Wesley Meredith and Women (Senate 19)

The race for the 19th Senate District in North Carolina has taken its long predicted turn for the worse.  Anyone who’s had the privilege of being in incumbent Wesley Meredith’s media market in the past four elections saw it coming.

District 19 has been un-gerrymandered by the federal courts and Democratic challenger Kirk deViere has a legitimate shot at beating the Republican party whip.  Money is pouring into this race, and Meredith is using the hundreds of thousands of dollars at his disposal to shore up the dam that has kept him in office for nearly a decade.

Before we go any further, let’s take a look back at where it all started, eight years ago.  Meredith was elected in 2010 in a brutal campaign that included a TV ad insinuating that Democrat Margaret Dixon was a prostitute.  The ad was so brutal that it made national news:

It’s highly unlikely Meredith wants the women of Cumberland County to remember this ad in 2018.  Times have changed.  This go round, Meredith’s advertisements are a bit more “shiny.”  He has attempted to paint Kirk deViere as a pretty boy, with the tag line “Looking Good” spoken by a female voice:

The latest mailer barely fits in your mailbox and has a smattering of pink glitter:


The crab from Moana endorses this ad:

Image result for tamatoa shiny gif

In all seriousness, we’ve yet to receive a positive ad from Mr. Meredith this year.  He’s a bit obsessed with Mr. deViere it seems, but trends like this one from political scientist Michael Bitzer justify Meredith’s concerns:

Still, all of the glitter has me confused.  It’s not like Meredith doesn’t have a record to run on.  His party has been in charge of Raleigh the past eight years, and he’s the majority whip.  Voters either like the direction the state is headed, or they don’t.  But it’s clear from theses ads that Meredith isn’t going to bother.  It’s too easy to attack.  Why go through the trouble of defending an eight-year record in Raleigh if you can make fun of how someone dresses?

Perhaps this is a sign of the times: one of Donald Trump’s greatest political tools is the ability to project his own vulnerabilities onto others.  If you have a weakness, point it out in your opponent as loud as you can to take the attention off of yourself.  This tactic is often effective.  With that said, Meredith has a pile of unanswered questions about taxpayers paying his bills.  Like most men in power, he won’t ever have to answer them.


I wonder what the women of District 19 think about all of this.   There’s only an election at stake.

Cumberland Election Preview – Women in 2018

We’re a month out.  The effects of Hurricane Florence are finally wearing off, the Kavanaugh fight is over, and people are beginning to pay attention to the midterm election.  Once sparse yard signs are clogging intersections.  The TV ads have started.  It’s time to do some Cumberland County prognosticating.


It’s well known that this election will be about Trump.  Most midterms are a referendum on the sitting president.  I’ve argued that his influence will trickle all the way down to to local races.   As it stands today, more than twice as many women disapprove of Trump than approve of him.  Men on the other hand seem to be sticking by him.  We’re left with a gender divide that may be the largest in modern American politics.

Women are fired up and for good reason.  On cue, more women are running for office than ever before.   But I think that this gender divide runs deeper than party.  Women want women in power.  They’re tired of the old, predominantly male class of folks running everything As a result, I’m predicting cross-over votes by women, for women in this election.   This will be a dangerous election for any incumbent male with a female challenger.  Will any men be left standing?  Of course, but many won’t.

Two local races that might test this theory are the Tal Baggett – Caitlin Young Evans race for District Court Judge and the Billy Richardson – Linda Devore race for NC House (44).  If Evans can win over Democratic and Republican women in her race, she has a good shot to unseat a long-sitting judge.  If Devore can poach Democratic women voters, she could pull an upset in a Democratic leaning district.  Expect both incumbent men to hit on kitchen table issues to woo women voters.  This will come in the form of ads regarding DWI’s/Public Safety/Domestic Violence for Baggett and Education/Teacher Pay/Water Quality for Richardson.

If you need some graphic proof of my theory, look at Kirk Deviere’s current Facebook logo:


It’s not hard to guess the target audience.  Deviere knows the key to taking down Wesley Meredith in 2018 is women.  Meredith knows this too and is undercutting Deviere by running negative ads featuring a female voice that mocks Deviere’s wardrobe.

Lady Justice will determine how the scales tip this election.   I think it’s time.



Note:  Billy Richardson (NC House 44) is my father.  I do my best to avoid commenting on his races, but in this case it was unavoidable.  


Blue Wave or a Red Giant??

I’ve been orbiting the fringes of political campaigns since I was a little guy.  Call me Pluto:  not big enough to be called a planet, but still in the solar system.   From the outskirts, I can report that the political universe looks a bit shaky at the moment.

At the state level, this election should be a referendum on the Republican legislature and its stranglehold of the power of state government.  We have multiple constitutional amendments on the ballot.  The Governors of North Carolina have even waded into the battle.  Legislative leaders attacked the former governors in response to their response.

E-Branch vs. L-Branch with J-Branch on the line:




This is not normal.


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Whereas, we don’t like where this is going…

The legislature eliminated primaries in judicial races this year.  As a result, we have a three-way race for one seat on the North Carolina Supreme Court.  There are two Republicans and one Democrat in the race.  One of the Republicans hasn’t been a Republican very long.

Republican leaders are upset at the way their best-laid plan to take back the Supreme Court is playing out.  They have a fix in mind, filed today.  They will eliminate one man’s right to run as a Republican to make it easier for the other Republican to win:


Full PDF of the bill

Please vote in November.