2020 Election

Helen Chickering

Madison Cawthorn's overwhelming win Tuesday in the runoff election for the Republican looks like an upset, as the 24-year-old finished second to Lynda Bennett in the March 3rd primary.  His win Tuesday by a 2-to-1 margin wasn't as unexpected as it looks, though the vote totals were.

Cory Vaillancourt

Madison Cawthorn, who would be the youngest member of Congress should he be elected this fall, trounced fellow Republican Lynda Bennett in Tuesday's runoff election to win the GOP nomination for North Carolina's 11th Congressional district.  He'll face Democrat Moe Davis in the November general election.

In less than a month, voters in Western North Carolina decide the Republican nomination in the 11th Congressional District.  Outside of whether Lynda Bennett or Madison Cawthorn wins on June 23rd, how voters cast their ballots during a pandemic will be a major takeaway from the race - and a potential foreshadow of how prevalent mail-in voting will be for the November general election.

Republican congressional-candidate Lynda Bennett, who hopes to win the District 11 seat recently vacated by her political patron Mark Meadows, is calling for an immediate end to North Carolina’s stay-home order, calling pandemic restrictions an infringement “on our rights and freedom.”

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Most of Western North Carolina is going through the COVID-19 pandemic without a member of Congress following the resignation of Mark Meadows on March 30th to become President Donald Trump's chief of staff.  That means the 11th Congressional District seat for North Carolina is vacant - and will remain that way for most if not all of the rest of 2020.

Angela Hsieh / NPR

Only two candidates will be onstage for Sunday's Democratic primary debate: former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. The CNN-Univision debate was relocated from Arizona to Washington, D.C., and will not have an in-person audience due to coronavirus concerns.

Caroline Amenabar / NPR

Fourteen states (including North Carolina) and one U.S. territory hold presidential primaries Tuesday.  

Caroline Amenabar / NPR

The Democratic presidential primary candidates are competing in South Carolina on Saturday, hoping to win over voters in the fourth contest of 2020. 

Angela Hsieh / NPR

Democratic presidential hopefuls are on stage in South Carolina ahead of that state’s primary. The candidates’ battle follows Sen. Bernie Sanders’ wins in the New Hampshire primary and the Nevada caucuses. 

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Early voting concludes February 29th ahead of the March 3rd primary election in North Carolina.  Voters will decide nominees for a large number of races in the fall.  In Western North Carolina, choosing a new member of Congress headlines the list of elections on the ballot.  The 11th Congressional District has new boundaries this year, ensuring all of the westernmost portion of the state is in the same district.  It also has no incumbent.

Angela Hsieh / NPR

Democratic presidential candidates are debating Wednesday night, this time in Las Vegas ahead of Saturday's caucuses in Nevada. 

Early voting is underway in North Carolina for the March 3rd primary.  Voters in Western North Carolina will have plenty of candidates from the major parties to choose from for the 11th Congressional District seat – 16 of them to be exact, 11 Republicans and 5 Democrats.  

BPR Early Voting Guide For Western North Carolina

Feb 12, 2020

Early voting in North Carolina starts on February 13th and runs until Feburary 29th.  Same day voter registration is available each day of early voting.  Photo ID is not required to vote during the primary election.  The deadline to register to vote in order to cast a ballot on primary day March 3rd has already passed, so those who have yet to register will only be able to vote during the early voting period.

Cory Vaillancourt

Another county in Western North Carolina has joined the ‘Second Amendment sanctuary’ movement.  Henderson County commissioners on Tuesday approved a resolution supporting gun rights.  Commissioners in Buncombe County also heard from supporters of a resolution, though no action was taken. 

Another county where this has been brought up is Haywood. 

Ahead of North Carolina's March 3rd primary election, Blue Ridge Public Radio will hold candidate forums for three different races.  The forums will be broadcast live on the station's Facebook page.

Caroline Amenabar / NPR

The Iowa caucuses on Monday are the first contest in the 2020 presidential race. Follow NPR's liveblog for news and scenes from the field as well as live results below.  

Angela Hsieh / NPR

Six Democratic presidential candidates are debating in Iowa Tuesday night, less than three weeks from the caucuses there. NPR reporters are providing background and analysis of the candidates' remarks in real-time.  The debate starts at 9 p.m., and the live analysis starts shortly beforehand.  Follow along below.

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A federal judge plans to block the latest attempt by North Carolina Republicans at the General Assembly to require a photo identification to vote.

Candidate filing in North Carolina for the 2020 primary election ended on December 20th.  The primary will be held on March 3rd, 2020.  The deadline to register to vote on that day is February 7th, 2020.  There is no same day registration on primary day.  There is same day registration during the early voting period before the primary.  Early voting for the 2020 primary election runs from February 13th to 29th.  The deadline to request an absentee ballot by mail for the primary election is February 25th, 2020.

Western North Carolina Congressman Mark Meadows abrupt retirement announcement Thursday opened the floodgates for his fellow Republicans to announce their candidacies for the seat in the final hours before Friday afternoon's filing deadline.

Congressman Mark Meadows Facebook page

(1:00 p.m. Thursday) - Haywood County businesswoman Lynda Bennett announced she'll seek the Republican nomination in North Carolina's 11th Congressional district, just hours after incumbent GOP Congressman Mark Meadows announced he would not seek re-election next year and instead retire.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina judges ordered a new U.S. House district map that Republican state legislators drew last month be used in the 2020 elections, deciding on Monday there wasn’t the time to scrutinize the boundaries for extreme partisan bias.

The three-judge panel unanimously decided it was too late in the election cycle to receive evidence and testimony that would be necessary to consider detailed redistricting arguments from the lawmakers and from Democratic and independent voters who challenged the latest congressional maps.

North Carolina will be more than just a top battleground state for next year’s presidential election.  Because almost every state and federal office is on the ballot, North Carolina will be a battleground for much, much more.  One race in particular will get a lot of attention not just within the state but also the whole country – North Carolina’s U.S. Senate election.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina judges are officially delaying candidate filing for the state’s congressional districts while they sort out whether a replacement map approved by Republican legislators should be used for next year’s elections.

The three-judge panel’s order dated Wednesday means election officials can’t accept congressional candidate paperwork when the filing period begins for other 2020 races on Dec. 2.

Angela Hsieh / NPR

Ten candidates are taking the stage Wednesday Night for the November Democratic Debate in Atlanta, amid public hearings in the impeachment inquiry into President Trump. NPR reporters will be providing fact checks and analysis throughout the debate starting around 9 p.m. Follow along below.

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Rep. Queen Announces Reelection Bid

Nov 12, 2019
Cory Vaillancourt

Filing for the 2020 legislative elections doesn’t begin until next month, but that hasn’t stopped many Western North Carolina candidates from making their intentions known early.

Electoral maps for next year's General Assembly elections have been finalized, and five districts in Western North Carolina (three House, two Senate) will see significant changes.  A state court earlier this year ruled Republicans illegally gerrymandered the districts used in the last election for their own partisan advantage, forcing new ones to be drawn in a non-partisan manner for the 2020 election.  

Gerry Broome/AP Photo

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — When the U.S. Supreme Court this year declared federal judges had no business deciding cases about political gerrymandering, it also said state courts had every right to address the issue — and have they ever in North Carolina.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Asheville city council will decide Tuesday whether to defy a state bill that forces the city to use districts for future city council elections. 

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