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Judge Cheri Beasley

North Carolina

Race Ratings:
Cook Political Report - Toss Up
Sabato Crystal Ball - Toss Up

to the FM Senate Slate
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EXPERIENCE

​Cheri Beasley was raised by her mother, who taught her that no door should be closed to her and that with hard work and faith, she could accomplish whatever she dreamed. Prior to serving on the North Carolina Supreme Court, Beasley was a judge on the North Carolina Court of Appeals from 2008 to 2012 and a judge for the North Carolina 12th Judicial District from 1999 to 2008. She was the assistant public defender for the 12th Judicial District from 1994 to 1999. She received her J.D. from the University of Tennessee College of Law.

She went on to be a judge for 22 years, winning two statewide elections in North Carolina. She even managed to win that second campaign in 2014, a notoriously difficult year for Democrats. In 2019, Cheri was appointed Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, making her the first African American woman to ever hold that position. Cheri’s leadership of the courts was celebrated with one newspaper editorial board applauding her “deep commitment to serving the public and upholding justice.”

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ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Too often, our criminal justice system treats people differently based on their race and economic status. As the first African American Female Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Cheri worked to change that. She led the efforts to expand School Justice Partnerships to keep students in the classroom instead of the courtroom, and to examine bail policies in order to bring change to a system that all too frequently punishes people disparately. Cheri is committed to speaking out against injustice. The first Chief Justice in the nation to speak out after the death of George Floyd in June of 2020, Cheri recognizes the importance of highlighting disparities and inequities within the criminal justice system. She knows that equity also means achieving it across the board, from health care and education to voting rights. As Chief Justice, Cheri recognized the essential role that local faith leaders can play in addressing legal needs and launched the North Carolina Faith and Justice Alliance, a program of the Equal Access to Justice Commission. Chief Justice Beasley charged the group with building a coalition of faith-based groups and legal practitioners to help meet the growing need for legal assistance for North Carolinians who lack the resources to access good legal services

 

SELECTED ENDORSEMENTS

Emily’s List

Congressional Black Caucus PAC

Democracy for America PAC

Higher Heights of America PAC

North Carolina State AFL-CIO

Center for Biological Diversity Action Fund

More than 200 endorsements from around the state including:

Rep. Alma Adams

Rep. GK Butterfield

Rep. David Price

Rep. Deborah Ross

 

NORTH CAROLINA POLITICS

Incumbent Sen. Richard Burr (R) is not seeking re-election, making this an open seat race. In 2020, incumbent Sen. Thom Tillis defeated Cal Cunningham (D) by 1.8 percentage points. In 2016, Burr won re-election by 5.7 percentage points.

The two most recent presidential elections in North Carolina were both decided by less than 4 percentage points. Incumbent President Donald Trump (R) defeated Joe Biden (D) by 1.3 percentage points in the 2020 presidential election. Trump defeated Hillary Clinton (D) in the 2016 presidential election by 3.6 percentage points.

In December, the last viable primary opponent withdrew and endorsed Beasley. While the primary has been delayed until May 2022, Beasley is considered the presumptive nominee.

The Republican primary race remains wide open. Former Governor Pat McCrory, US Rep Ted Budd and former Rep Mark Walker are running. Rep. Budd is endorsed by the former President. This is expected to be an extremely expensive and hard-fought race.