Politics & Government

Obama endorses 6 candidates for the North Carolina legislature

Former President Barack Obama addresses the crowd as the last speaker at final session of the Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago on Nov. 1, 2017.
Former President Barack Obama addresses the crowd as the last speaker at final session of the Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago on Nov. 1, 2017. AP Photo

Former President Barack Obama on Wednesday announced endorsements of six Democrats running for the North Carolina legislature. Four of those candidates are running in Wake County.

Wiley Nickel of Cary, who used to work for Obama, received an endorsement from his former boss in his run for an open state Senate seat. Nickel faces Republican Paul Smith and Libertarian Brian Irving.

Also making Obama’s list: Terence Everitt of Wake Forest, in a rematch against incumbent Republican Chris Malone; Julie Von Haefen of Apex, who is running against incumbent Republican and lead House budget writer Nelson Dollar of Cary; and lawyer Sydney Batch, who is running for an open seat against Republican lawyer John B. Adcock. Libertarian Michael Nelson is in the House District 35 race with Malone and Everitt; Libertarian Robyn Pegram is in the House District 36 race with Dollar and Von Haefen, and Libertarian Guy Meilleur is running in House District 37 against Adcock and Batch.

Wake’s legislative races are going to be among the most competitive this year, with Democrats looking to flip enough seats held by Republicans to break the GOP’s supermajorities in the House and Senate. Republican majorities are large enough to easily override Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s vetoes.

Obama also endorsed Rachel Hunt, former Gov. Jim Hunt’s daughter, in her race against incumbent Republican Bill Brawley in Mecklenburg County, and Ron Wesson, a Bertie County commissioner running for an open seat in northeastern North Carolina’s District 1 against Republican Ed Goodwin.

Obama endorsed candidates in more than a dozen states in what was labeled a “first wave” of endorsements.


Correction

A previous version of this story incorrectly said Democrat Wiley Nickel is running against Republican Sen. Tamara Barringer; in fact, he is running against Republican Paul Smith.

Bonner: 919-829-4821; @Lynn_Bonner
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