Candidates Running in the May 17 Primary

We are grateful to the individual candidates or their campaigns who answered our invitation to participate in our first Meet the Candidates page.
As we receive additional statements, we will add them.

Greg Antoine
Candidate – US Senate

Cheri Beasley
Candidate – US Senate

My husband Curt and I raised our sons in a home steeped in faith and the belief in hard work. Those values led me to serve as a public defender, judge and Chief Justice of the NC Supreme Court where I worked to keep communities safe, uphold the law, and protect our rights. In the Senate, I will fight for NC – to lower costs, expand access to health care, good-paying jobs, and strengthen our schools.

Chrelle Booker
Candidate – US Senate

It’s not business as usual. Service is what I do with respect and love. I’m running for the U.S. Senate because of new restrictions on the voting majority and access to vote. The majority should be the top political policy influencers. I was inspired to create “”, a one-of-a-kind global platform where anyone can submit their political issues requiring accountability from elected officials at all levels. Make decisions, plans, then accomplish.

James L. Carr, Jr.
Candidate – US Senate

As your representative, I know that it will be my responsibility to ensure that we are addressing today’s issues while also preparing for tomorrow’s opportunities. To do so, we must create win-win opportunities. To create win-win opportunities we must focus on what empowers us to pursue the goals and aspirations we have for our own lives. By doing so we will win today, win tomorrow, by winning together!

Robert Colon
Candidate – US Senate

I know the role of a U.S. Senator to be that of a leader called to serve the people of the state, which, albeit in a different way, I already have realized: as an Eagle Scout; as an Assistant Scoutmaster; as a USO member; and as the recipient of the Governor’s Award for Volunteer Service, “the highest designation of appreciation for distinguished volunteer service to the People and the State of North Carolina” (official text of certificate).

Alyssia Rose-Katherine Hammond
Candidate – US Senate

Constance Lov Johnson
Candidate – US Senate

Mecklenburg, NC, Constance Love Johnson was instrumental in pioneering a political media that initiated the vast number of new Black candidates for elected office.  She has engaged in lawmaking, submitting bills to the state legislature that were put before committees and the assembly.  She provides public administration services and practices Administrative Law for businesses and on all levels of government.  A former State Superintendent of Education candidate, Johnson received a quarter of a million votes.

Tobias LaGrone
Candidate – US Senate

I am Dr. Tobias E. LaGrone, D. Min., a candidate for the United States Senate. As a pro-life, conservative democratic I believe that all life is sacred from the womb to the tomb, from the cradle to the grave. We need pro-family policies which empower families with affordable health care, excellent education, and nurturing growth environments where parents and children can thrive.

B. K. Maginnis
Candidate – US Senate

This US Senate Race is the most critical in our 233-year old democracy. As Republican state legislatures erode our right to self-govern through gerrymandering, voter suppression laws, and partisan election committees, passing Voting Rights legislation should be the number one priority for all Democrats this election cycle. I am the candidate with the right mix of experience, determination, and demeanor to win this race and get Voting Rights legislation passed to ensure our continued democracy.

Rett Newton
Candidate – US Senate

I am a retired U.S. Air Force Colonel, former two-term Mayor of Beaufort, and currently a Duke University PhD candidate studying marine science and conservation. After watching the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th, 2021, I became even more committed to preserving our democracy, protecting our environment, and helping those tens of thousands of North Carolinians trapped in an ever-expanding wealth gap. Many need affordable healthcare, affordable housing, reliable transportation, and/or food. With proven leadership, I am ready to be your U.S. Senator.

Marcus W. Williams
Candidate – US Senate

In my 43rd continuous year of the practice of law (MN/NC/PA), it would be an honor to serve ALL people, improve lives and try to inspire our youth to achieve their full potential.  My comprehensive combination of skills will enable N.C. to generate multitudinous economic development initiatives; accelerate the construction of safe, decent, affordable housing; assure access to health care; abate gun violence; improve interactions with law enforcement pursuant to a reformed operations plan; and provide effective constituent service.

Clay Aiken
Candidate – District 04

My career has given me a voice that I’ve used to bring attention to the needs of those who can’t always fight for themselves. A trained special educator, I founded the National Inclusion Project, a nationwide leader in advancing and enabling inclusion for children with disabilities. My passion led UNICEF to appoint me as their Goodwill Ambassador for education and child protection. I am a proven advocate and will bring that with me to Congress.

