The 35th State House District is located in the northeastern suburbs of Wake County. It includes the towns of Wake Forest, Zebulon, Rolesville, and Knightdale. The current representative is Chris Malone, who coasted to reelection in 2014, winning by over 12 points and carrying every precinct on Election Day.

This time, things might be different. Not only does Malone have an active opponent who is raising money and receiving support from the Democratic caucus, he has to contend with an unpopular figure at the top of the ballot: Donald Trump.

On the campaign trail, Malone is emphasizing education and the economy, which is booming in the district. Malone attributes this to the business-friendly actions of the General Assembly. On education, he points to continued raises for teachers without cutting teacher’s assistants and growing support for alternative educational options. On district-specific issues, he touts $144,000 appropriated for downtown Wake Forest and $250,000 steered to Wendell to rebuild an old bridge, as well as a mill manufacturing bill that will help manufacturers in the district. Malone also appropriated about half of the money the state got from the sale of the Dorothea Dix property to build over 150 new mental health crisis beds around the state.

Like almost every other Democrat running for office in North Carolina this year, Malone’s Democratic opponent, Terence Everitt, charges that Malone and the Republican-led legislature has shortchanged public education. A mailer from his campaign points to Malone as part of the problem. Everitt, a trial lawyer, calls himself “a parent, not a politician.”

Democrats are targeting Wake County heavily this year, and Malone is among several legislators in the county they hope to dislodge. They might be disappointed in Malone’s case, however. Not only is his district the most Republican of the targeted seats, his campaign has an excellent ground game that could make the difference in this suburban district. Malone also dismisses Democratic hopes for a big night in Wake County this November, pointing out that not all of Wake County is solidly blue, and some areas – like his district – are red.

In the end, the election will be more about what happens nationally. Trump is overwhelmingly unpopular in suburban districts, and this could lead to Malone’s downfall. Another issue that could prove problematic: HB 2, which Malone voted for. However, Malone says that voters he meets mostly want to hear about education and job creation. And on those issues, they’re generally supportive of what the Republican legislature has done.

Regardless, this will be a race to watch on Election Night. If Malone falls, that will mean trouble for other Republican legislators in the area like Gary Pendleton, Marilyn Avila, and Nelson Dollar. Right now, I project that Democrats will fall just short here, thanks to the lean of the district.

Counties in district: Wake (part)

District Rating: Leans Republican

2014 Result
56.3% Malone (R)
43.7% Mountcastle (D)

Voter Registration
36.4% Republican
35.0% Democrat
28.3% Unaffiliated

74.5% White
17.1% Black
8.4% Other

Results in Other Elections
2012 President
54.5% Romney
44.4% Obama

2012 Governor
59.2% McCrory
38.4% Dalton

2010 Senate
59.0% Burr
38.7% Marshall

2008 Senate
49.5% Dole
47.6% Hagan


  1. Pete Lonergan

    Well Malone won in a rough campaign season didn’t he? The Democrat party and their allies from all over the country sent money to beat him. They carpet bombed the district with 40 mailers. 2 TV Ads, and a ground game. Planned Parenthood and an anti HB2 group campaigned in his district as well. Malone pummeled Everitt by 6.28 percentage points in a big Democrat year in Wake County. Considering he never led in anyone’s polls and was way down at one point there is a question to ask. Although they both closed the gap, Avila and Pendleton lost. Pendleton was 2 points under his Partisan Voting Index rating and Avila 3. Malone performed 2 plus points better than his PVI in a very challenging year. Why?

  2. Phyllis Bannard

    Check out this article about Chris Malone not answering a reporter about HB2. Chris Malone voted for the horrible HB2 and continues to defend the horrible bill that has cost our state SO MUCH money. Chris Malone is an embarassment to our state and needs to be voted OUT of office in November. Vote Terence Everitt for some positive change. Here is the article:

  3. Phyllis Bannard

    Chris Malone admitted to committing adultery and he is the Chairman of Appropriations, Health and Human Services. Why is a man whom committed adultery the Chairman of Appropriations, Health and Human Services? He was also Chairman of Utilities but previously got a campaign donation from Duke Energy. This seems like a conflict of interest. Terence Everitt needs to be elected because he will make positive change.

