Well, it looks like Lillian’s List is doing its job. Democratic women seem to be lining up to take on incumbent Republican legislators in districts that are in play. And between the demographic make-up of the electorate and the GOP’s tone during the legislative session, the incumbents should be nervous.
Just this week, Cary Town Councilwoman Gale Adcock announced she will challenge incumbent Republican Rep. Tom Murry and Kim Hanchette, founder and executive director of Diabetes Management Solutions, jumped in the race against freshman Republican Rep. Jim Fulghum in another Wake County District. In addition, rumor has it that people are urging former District Attorney Nancy Lamb to run against Republican Rep. Bob Steinberg in Northeastern North Carolina.
Both of the Wake districts are highly competitive. Obama actually won Murry’s district and got 47% of the vote in Fulghum’s. Both districts reflect the new realities of politics in urban districts. Unaffiliated voters make up almost 30% of the registration in Fulghum’s district while Democrats and Republicans are almost evenly split. In Murry’s district, unaffiliated voters make up 39% of the registration, outstripping voters in either party. And in Steinberg’s district, Democrats hold a 14% advantage over Republicans and unaffiliated voters hold a 4 point margin over the GOP.
And in each of these districts, women make up a majority of the voters including holding an almost 8% advantage over men in Fulghum’s district.
None of the districts are easy for Democrats, but the tone of the GOP leadership toward women and their votes on issues like early childhood education, access to health care and their virtual assault on teachers, a profession dominated by women, give these women candidates powerful issues. In districts like these, the arrogance of the party of Old White Men may come back to haunt them.