I’ve known Rachel Hunt since we were in college together back in the 1980s. For years, when I would run into her father, former Governor Jim Hunt, I’d ask, “When is Rachel going to run for something?” He would always say something like, “Be patient. She’s got a family to raise.” Then he would tell me some anecdote about Rachel or his grandkids.
When Rachel’s kids were finally grown, sure enough, she ran for state house and won. She moved to the senate last cycle and has proven herself to be an effective and respected legislator. Now, she’s running for lieutenant governor, the post that launched her father’s career.
She’s out this morning with a video that tells the truth on the GOP. As she says, the big problem in not the GOP’s 12-week abortion ban. It’s next year’s total abortion ban. And if you don’t believe that, you haven’t been paying attention. Rachel understands that the GOP has been moving the goal posts ever since they came to power in 2011.
When Republicans were out of power and Democrats told voters that the GOP would cut funding to the university system, conservatives accused Democrats of using scare tactics. When they won control of both the legislative and executive branches of state government, slicing the university budget to pay for tax cuts to the wealthy was one of their first moves.
When Republicans passed their voucher scheme and called it “Opportunity scholarships,” they claimed that they were just trying to level the playing field so poor kids had the same chance as wealthy kids to go to private schools. They denied they would take money from public schools to give tax breaks to wealthy families. This year, they passed a bill that gives money to families that can already afford private school while reducing money to public schools.
When Republicans passed their massive voter suppression bill in 2013, they told us it was about protecting election integrity. When they went to court, evidence showed that the bill was designed to restrict access to the polls for people who would likely vote Democratic, especially African Americans and young people. They’re own people told us what they were trying to do, even if leaders keep lying about their motivations.
So when Republicans tell us that the 12-week abortion ban is just a reasonable restriction, there’s no reason to believe them. Listen to what their leaders say at rallies, not what they’re saying to reporters. The GOP’s evangelical base wants a total ban and people like current Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson are promising it to them. If they control the legislature and the Governor’s Mansion, you can bet there will be a total ban on abortion in North Carolina.
So believe Rachel Hunt. She’s been watching the GOP her whole life. She was board chair of Lillian’s List, the political organization that help’s elect pro-choice women to the legislature. She’s been an advocate for public schools and families in need. She’s currently in the legislature with a front row seat to the damage they are doing. And she understands the stakes in 2024.
Rachel is upbeat, down-to-earth, and whip smart. She’s also tough as nails despite her pleasant demeanor. She brings a unique historical perspective and an innate political understanding of the state few people hold because she’s lived it. Not only is she the daughter of one of the twentieth century’s most influential governors, she grew up in rural North Carolina and built her career in Charlotte, watching the demographic shifts and growth in our state.
Rachel knows where we’ve been. She’s seen the promise. She’s watched the defeats. And she knows where we need to go and what we need to do. Keep telling the truth on them, Rachel.