A national group called Flippable that is dedicated to helping Democrats win majorities in state assemblies may have given some insight through its investments into which seats the Democratic Party views as competitive. The organization has sent $38,000 to 20 different legislative candidates in NC. Twelve candidates are in House races, and eight are vying for Senate seats. Flippable gave $2,500 to each Senate candidate and $1,500 to each candidate for the House, totaling $20,000 for Senate candidates, and $18,000 for House candidates.
Many of the races on the list were ones The Cycle has previously highlighted as competitive, but some were a surprise. Perhaps the most surprising is the inclusion of Republican Rep. John Szoka’s seat, which was redrawn to give a lot of Republican voters to neighboring District 43—which has become competitive as a result. Despite the draining away of Republican voters the seat still seems to favor a GOP candidate, and with Szoka being a long-standing incumbent in the region it seems surprising for him to be included.
Another surprise is the omission of Democratic Rep. Terrence Everitt’s seat. While Everitt is the incumbent, he has only served one term and was elected in one of the closest elections of 2018. It’s also noteworthy that the district has been redrawn to be even more competitive. The omission of this race may be a sign that the Democratic Party is unimpressed by the candidate Republicans have recruited for that seat.
In contrast, Senate District 39—which was previously held by Congressman Dan Bishop, but has been redrawn to favor Democrats—was included on the list.
Other notable omissions are Scott Brewer, Rachel Hunt, and Wesley Harris. All three Democrats are possibly vulnerable, and Scott Brewer, in particular, may be the most vulnerable Democrat in the General Assembly. Given that this group is independent it’s expenditures cannot be seen as a direct representation of which seats the Democratic Party is targeting, but it does give us some insight into what Democratic Party-aligned groups are targeting as competitive races.
Two of the Senate candidates receiving funds are incumbents seeking to protect their seats, and five of the House members are incumbents.
Below is a list of recipients:
Senate Candidates: Each receiving $2,500
Donna Lake – Senate District 7, currently held by Jim Perry.
Harper Peterson – Senate District 9, current incumbent, will face Michael Lee in fall.
Allen Wellons – Senate District 11, running against Lisa Barnes, currently held by Rick Horner.
Sarah Crawford – Senate District 18, currently held by John Alexander, will face Larry Norman in the fall.
Kirk deViere – Senate District 19, current incumbent, will face former senator Wesley Meredith in the fall.
J.D. Wooten – Senate District 24, currently held by Rick Gunn. Will face Amy Galey in November.
Terri LeGrand – Senate District 31, will face incumbent Joyce Krawiec in the fall.
DeAndrea Salvador – Senate District 39, formerly held by Dan Bishop, will face Josh Niday in fall.
House Candidates: Each receiving $1,500
Emily Nicholson – House District 1, will face Ed Goodwin in fall.
Brian Farkas – House District 9, Perrin Jones is the current occupant.
Virginia Cox-Daugherty – House District 12, will face incumbent Chris Humphrey in fall.
Adam Ericson – House District 20, currently held by Ted Davis Jr.
Sydney Batch – House District 37, the current incumbent. Will face Erin Paré in fall.
Kimberly Hardy – House District 43, defeated incumbent Elmer Floyd in primary, will face Diane Wheatley in the general election. Seat may now lean Republican.
Frances Vinell Jackson – House District 45, currently held by John Szoka
Ricky Hurtado – House District 63, will face incumbent Stephen Ross in the fall. The seat was redrawn to favor Democrats.
Dan Besse – House District 74, currently held by Debra Conrad. Will face Jeff Zenger in the fall.
Ray Russell – House District 93, current incumbent, will face Ray Pickett in the fall.
Christy Clark – House District 98, current incumbent, will face former Rep. John Bradford in the fall.
Joe Sam Queen – House District 119, the current incumbent. Will face Mike Clampitt in the fall.