Nida Allam
Candidate – District 04

I am an immigrant, motivated to enter politics after three dear friends were killed in an Islamophobic hate crime in 2015. I served as Vice Chair for the NC Democratic Party for four years and then was elected to the Durham County Commission, becoming the first Muslim woman ever elected in the state of NC. I’m running for Congress because we need a progressive champion at the federal level to protect our democracy, fight for reproductive justice, and make sure everyone has access to healthcare.

Crystal Cavalier
Candidate – District 04

Born and raised in rural Alamance County to a working-class, single mother, I am a proud citizen of the Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation. My grandparents instilled in me the indigenous values of community and stewardship of the earth, values at the core of everything I have done as a climate activist, a social justice leader, a military spouse, and a political advocate. I have the ancestral legacy and the track record of being a voice for all the people.

Valerie P. Foushee
Candidate – District 04

As a school board member, a County Commissioner, a State Representative and Senator, I have worked to build new schools and senior centers, close the achievement gap, and address environmental racism. I have fought relentlessly for voting rights, women’s reproductive rights, clean energy, teacher pay raises, increased per pupil spending, and so much more. I now want to bring my experience, passion, faith, and my commitment to serving my fellow North Carolinians in Washington.

Matt Grooms
Candidate – District 04

Greetings esteemed peers and collaborators! It is my delight to write this. I am a married nurse, a graduate student, and a father deeply committed to ensuring that all have access to clean water, affordable healthcare, safe cities, a well-funded social security system, a first-rate education, and a strong social safety net when in need. I will support programs that benefit families from all income levels.

Stephen J. Valentine
Candidate – District 04

Valentine is a fresh candidate with bold energy and big ideas. He is running for Congress during a watershed moment in American history. We are in a moment characterized by challenges to our democratic institutions, and a once in a century pandemic that has exposed health and income inequities affecting people from all socioeconomic backgrounds. He believes there is a constituency starved for servant leadership that prioritizes people in order to solve these problems.

Ashley Ward
Candidate – District 04

I am a lifelong resident of NC04, a community college graduate, a PhD, and a climate-health and resilience expert with over a decade of experience in federal policy. My experience spans the arc of federal policy, from development to administration to implementation. This type of deep and practical experience is much needed in today’s Congress. If elected, I would be the first person ever elected to US Congress with climate expertise.

Richard L. Watkins
Candidate – District 04

Jamie DeMent Holcomb
Candidate – District 23

As a lifelong North Carolinian, Jamie has a deep commitment to our state and people who call it home. She’s seen firsthand how North Carolina has changed, often leaving too many of us behind. But Jamie also knows that among all the struggles, there is hope. As a sustainable Farmer in rural Hillsborough, Museum Director in Chapel Hill, and a new Mother; Jamie is running to fight for the issues that affect all of us.

Graig Meyer
Candidate – District 23

Representative Graig Meyer has served in the NC House of Representatives since 2013.  A trained social worker, the theme of Meyer’s service is to listen to diverse voices, unite around common interests, and lead forward to real change.  In the Senate, Meyer will continue to fight for affordable healthcare, equitable public schools, access to good jobs, and a clean and healthy environment.  He will relentlessly pursue reproductive freedom, free and fair elections, and LGBTQ rights.

Matt Hughes
Candidate – District 50

Without protecting our democracy nothing else matters. If we lose it, we won’t get it back. We have politicians in both Raleigh and Washington working to undermine democracy and the right to vote every day. I will support independent redistricting, remove barriers to voting, increase funding for elections, and fight against allowing the legislature to override the will of the voters. After January 6th our democracy proved to be resilient but still very fragile. We must work hard to protect and expand the franchise.

Renee Price
Candidate – District 50

Currently serving as Chair of the Orange BOCC, in my tenth year as commissioner, I now am Candidate for NC House, District 50.  I have spent a lifetime advocating for humanity and justice and will continue demanding and fighting for our freedoms, rights, and democracy. Among my priorities: Basic Education, Criminal Justice Reform, Voting Rights, Right to Representation, Healthcare, Housing, Climate Justice, Broadband, Economic Development. My tagline, “We the people,” indicates my respect for Community.

Allen Buansi
Candidate – District 56

I am a civil rights lawyer and former Chapel Hill Town Council member. I spearheaded progressive policies on the Council, such as the first-ever Town Criminal Justice Debt Fund. I grew up here, and I’m a husband and a proud, working parent of three. I’ll fight for well-funded public education, climate justice and affordable healthcare. I will not rest until we realize our vision of an affordable, accessible and inclusive North Carolina for everyone.

