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North Carolina Legislature Remains in Republican Hands, Divided Government to Continue

By Kevin Mahnken | November 4, 2020

2020’s KEY EDUCATION VOTES: See our full coverage of the 46 races that could reshape America’s schools following Election Day — and get the latest updates on state policies and students’ challenges during the pandemic by signing up for The 74 Newsletter.

North Carolina Democrats failed to flip either chamber of the state’s General Assembly, local media report, spoiling the party’s hopes of attaining unified control over state government.

The outcomes of several federal races were still looking inconclusive Wednesday morning, with the state’s presidential vote still too close to call and incumbent Sen. Thom Tillis clinging to a small lead over his challenger, Democrat Cal Cunningham. But Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, whose lead against Republican opponent Dan Forest had looked secure for weeks, won reelection without much suspense.

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Cooper’s education agenda crashed against the rocks of GOP opposition in the General Assembly over the last four years, with the parties repeatedly clashing over the size of a proposed teacher pay raise. Democrats aspired to push the ball forward during a second Cooper term on priorities like expanding childcare and early college programs, which would have required greater numbers in the legislature.

They fell short, according to Raleigh’s News & Observer newspaper. Democrats netted just one of the five seats they needed to win that chamber, and actually lost four seats in the state House of Representatives. Still, that leaves Republicans short of a veto-proof majority in either body, meaning that contentious negotiations between the executive and legislative branches — over everything from teacher salaries to school reopening to the imperiled state budget — will continue in January.

2020’s KEY EDUCATION VOTES: See our full coverage of the 46 races that could reshape America’s schools following Election Day — and get the latest updates on state policies and students’ challenges during the pandemic by signing up for The 74 Newsletter

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