Balance of Power Could Change in N.C. Legislature Tuesday
Posted October 28, 1998
RALEIGH — Tuesday, voters will head to the polls to decide more than 85 North Carolina House and Senate races.
The people you put in office will help change the balance of power in North Carolina politics, but how will that effect you?
This is a big year for state lawmakers. They are all up for re-election, and that means the majority in either house could change.
Currently, Democrats outnumber Republicans in the state Senate by ten members. Republicans outnumber Democrats in the state House by two members.
This is why the races are about a lot more than just getting one person elected.
Republican David Miner is running for his fourth term in House District 62.
"I've been ranked as one of the top leaders in the house. I'm ranked by my colleagues," said Miner.
His opponent is Democrat Linda Gunter, a high school teacher and former state senator.
"I'm there to represent all the people, not the special interests," Gunter said.
Races like this one could change the balance of power in the state House.
"If the democrats are able to win back the majority in the house, you'll have a governor whose democratic, a senate whose democratic, if we assume they hold on there, and a house who is democratic. We'll have unified government," saidNCSUpolitical scientist Andy Taylor.
Twenty-seven seats are up for grabs in the Senate and 57 in the House. The campaigns have become expensive. Miner has outspent Gunter by almost ten to one.
"We need to retake the state house and turn that in a different direction, and Governor Hunt is supporting me," said Gunter.
"This is a good year for the Republicans. The voters are really fed up with the scandals in Washington. What I've seen is that people are really going to turn out to vote," explained Miner.
But experts are not so sure.
"A lot of people don't know who the candidates are. This year, we're going to have a pretty low turnout. There's not a presidential race at the top of the ticket, and there's no gubernatorial race," said Taylor.
Politicians in Washington are also watching North Carolina's state legislature races closely. North Carolina is one of 36 states where a shift of just a few seats could change the balance of power from one party to the other.