Jonah Garson
Candidate – District 56

I am a grassroots organizer and attorney running to build Democratic power statewide. As a Chapel Hill native and CHHS (’05)/UNC (’09) alumnus, I have deep ties to this community. My local organizing work includes serving as Orange Dems Chair and a CH-C NAACP Executive Committee Member. My commitment to the statehouse fight extends back a decade, having been field coordinator for legislative challengers and voter protection director in the NC-9 “re-do” election.

Jeff Nieman
Candidate for District Attorney, District 15

Our community deserves a District Attorney who not only has sufficient experience, but even more importantly, has a proven track record of moving our criminal justice system in a progressive direction. I have over 17 years of experience in the criminal courts of Chatham and Orange Counties and have launched multiple initiatives in that time to reduce the criminalization of poverty, mass incarceration and the school-to-prison pipeline. Please learn about my priorities of Community, Equity and Justice at:

Kayley Taber
Candidate for District Attorney, District 18

I have the compassion, dedication to innovation, and commitment to the community that is demanded by this important leadership position. I believe that diverse voices & experiences lead to more equitable outcomes in the courts. My core belief is that understanding our past is key to finding a path forward that is both restorative and just for all. If elected, I will be our first woman District Attorney and the first with both 25 years of experience and certification as a NC Criminal Law Specialist.

Mark H. Chilton
Candidate for OC Register of Deeds

Having served 8 years as Register of Deeds and worked as a real estate attorney for 17 years before that. I am highly knowledgeable about all the kinds of documents which come through this office. Over the last 8 years, through retirements, I have trimmed the staff by 15%. Our new software system has allowed us to handle a 75% increase in transactions with a smaller staff. As a result, we have increased our net revenues returned to Orange County by 150% – all while expanding services, like US Passports, simplified small business filings, and Fraud Alert. In my next term, I will implement a further software upgrade which will eliminate 100,000 pages per year of unnecessary printing, and make birth and death certificate handling even faster by electronic transmission.”


Penny Rich
Candidate for OC Register of Deeds

I am honored to have served in local leadership, including: OWASA Board of Directors, Chapel Hill Town Council, Orange County Board of Commissioners, Chair (2018-2020). My experience in local government has been deeply fulfilling, as I worked with my colleagues to make this community welcoming for all. I am running for Register of Deeds to continue to improve government services for our residents. I have a plan.

Will Atherton
Candidate for OC School Board

I will focus on improving the academic success of our students and creating more opportunities for extracurricular activities; This requires a diverse working environment of teachers and staff that we must attract, retain, recognize, and support in a safe school environment.  I will continue to be active in our schools and in student activities. I will continue to listen to concerns from students, families, teachers, staff, and community. Thank you for your vote and support.

Anne Purcell
Candidate for OC School Board

As a candidate running for a position on the Orange County School Board, I want to see a Board of Education that: WORKS together, LISTENS and ENGAGES parents by giving them the opportunity to voice their concerns, CARES about our teachers, teacher assistants, principals and all school personnel, and is not afraid to be the catalyst for necessary CHANGE, all while putting Orange County students and their education FIRST.

Andre Richmond
Candidate for OC School Board

I am a proud product of the Orange County School system, bringing over 12 years of experience working with our youth as a school resource officer. I see the greatness our schools have within them, but there is a need for change and improvement. We can bring about that change together by focusing on Expanded Community Engagement, Embracing Diversity, and Safety & Security. I want to be the voice for all as we work together to give our children the hope for the future they deserve!

Sarah Smylie
Candidate for OC School Board

I’m an OCS parent, former teacher, and education non-profit leader running for re-election to build our momentum towards excellent, equitable, and inclusive schools. We need a board that’s deeply committed to these values. My focus is on making OCS a place where:
1) Every student gets what they need to succeed academically and thrive personally
2) Every teacher and staff member experiences a supportive, collaborative workplace
3) Every family is embraced as a partner

Ashley Wheeler
Candidate for OC School Board

I am an ER nurse, where I serve our community’s most crucial needs for compassion, advocacy, & support. I seek to continue this service on the OCS Board of Education. Now is the time to foster & protect the district, to maintain the focus on equity, while striving for continued growth in student excellence.

Eliazar Arturo Posada
Candidate for Carrboro Town Council

As a son of working class immigrants, I learned early in life that representation matters.  Because of that I have dedicated my professional and personal life to making space for everyone. I am a proud, openly gay millennial Latino who will bring a new voice to the Carrboro Town Council. I will focus on Affordable Housing, Equality for All, Equitable Public Transportation and ensure that decisions made by the council reflect the entire community.

Endorsed by the Orange County Democratic Party County Executive Committee.