© 2024 Blue Ridge Public Radio
Blue Ridge Mountains banner background
Your source for information and inspiration in Western North Carolina.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Former U.S. Senate candidate Erica Smith endorses Cheri Beasley in race

Erica Smith, a previous 2022 U.S. Senate candidate who switched to a congressional run, threw on Tuesday her support in the Senate Democratic primary to former Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley.

Smith, who revealed about 10 days ago she would instead seek to succeed retiring U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield next year, called Beasley the “only candidate who will finally win this seat and fight every day for the people of North Carolina.”

Beasley and state Sen. Jeff Jackson of Charlotte are leading candidates in the Democratic race. Smith is a former state senator who finished second in the 2020 Democratic U.S. Senate primary to Cal Cunningham.

Smith, who like Beasley is Black, praised Beasley for speaking out about systemic injustice following the murder of George Floyd last year, and for implementing paid parental leave for up to eight weeks for court employees.

Beasley has “always worked to move North Carolina in the direction of fairness and progress,” Smith said.

Smith lives in Northampton County, which is part of the 2nd Congressional District in which she is now running. Official candidate filing begins Monday for the March 8 primary.

Republican Senate primary hopefuls include U.S. Rep. Ted Budd, former Gov. Pat McCrory and ex-Rep. Mark Walker.

Copyright 2021 WFAE

The Associated Press is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, it's a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members.