Republicans Lose Supermajorities In North Carolina General Assembly

Nov 7, 2018

FILE - In this July 24, 2018 file photo, members of the North Carolina House gather for a special session at the General Assembly in Raleigh, N.C. North Carolina Democrats have won enough state House seats to end the Republicans' veto-proof control, handing Gov. Roy Cooper more leverage to fight right-leaning policies and press his agenda.
Credit Gerry Broome, file / AP

Democrats made significant gains in both chambers of the North Carolina General Assembly Tuesday night, in a wave that upended both Republican supermajorities and saw urban GOP incumbents ousted from public office.

Republican supermajorities were broken in the House and the Senate, where Democrats picked up nine and six seats, respectively. The GOP will still hold majorities of 66-55 and 29-21 come January.

Legislative Democrats raised more than $15 million this election cycle as part of a statewide effort to break the supermajorities. Republicans won in 2012, and provide Governor Roy Cooper a veto with some leverage. Since Cooper took office in 2017, he has vetoed 25 pieces of legislation, 20 of which Republicans have voted to override.

On the House side, Democrats picked off all but one Republican incumbent in Wake and Mecklenburg Counties, a total of six. Meanwhile in the Senate, Republican incumbents Tamara Barringer (Wake), Jeff Tarte (Mecklenburg) and Trudy Wade (Guilford) were all denied another term. Two GOP Senators Dan Bishop (Meck) and John Alexander (Wake) won re-election.

The legislative gains give Democrats more secure footing to pursue teacher raises and Medicaid expansion in 2019, although it is unclear whether the diminished minorities will lead to gridlock or greater consensus at the legislature.

More than 52 percent of registered voters cast ballots, marking the highest mid-term turnout in North Carolina since 1990.