Primary elections are often punctuated with little interest and low turnout. But in Orange County, NC, where many more Democrats are registered than Republicans, the winner of the May primary almost always wins the general election in November.
Bottom line: Primaries matter in Orange County.
Since Orange County leadership is often determined in the May primary, the Chamber is, once again, ramping up our primary engagement. We will make sure Chamber members know what offices are up for grabs and how candidates align with positions that matter to the business community. Here’s is the primary line-up we are tracking:Orange County:
- Commissioner At Large (1 seat; 3 candidates; No Incumbent)
- Commissioner Dist. 1 (1 seat; 1 candidate; Bedford)
- Commissioner Dist. 2 (1 seat; 2 candidates; Incumbent McKee)
- Sheriff (1 seat; 2 candidates; Incumbent Blackwood)
- Board of Education (4 seats; 7 candidates; Incumbent Stephens)
- Register of Deeds (1 seat; 1 candidate; Incumbent Chilton)
- Clerk of Superior Court (1 seat; 2 candidates; Incumbent Stanford)
- NC Senate – District 23 (1 seat; 2 candidates; Incumbent is Senator Foushee)
- NC House - District 50 (1 seat; 2 candidates; Incumbent is Rep. Meyer)
- NC House - District 56 (1 seat; 3 candidates; Incumbent is Rep. Insko)
- Congressional District 4 (1 seat; 7 candidates; Incumbent is Rep Price)
- Congressional District 6 (1 seat; 4 candidates; Incumbent is Rep Walker)
Congratulations to recently-elected town officials:
(Top left to right: Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger; Chapel Hill Town Council Members: Allen
Buansi, Hongbin Gu, Rachel Schaevitz, and Karen Stegman; Bottom left to right: Carrboro Mayor
Lydia Lavelle; Carrboro Board of Aldermen: Barbara Foushee, Jacquelyn Gist, Randee Haven O'Donnell,
and Sammy Slade)
Get to know the newly-elected town officials in 2017:
- Watch 90-second video responses and consider their ideas for making our community a great place to start and grow a business.
- Review their survey responses to see if/how they committed to address issues that matter to your business.
2017 Election Activation: For better or worse, elections have consequences. To ensure our members are connected, informed, and engaged during the election cycle and beyond, we offered the following:
- (un)forum: New in 2017, instead of a traditional candidate forum that requires you to be in a certain place at a certain time, we launched an online forum using a new digital platform that allows us to engage candidates in dynamic conversations. The (un)forum is an e-civic initiative of the Chamber, the Orange-Chatham Group of the Sierra Club, and the Orange County Affordable Housing Coalition.
- Survey: Each election cycle, the Chamber designs and administers a candidate survey to ensure our members are well-informed on candidate positions on critical issues. Review the Chapel Hill and Carrboro candidate responses.
- Early voting: Reminder, early voting began October 19th. Find your polling location through the NC State Board of Elections one-stop site and review voting information from the Orange County Board of Elections.
- Cocktails with Candidates: On Oct 17th, the Chapel Hill Young Professionals (CHYP) hosted a happy hour at The Franklin Hotel to mingle with peers and local candidates.
- Coffee with the Candidates: In August, the Chamber hosted candidates for tabletop coffee conversations with our membership.
In the 2016 election cycle, the Chamber:
- Endorsed the Connect NC Bond Referendum: At its December 2015 board meeting, the Chamber’s Board of Directors endorsed the $2 billion Connect NC bond referendum. The Chamber also hosted UNC and UNC Health Care staff to discuss the importance of the bond referendum to UNC-Chapel Hill. Learn more info at carolinabond.unc.edu and pledge to “vote yes to invest” at voteyestoinvest.com.
- Hosted Coffee with the Candidates: At the February meeting of the Economic Development & Public Policy (EDPP) Committee, the Chamber hosted both candidates for the North Carolina General Assembly and the Orange County Board of Commissioners, in addition to nonpartisan judicial candidates. See a full list of candidates who have filed for office in Orange County here.
- Hosted Cocktails with the Candidates: At the February meeting of the Chapel Hill Young Professionals (CHYP), the Chamber hosted candidates for the Orange County Board of Commissioners and nonpartisan judicial candidates. See photos from Cocktails with Candidates at the Chamber’s Flickr account.
- Endorsed both bond referendums on Orange County ballots, one bond for $120 million for capital needs Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools and Orange County Schools and one bond for $5 million for affordable housing.
- Also, the Regional Transportation Alliance (RTA), of which our chamber is a founding member, endorsed the Wake Transit Referendum. All three counties – Orange, Durham, and Wake – have approved a half-cent sales tax to support transit. Read more about RTA’s focus on transit.
Questions? Contact Katie Loovis at 919.696.0781 or firstname.lastname@example.org