Axios voter guide for the November 2022 elections in Mecklenburg County

Axios voter guide for the November 2022 elections in Mecklenburg County

Photo: Ashley Mahoney/Axios

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Nationally and statewide, the 2022 midterm elections are shaping up to be a referendum on abortion rights. But there is also a range of other issues on the ballot in Charlotte, from transportation to affordable housing.

Why it matters: Today Charlotte voters will select everything from their next U.S. Senator to soil and water supervisors. All have an impact on our lives.

Here’s a guide to what’s on your ballot.

Preview your ballot: Head to the state’s voter registration lookup, search your name and scroll until you see a heading titled “YOUR SAMPLE BALLOT.” Click the link under “Your Sample Ballot(s).”

Key dates

Oct. 14: Voter registration deadline.
Oct. 20:  One-stop, in-person early voting period begins. Mecklenburg County will have 25 early voting sites.
Nov. 1:  Deadline to submit an absentee ballot request. Must be received by 5 p.m.
Nov. 5:  Early voting ends.
Nov. 8:  Election Day.

How to vote by mail

Federal

U.S. Senate

Cheri Beasley (Democrat) v. Ted Budd (Republican)

Former state Supreme Court chief justice Beasley faces current U.S. House Rep. Budd in one of the most competitive races in the nation as Democrats and Republicans vie for control of the U.S. Senate.

  • Whoever wins will replace U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, who is not running for reelection.
  • The other candidates include Matthew Hoh (Green Party) and Shannon W. Bray (Libertarian).

[Go deeper: U.S. Senate candidates Cheri Beasley and Ted Budd swing through Charlotte]

U.S. House of Representatives

Congressional map

Mecklenburg’s Congressional Districts. Courtesy of the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections.

District 14: Jeff Jackson (Democrat) v. Pat Harrigan (Republican)

  • North Carolina gained this additional seat after the 2020 census showed population growth. It includes the southern portion of Mecklenburg County and much of Gaston County.
  • Jackson, a veteran and state senator who ran against Beasley in the U.S. Senate race before dropping out, faces Hickory resident Harrigan, also a veteran and owner of a firearms manufacturing company.

District 12: Alma Adams (Democrat) v. Tyler Lee (Republican)

  • U.S. Rep Adams, a former educator, has represented District 12 since 2014. The district has been redrawn numerous times but now includes the northern portion of Mecklenburg County and some of Cabarrus County.
  • She faces Lee, a real estate investor.

State

The big picture: State legislative races have been thrust into the forefront this year as Republicans look to take back a veto-proof majority. GOP leaders may move to restrict abortion if they do so.

North Carolina Senate

North Carolina Senate districts in the Charlotte area. See interactive map here.

District 37: Vickie Sawyer (Republican)
State Sen. Sawyer is running unopposed for this seat which covers Iredell County and parts of Cornelius and Huntersville.

District 38: Mujtaba Mohammed (Democratic incumbent)
State Sen. Mohammed is running unopposed for the district that covers Uptown and north Charlotte, as well as neighborhoods just to the east like Plaza Midwood and Grier Heights.

District 39: DeAndrea Salvador (Democratic incumbent) v. Mark Robeson (Republican)
Incumbent State Sen. Salvador, the youngest Black woman to ever serve in the state Senate, is being challenged by Robeson, who runs a business in the financial services industry. The district covers south Charlotte and Steel Creek.

District 40: Joyce Waddell (Democratic incumbent) v. Bobbie Shields (Republican)
State Sen. Waddell is running for her fifth term to represent District 40, which includes Mint Hill and northeast Charlotte. Shields, an engineer and former Mecklenburg County manager, is running against her.

District 41: Natasha Marcus (Democratic incumbent) v. Bonni Leone
State Sen. Marcus is fighting for a third term against challenger Leone.

District 42: Rachel Hunt (Democrat) v. Cheryl Russo (Republican)

This is the most-watched state Senate race this year in the county, for the open seat currently held by Jeff Jackson. State House Rep. Hunt, daughter of former Gov. Jim Hunt, faces cardiologist Russo.

