal Service, Social Security Administration, Department of Justice, Department of Labor, the CIA, and Environmental Protection Agency. Including the military, the President decides who leads agencies that collectively employ more than 4 million people. The President appoints leaders to the independent boards and commissions that are meant to regulate things like corporations, banks, consumer safety and elections, and also appoints and nominates federal judges to the US Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, and federal district courts.
Donald Trump has used the power of the Presidency to personally enrich himself and advance a rightwing agenda. He has tanked our economy, rolled back civil rights, and threatened democracy in order to line his pockets and funnel trillions of dollars to the wealthy donors and big corporations that support and enable him. Trump embodies racism, fear and chaos. He seeks to divide and terrify us into compliance by sending federal forces into our communities. Donald Trump and Mike Pence have failed miserably to handle the coronavirus pandemic, costing well over 215,000 people their lives. Now, they are trying desperately to distract us from their corruption and failures by undermining the integrity of the election and preparing to challenge its results.
This election, we have the chance to turn the outrage and energy that millions of us feel into an electoral victory that will stop the march toward facism and shift the landscape in which we’re organizing.We need to elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in November.
Paula McCoy (NE Ward)
Amber Baker (District 72)
Dan Besse (District 74)
Terri LeGrand (District 31)
Deb Butler (District 18)
Marcia Morgan (District 19)
Harper Peterson (District 9)
Register of Deeds
Mary Beth Murphy (District 4)
Carly Cooke (District 5)
James Upchurch (District 6)
Blake Odum (District 3)
Deborah Napper (District 5)
Register of Deeds
Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor
Nicole Ward Quick (District 59)
Brandon Gray (District 62)
J.D. Wooten (District 24)
Michael Garrett (District 27)