Vulnerable Democrat Faces Primary Challenge

North Carolina Rep. Elmer Floyd, a Cumberland county Democrat, occupies a seat that is a must win for both parties in 2020. The Democrats need to hold the 43rd District if they hope to take control of the House, and Republicans need to take it if they hope to regain a super-majority. This year Floyd has broken with Democrats in voting on appointments, as well as a budget bill, and is now facing a primary challenge from Dr. Kimberly Hardy. Dr. Hardy is an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work at Fayetteville State University, and has written extensively on religion in the African American community and its relation to help-seeking methods. She is expected to formally file for the seat in the upcoming week.

A combined photo of Representative Floyd on the left, and Dr. Hardy on the right.
Rep. Floyd (left) and Dr. Hardy (right)
Images from Facebook

Rep. Floyd has served six terms, and is the Vice Chair of the Appropriations (General Government), Ethics, and Redistricting Committees. He was made more vulnerable to an upset this year when his district was redrawn to include several new precincts where his name recognition may be lower, and where there is a higher number of registered Republicans.

Rep. Floyd received criticism earlier this year when he sided with Republicans on the state budget—which, in part, awarded funds for projects at Fayetteville State University where Dr. Hardy works. Also noteworthy was Rep. Floyd voting “no”  on an amendment introduced by Rep. Larry Pittman to SB 683, which made selling ballots a felony offense. Democrats were split on the amendment, with 19 in favor of it and 33 against. Rep. Floyd was one of three vulnerable Democrats who voted against the amendment, the other two including Rep. Ray Russell of Watauga County, and Rep. Christy Clark of Mecklenburg County. The bill was drafted in response to events in the 2018 election that saw the NC Board of Elections decline certification for a congressional race over questions surrounding absentee ballots.

The Cumberland county GOP is said to be in talks with a prominent Republican that they are hoping will run for the seat. Filing closes on December 20th.

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