  • The district voted 57% for President Joe Biden in the 2020 election.

North Carolina House

N.C. House of Representatives Maps for Mecklenburg 2022

N.C. House of Representatives Maps for Mecklenburg 2022. See interactive map here.

District 88: Mary Belk (Democratic incumbent) v. Anne Marie Peacock (Republican)
State Rep. Belk is seeking reelection for a district that includes south and west Charlotte near the airport. Her opponent is Peacock, a former army officer.

District 92: Terry Brown Jr. (Democratic incumbent) v. Mario Robinson Sr. (Republican)
State Rep. Brown is running for his second term against Robinson for the district that covers Steele Creek and south Charlotte.

District 98: John Bradford III (Republican incumbent) v. Christy Clark (Democrat)
This northern Mecklenburg district that includes Cornelius and Davidson is one of the most competitive state house races in the area.

  • Rep. Bradford faces Clark, who previously held the seat. The two have faced off before: in 2018, Clark unseated Bradford, and then in 2020, Bradford defeated her.

District 100: John Autry (Democratic incumbent)
Autry is running unopposed for his fourth term in this east Charlotte district.

District 101: Carolyn G. Logan (Democratic incumbent) v. Steve Mauney (Republican)
Logan is vying for a third term but must defeat opponent Mauney, a retired ​​paramedic, in the race for this west Charlotte district.

District 102: Becky Carney (Democratic incumbent) v. Cynthia Eleanor Clementi (Republican)
Rep. Carney is going for her 11th term representing the district covering Uptown and the neighborhoods to the north, plus Cherry, Elizabeth and Plaza Midwood. She’s challenged by Clementi.

District 103: Laura Budd (Democrat) v. Bill Brawley (Republican)
Attorney Budd is up against veteran Brawley, who previously held the seat. Rep. Hunt unseated Brawley in 2018 and currently represents this swing district, made up of south Charlotte and Matthews, but this year she is campaigning for a Senate seat.

District 104: Brandon Lofton (Democratic incumbent) v. Don Pomeroy (Republican)
Rep. Lofton is going for a third term versus Pomeroy in the race for this south Charlotte district that includes parts of Eastover and Myers Park.

District 105: Wesley Harris (Democratic incumbent) v. Joshua Niday (Republican)
Rep. Harris is running for reelection against Niday to represent a district that includes south Charlotte and Ballantyne.

District 106: Carla Cunningham (Democratic incumbent) v. Karen Henning (Republican)
Cunningham is seeking a sixth term in office, versus Henning, who calls herself a “conservative constitutionalist.” The district covers parts of Huntersville and north Charlotte.

District 107: Kelly Alexander Jr. (Democratic incumbent) v. Mark Alan Cook (Republican)
Alexander faces Cook, Republican and engineer, for this north Charlotte district around Interstate 77.

District 112: Tricia Cotham (Democrat) v. Tony Long (Republican)
This district includes Mint Hill and parts of east Charlotte. Cotham, a former representative, is vying with Long, a Mint Hill commissioner, for the seat.

Local

Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners

Districts for the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners.

Context: Democrats took full control of the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners in the blue wave of 2018, and are looking to hold onto that this year.

At-large (vote for three): Pat Cotham (Democratic incumbent), Leigh Altman (Democratic incumbent), Arthur Griffin  Jr. (Democrat and former school board member) and Tatyana Thulien (Republican and nonprofit leader of United Communities Association).

District 1: Democratic incumbent Elaine Powell versus Ross Monks, a Republican and veteran.
District 2: Vilma D. Leake, the Democratic incumbent, is running unopposed.
District 3: George Dunlap, Democratic incumbent and the board chair, faces Dianna Benson, Republican and voter registration co-chair of MeckGOP.
District 4: Democratic incumbent Mark Jerrell versus Ray Fuentes, Republican and environmental compliance manager for Coca-Cola Consolidated.
District 5: Laura Meier, the Democrat incumbent, is facing Matthew Ridenhour, a Republican and former Marine who previously held the seat, in a rematch. Both ran for the same seat in 2020.

