CommunityPam's House Blend

Out lesbian Julia Boseman fought off an extremely homophobic opponent, Woody White.

Some NC politics. On MyDD, southerndemnut wrote a fabulous synopsis of bright spots in the NC elections. While the state went Red for Bush, Dems made gains in the state, including the election of Julia Boseman, an out lesbian to the state senate.

While most of the rest of the south was almost a disaster, Democrats did well to improve their lot in North Carolina. Sure, Erskine Bowles did lose the US Senate race, which was a blow, though not entirely shocking. Federal races seem to favor Republicans, so much so that a Democrat has yet to win a US Senate race, in a Presidential year, since 1968. Of course Bush won the state, which was not unexpected though I had wish the margin was closer. With that said, otherwise the Democrats did well. Gov. Mike Easley won a landslide victory, 55%-44%, we won control of the NC House by at least a 3 seat margin, we added to our already healthy NC Senate lead by winning Patrick Ballantine’s old seat that he vacated to run for Governor. Ironically, the person who won the election to succeed Ballantine is Julia Boseman, who will become the first openly gay member of the NC General Assembly. Locally increased their hold on County Commissions by 3 to 63-37.

NC has always been part of the south and has always been affected by southern issues. However NC has always prided itself in being different and progressive and I think that is reflected in the campaign dialogue and ultimately the election results.

However the biggest story coming out of NC is the possibility, however remote, that there may have to be a revote due to vote count irregularities in many places across the state. In a situation that rivals Florida in 2000, but without all of the media attention, problems range from simply double counting of absentee votes, to 4,500 votes in one county simply ‘disappearing.’ Supposidly a disc from one machine was erased before the votes were actually downloaded to the main computer. Several races, including Commissioner of Agriculture, Superintendent of Public Instruction, and several local races will be affected. The biggest problem is those 4,500 votes that were ‘wiped’ out in Carteret County. A judge could order that only those people affected could revote (their names are known), a revote in the county, or a revote across the whole state.

A couple of things weren’t mentioned by southerndemnut. One is the fact that NC avoided having gay marriage on the ballot because of the hard work of the significant queer and progressive communities here. Senate Bills 1057 and 1606 were stopped with the help of Equality NC, a statewide lobbying and advocacy organization for the LGBT community. I expect that the wingnut sponsors will try again during the next session, but we’ll pick up the fight again.

The other matter is our able and competent re-elected governor, Mike Easley. Late in the game, he decided to come out in favor of a state anti-gay marriage amendment, so Equality NC withdrew its endorsement. He is going to get no end of grief from both sides on this. His feet will be held to the fire, I assure you.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding