Nearly a third of the members of the General Assembly will get a free pass to another term next year, as they face no opposition. That is not good for democracy in North Carolina, no matter which side one may be on.
Each district in the House and Senate has issues, be they related to taxes or roads or state appropriations, and those issues need discussing.
For one political party or the other not to raise an opponent for the incumbent is simply irresponsible. And it is on local party organizations, and to some extent on the state party organization,to accept responsibility for finding and supporting a candidate.
And, yes, to the degree that state lawmakers can influence more participation, they should. Legislative pay needs to be raised, from a level that basically covers expenses to perhaps a full-time salary or close to it that might make it possible for ordinary people to run for the General Assembly. As it stands, one has to be retired or wealthy to do so. Those who don’t fit either of those categories find themselves struggling.
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The redistricting done by Republicans after the 2010 census, which gerrymandered districts to give GOP candidates an edge, doubtless frustrated some Democrats and kept them from running. Given the stacked deck in their districts, they might have figured it to be a waste of time.