Go deeper: A rematch, Wordle scores and the real issues in a moderate Mecklenburg County district’s race

District 6: Democratic incumbent Susan Rodriguez-McDowell versus Jeremy Brasch, a Republican who works in IT and served in the military.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education

Mecklenburg County Board of Education districts.

State of play: The board of education is nonpartisan, meaning candidates’ party affiliations won’t appear on the ballot. But nationally, school board races are becoming increasingly politically divisive with issues such as book bans at the forefront.

  • As is, the CMS board is majority Democratic. Margaret Marshall, who is not seeking reelection, is unaffiliated. Two registered Republicans, District 1’s Rhonda Cheek and District 6’s Sean Strain, are trying to hold onto their seats against challengers.

Go deeper: The outside groups inside school board politics

District 1: Cheek (Republican incumbent), Melissa Easley (Democrat and former CMS teacher), Hamani Fisher (Democrat and pastor of Life Center International), Bill Fountain (independent and retired teacher), Ro Lawsin (Republican and president of the Filipino American Community of the Carolinas)
District 2: Thelma Byers-Bailey (Democratic incumbent), Juanrique Hall (Democrat and coach), Monty Witherspoon (Democrat and reverend)
District 3: Gregory “Dee” Rankin (Democrat and member of CMS Equity Committee) versus Steven Rushing (Democrat)
District 4: Carol Sawyer (Democrat incumbent), Stephanie Sneed (Democrat and former chair of the Black Political Caucus of Charlotte-Mecklenburg), Clara Kennedy Witherspoon (Democrat and retired CMS employee)

Go deeper: The school board race in east Mecklenburg County is a fight over data

District 5: Lisa Cline (Republican and retired CMS assistant principal) versus Trent Merchant (unaffiliated executive search consultant, former teacher, high school theatre director and school board member)
District 6: Strain (Republican incumbent), Summer Nunn (Democrat, marketing executive and CMS parent), Michael Watson (Democrat and CMS parent)

District Attorney & Sheriff

District Attorney Spencer Merriweather and Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden, both Democrats, are both running unopposed.

Mecklenburg Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor

This is another nonpartisan race where voters can choose two of the following candidates:

  • Nancy Carter: current vice chair of the Board of Supervisors for the Mecklenburg Soil and Water Conservation District.
  • Alonzo Hill
  • Tigress Sydney Acute McDaniel, a previous candidate for the role as well as mayor, county commission and state house.
  • Hunter Wilson
  • Barbara Bleiweis: Current chairwoman of the Board of Supervisors.

Go deeper: Everything you should know about Mecklenburg County’s most overlooked race

Judicial

NC Supreme Court Associate Justice seat 3

NC Supreme Court Associate Justice seat 5

NC Court of Appeals Judge seat 8

NC Court of Appeals Judge seat 9

NC Court of Appeals Judge seat 10

NC Court of Appeals Judge seat 11

NC Superior Court

NC District Court, District 26

Mecklenburg County Clerk of Superior Court

Referenda

Transportation bond – $146.2 million

If approved, this would fund road construction and improvements like street lighting, signals, streetscaping, bike lanes and sidewalks.

$50 million housing bond

The city is asking voters to add another $50 million to its Housing Trust Fund, which funds the construction of housing for people with low and moderate incomes.

  • The fund has been around since 2001 and subsidized more than 10,000 affordable housing units. But the 2016 police killing of Keith Lamont Scott prompted a call for action on the city’s inequities, and leaders raised the amount from $15 million to $50 million in 2018. Voters overwhelmingly approved another $50 million in 2020.
  • Yes, but: Less than a quarter of the units built since mid-2018, just before the increase to $50 million, are for the city’s poorest residents, an Axios analysis earlier this year found.

Neighborhood improvement bonds – $29.8 million

This would fund for infrastructure improvements such as storm drainage, public open space, sidewalks, and pedestrian and bicycle paths.

Endorsements

Editor’s note: This story was originally published on Sept. 28, and we updated it Nov. 4. Check back for updates and additions throughout election season.

  • Of note: Axios Charlotte does not endorse candidates. 
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