North Carolina: Here’s Your New Democratic Senator Cheri Beasley
GOP Sen. Richard Burr is retiring this year, and we’d love it if a Democrat replaced him instead of a MAGA stooge who makes Thom Tillis look normal. Our best bet is Cheri Beasley, who’s the current favorite to win the Democratic Senate primary. Beasley's campaign announced last Thursday that it raised more than $3.6 million in the first three months of this year. She’s leading in fundraising among all Democratic and Republican candidates running to replace Burr.
Of course, Democrat Cal Cunningham set fundraising records in the 2020 Senate campaign but still managed to trip over his own dick in a the dullest sex scandal ever. Beasley is a grown-ass Black woman who’s unlikely to have any October surprises, no matter how boring. I only wish she was the 2020 nominee when the political terrain was friendlier for Democrats.
Beasley’s background is quite impressive: She graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Law, where Senator Marsha Blackburn has probably driven by at least once. She was appointed to the bench as a state district court judge in 1999 and elected to the position in 2002. She was elected to the Court of Appeals in 2012, defeating Republican incumbent Douglas McCullough by 15 points. This made her the first Black woman to win a statewide election without first being appointed to the office.
She also earned her Master of Law from Duke University in 2018. The following year, Governor Roy Cooper appointed Beasley to serve as Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, and she narrowly lost election to a full term in 2020 by just 401 votes. I blame Cal Cunningham.
Dipping into her war chest, Beasley launched her first TV ad this week. It highlights the years she spent as a public defender. My only quibble is that she speaks to the viewers while driving her car. It’s damn distracting. You’re afraid she’s going to crash into something.
The message, though, is compelling. Take a look:
We just launched our first TV ad!\n\nAs a public defender, judge, and Chief Justice of the NC Supreme Court, I led with a commitment to justice and integrity \u2013 it's the same approach I'll take to the Senate.\n\nWatch the ad:pic.twitter.com/Ej96b9rtA5— Cheri Beasley (@Cheri Beasley) 1649854420
As a public defender, I represented North Carolinians who couldn’t afford a lawyer because everyone has a right to representation, no matter who you are or where you’re from.
This is a key point that fascist clowns like Tom Cotton and Ted Cruz deliberately overlook: The Sixth Amendment, which is part of the Bill of Rights that James Madison proudly wrote, guarantees Americans the right to counsel, even if they can’t afford it. Public defenders don’t choose their clients, and the worst offenders still deserve a zealous defense.
She states that as a judge she “led with a commitment to justice and integrity.”
It’s the same approach I’ll take to the Senate because Washington isn’t listening, and I’ll be a vote for all North Carolinians.
I wish she’d single out Republicans as the problem, because it’s not “Washington” in general that isn’t listening. It’s the GOP that’s gone fascist. I’m sure she’ll consider the needs of all her constituents as a senator, but it’s Republicans who only care about the interests of a shrinking white electorate. We need to say their names if we want to stay in the game.
Republicans are calling Democrats pedophiles, perverts, and groomers. We can assume this race will be no less ugly.
Trump-endorsed Rep. Ted Budd is way ahead in the polls for the GOP nomination. Budd was one of 126 Republican House members who signed onto Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s democracy-shredding lawsuit that would’ve tossed out the election results in four states Joe Biden won — Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin -- disenfranchising millions of voters. Budd also objected to the certification of Pennsylvania’s electoral votes, even after Trump’s mob stormed the Capitol.
Beasley’s ad was a solid introduction to a great candidate, but later ads need to call out the seditionist who’s her likely opponent. If Budd’s cynical promotion of the Big Lie elevates him to the Senate in 2022, it’s a chilling preview of 2024.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."