Former Us Senate Candidate Smith Endorses Beasley In Race

GASTON, N.C. (AP) — Erica Smith, a previous 2022 U.S. Senate candidate who switched to a congressional run, threw on Tuesday her support in the Senate Democratic primary to former Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley.

Smith, who revealed about 10 days ago she would instead seek to succeed retiring U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield next year, called Beasley the “only candidate who will finally win this seat and fight every day for the people of North Carolina.”

Beasley and state Sen. Jeff Jackson of Charlotte are leading candidates in the Democratic race. Smith is a former state senator who finished second in the 2020 Democratic U.S. Senate primary to Cal Cunningham.

Smith, who like Beasley is Black, praised Beasley for speaking out about systemic injustice following the murder of George Floyd last year, and for implementing paid parental leave for up to eight weeks for court employees.

Beasley has “always worked to move North Carolina in the direction of fairness and progress,” Smith said.

Smith lives in Northampton County, which is part of the 2nd Congressional District in which she is now running. Official candidate filing begins Monday for the March 8 primary.

Republican Senate primary hopefuls include U.S. Rep. Ted Budd, former Gov. Pat McCrory and ex-Rep. Mark Walker.