We can’t pretend we’re not disappointed by the results of the election. While we wait for the results of the Presidential election and watch as every last North Carolina vote is counted, we will focus on what we do know. We are so happy Governor Roy Cooper will remain in office! He’s been the leader we needed since 2016 and we plan to help him stave off Republican attacks for the next four years. What hits closer to home are the losses of many of our Featured Candidates. We failed to flip the North Carolina House and Senate and the Republicans have made strides in the legislature we never expected. The results do not mean that our Featured Candidates did not run the best campaigns possible. We are endlessly proud of their hard work and their courage in putting their names on the ballot. Each one of them is now a permanent fixture in the Lillian’s List Sisterhood and we celebrate them.
We endorsed 46 Featured Candidates, our largest slate ever. Six candidates running for the Council of State, 29 House candidates, and 11 running for the Senate. We had 20 Incumbent Legislative Featured Candidates who were running for re-election in safe seats and we are thrilled to say they all won their campaigns. The results of Secretary of State Elaine Marshall and State Auditor Beth Wood remain uncalled. Each of our incumbents will need our support now more than ever before.
Of our 24 Featured Candidates running for the first time or in a competitive election we are overjoyed to announce that eight of them won! Representatives Vernetta Alston, Linda Cooper-Suggs, Rachel Hunt, and Julie von Haefen will all remain in the NC House. On the Senate side, Senator Natalie Murdock will be joined by Sarah Crawford, DeAndrea Salvador, and Julie Mayfield. We’re so lucky to have these women in the NCGA! Frances Jackson’s race for HD 45 remains uncalled and we remain hopeful.
The results of the other Council of State elections are heartbreaking. Yvonne Holley, Jen Mangrum, and Jenna Wadsworth were revolutionary candidates who ran excellent races. We had an opportunity to elect the first queer person and the first Black women to a statewide office. It is disappointing the voters chose conservative candidates who will push our state backwards. Jessica Holmes’ campaign for Commissioner of Labor remains undecided and we eagerly await the results.
While we knew it would be tight, we did not expect to lose ground in the NCGA. The results of Reps. Sydney Batch’s and Christy Clark’s races were shocking. They’ve only been in office since 2018, but it is hard for us to imagine the NCGA without them.
We shared the dreams of our other legislative candidates for a progressive future. Many of our Featured Candidates were running for the first time, like Kim Hardy, and we celebrate the strength it took to put their lives on hold and run for office. We are so disappointed that Kim will not be serving in the NCGA. Meanwhile, Marcia Morgan, Terri LeGrand, Helen Probst Mills, Aimy Steele, and Gail Young all ran for the first time in 2018 and again this year. Running consecutive campaigns to flip seats takes incredible grit and fortitude. Whether or not you win, running for office is a life-changing event and we know each of these women will continue to do great things. If you are close with a candidate please reach out to them with your support.
Votes are still being counted, but regardless of vote counts, the nature of democracy is that there is always another election. 2022 may seem a long way off, but candidate filing will come sooner than we think and the seeds of success for our next election will be sown in the coming months. If you want to run for office, we will train you. We need strong progressive candidates at every level of the ballot to fight off conservative attacks on human rights. We will welcome you into the Lillian’s List Sisterhood and give you the resources you need to run a strong, modern campaign. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more information about our 2021 training programs and other opportunities to change the face of power.
We stand with you in grief, but also in solidarity. Thank you for your support!