Going to the polls? A brief recap of all the editorial board’s recommendations

The Observer editorial board

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at a rally earlier this month in Miami.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at a rally earlier this month in Miami. AFP/Getty Images

The Observer editorial board has talked to candidates and others this election season to learn about the people who seek your vote Tuesday.

Here’s a recap of our recommendations for contested primary races. The full reasoning behind each recommendation can be found at charlotteobserver.com.


Democrat Hillary Clinton has issues with transparency, but we agree with her on many of the country’s pressing challenges, such as improving Obamacare and tackling income inequality.

John Kasich’s pragmatic conservatism echoes the GOP in its better days. In this extraordinary election, however, we understand if you want to vote for any candidate you believe can best keep Donald Trump from the nomination.

U.S. Senate

Republican incumbent Richard Burr has amassed a reliably conservative voting record and has more clout than his Republican opponents could hope for.

In the Democratic primary, Deborah Ross has a record of working across the aisle in the N.C. House and will fight for traditional party platform items.


In the Democratic primary, Attorney General Roy Cooper has a crisp intellect, progressive views and can mount a strong campaign in November.

Incumbent Pat McCrory has had ups and (mostly) downs in his first term, but he is the most qualified of the Republican primary candidates.

N.C. Council of State

Democrat Linda Coleman’s experience in state government gives her a slight edge over Holly Jones for lieutenant governor.

In the Democratic primary for attorney general, Sen. Josh Stein is the superior choice, thanks in part to his background running the attorney general’s consumer protection division. In the Republican primary, Forsyth County District Attorney Jim O’Neill is a sharp, reform-minded candidate with two decades of prosecutorial experience.

Incumbent Democrat June Atkinson is a solid superintendent of public instruction. In the Republican primary, Forsyth County school board member Mark Johnson has the best grasp of issues facing classrooms.

For treasurer, Democrat Ron Elmer has significantly more financial experience than his primary opponent, plus a legitimate plan to save hundreds of millions.

In the Republican primary for secretary of state, funeral home owner A.J. Daoud has deeper party ties and a stronger grasp of the challenges facing the office.

Republican incumbent Steve Troxler has shown a steady hand as agriculture commissioner.

In the Democratic primary for labor commissioner, Raleigh mayor Charles Meeker has significantly stronger experience and credentials.

In the GOP primary for insurance commissioner, former Onslow County commissioner Joe McLaughlin is a financial advisor whose work has given him a good view of the impact of our state’s insurance systems have on people.

N.C. House

In House District 92, Republican incumbent Charles Jeter remains a smart, energetic lawmaker who provides a moderate voice within the GOP leadership.

For House District 100, former Charlotte City Council member Billy Maddalon articulates progressive policies more eloquently and wisely promises a measured, bridge-building approach.

In House 101, Democrat Beverly Earle is a seasoned lawmaker who knows how to help constituents.

In House 103, Democrat Rochelle Rivas boasts a background that includes creating and building a successful business and serving on key nonprofit boards.

In House 105, Tim Morgan is a former CMS school board member and less-strident conservative who has deep experience with education issues.

For House 107, Democratic incumbent Kelly Alexander has adequately represented his district.

N.C. Senate

In District 38, Joel Ford has been a moderate, independent Democrat who’s been willing to break with his party.

In District 40, Democrat Nasif Majeed has earned a chance to represent east Charlotte in Raleigh after showing leadership on community issues at home.

Mecklenburg Board of Commissioners

For the three at-large seats, we recommend incumbents Trevor Fuller, Pat Cotham and Ella Scarborough.

Fuller, who chairs the board, has been a consistent voice pushing the county to address economic mobility. Cotham brings value in questioning how things are done in county government. Scarborough has been a voice in favor of education, the poor and the homeless.

We make no endorsement for the Democratic primary in District 2.

In District 6, Republican Joel Levy is smart, principled and brings the same conservative credentials and financial acumen as incumbent Bill James, but without the arsonist impulse.

Mecklenburg District Court

We recommend veteran judge Christy Mann and Legal Aid attorney Faith Fickling for seats on the District 26 bench.

Mann, a senior family court judge, has performed thoughtfully on the District 26 bench. Fickling has risen from childhood poverty to a career defending the poor. Both earn high ratings in an N.C. Bar Association survey of their peers.

Register of Deeds

Incumbent Democrat David Granberry has continued to make improvements in the office.


The $2 billion bond is a wise investment.