  4. Jay Ligon

    Enjoyed your reply Phyllis Bannard. This November may be different. The state is clearly headed in the wrong direction. The news is not good. Day after day, there are announcements which affect all North Carolinians. The extremists on the right in Raleigh and the embarrassment of the Trump campaign should give many caring people pause. The stigma of being associated with hooded racists might cause parents and fiscal conservatives to distance themselves from what has become a Republican party that is no longer representative of decent people. The State’s lost revenues and terrible publicity can only be stopped by a change. The Republicans dig in deeper whenever they are called on their shameful bigotry. They don’t represent North Carolina anymore.

  5. Phyllis Bannard

    Chris Malone voted for HB2, which has cost our state hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars. The NCAA has pulled championship events from NC over HB2. Many businesses refuse to come to our state over HB2, which Malone voted for. Malone is a huge supporter of McCrory. HB2 is a discriminatory bill. My thoughts are the people of HD-35 are ready for a change and are ready for Terence Everitt to represent them in the House of Representatives. It stated in this article that Terence Everitt calls himself a “parent, not a politician.” I think that is an important point, because Chris Malone is a politician whom voted for HB2, which has cost our state hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars. Chris Malone is a supporter of McCrory. I think in the upcoming election that HD-35 is looking for a positive change and I think many people will vote for Terence Everitt.

  6. TY Thompson

    Let’s get real about this district. In the primaries, it was Cruz country, not Trump, but Presidential politics won’t impact this district. Malone’s going nowhere. I’m not basing it on his results last time out. This corner of Wake keeps George Holding on top combined with Nash and Johnston Counties. It isn’t going blue and that is that. There are easier targets out there for the Dems to pick off, both inside and outside of Wake. Best to spend the $$ where it has a shot.

  7. Jay Ligon

    Republicans are running on issues they claim to support but, in fact, they do not. Every Republican is running on education making false claims of support for educational priorities. Educators and education advocates are beyond upset at GOP budget cuts, complaining of low teacher pay, more children per classroom, stingy per-pupil spending and the furloughing of teachers’ assistants.

    While Republicans acknowledge the importance of education as a priority, they have balanced the state budget with deep cuts in education spending.

    In order to remain in office, Republicans now claim credit, in their reelection advertising , for expanding education. The GOP is much more willing to fully fund their lies about education than they are to actually fund education priorities in the state.

    • Phyllis Bannard

      Jay Ligon, you made very good points in your post. Many teachers need to work 2 or 3 jobs to make ends. I believe Terence Everitt has a very good chance to win the election in November and I believe he can help make some very needed positive changes.

    • Ebrun

      That’s absolutely false. Deep cuts in the state education budget were made when the Democrats were in control between 2008 and 2011. Since taking over in 2011, Republicans have INCREASED state spending for public K-12 education by $1.11 billion.

      • Phyllis Bannard

        Ebrun, your facts are false. Many teachers need to work 2 or 3 jobs to make ends meet. Many teachers move out of state because the pay is so low. HB2, which was vote for by Chris Malone, has cost our state so much money. HB2 needs to be repealed. Chris Malone is a huge supporter of McCrory. Ebrun, have you heard that the ACC will not be having its championship games in NC because of HB2. HB2, which Chris Malone voted for and supports, has cost our state huge amounts of money. Chris Malone needs to be voted out of office. Terence Everitt will make positive change. The people of NC are sick and tired of hearing lies and sick and tired of being a national embarassment because of the discriminatory bill HB2, which Chris Malone voted for and supports. The people of NC in HD-35 would have positive change from Terence Everitt.

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