RAL Guides    City, News

Your 2020 General Election guide for Raleigh, NC


Table of Contents

Tracking the 2020 election results

Added: Looking for the election results? Welcome to the party. We’re still waiting for the final word on a few races, and you can join us in anticipation by following along here.

2020 election guide

We want you to be ready to cast your ballot with all the confidence in the world, so we’re breaking down all the 2020 election must-knows for you. In NC, you’ll be voting for a Senate representative, Congressional House representatives, Governor, Attorney General, Commissioner of Agriculture, and of course, the President of the United States. 

There are no ballot measures this year — AKA state amendments — and our local mayoral election will take place in 2021. We do have several General Assembly seats and Wake County representatives on that ballot however + a $81 million affordable housing bond for the City of Raleigh.

In this guide, you’ll also find registration + polling information, candidate trackers to follow visits and debates, a timeline of important dates, and an election dictionary of terms you should know.

Basically, if you have a question about the upcoming election, this will be your resource. So go ahead and bookmark the page located at the link below, and as always, reach out to us if you have any questions we didn’t answer.

*And remember, there is no photo ID requirement to vote this year (unless you are registering same-day during early voting and providing the pic as proof of residence). You could also be in a new district, as new congressional districts were approved last November. Be sure to use the State Election Board’s address lookup to make sure you’re traveling to the correct polling place. So who will you see on your ballot? Keep scrolling for a rundown of the candidates

Head to the polls

Not sure if you’re registered to vote? Check here.

Need to register? Learn how to do that here. Note: You have until Oct. 5 to register.

Need an absentee ballot? Read all about how to get one here.

Waiting until election day? Polls will be open from ___–___. If you’re in line by _____, you will be able to vote. Note: Early voting polling places may be different from voting day polling places. Find your polling place here.

Looking for COVID-19 safety information?

Candidates by district

Raise your hand if you’re a visual learner. 🙋 To determine your districts, check out the maps + resources below, then use your districts to identify your candidatesYou can also identify your voting districts by checking your voter registration status or sample ballot. Find information on how congressional and state legislative district boundaries are established here.

North Carolina US Congressional Districts

Interactive map here.

via the NC General Assembly. *Note these districts are new for the 2020 general election.

NC General Assembly House Districts

Interactive map here.

via the NC General Assembly


NC General Assembly Senate Districts

Interactive map here.

Via the NC General Assembly


Wake County Districts

Interactive map here.
PDF map here.

via Wake County Board of Commissioners

Meet the candidates

Since you probably already know about the presidential candidates, we’re focusing on what you need to know on a local level. Keep reading for a rundown of North Carolina’s US Senate candidates, our 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th + 7th Congressional District candidates, and candidates running for other state and local seats. To identify candidate priorities, we relied on verified candidate questionnaires submitted to the nonpartisan site Ballotpedia + issues listed directly on candidate websites. ProTip: Print this list, identify your candidates, and take it with you to the polls.

US President

Joe Biden — Democrat

You can find his profile and priorities here. Vice presidential candidate: Kamala Harris

Don Blankenship — Constitution

You can find his profile and priorities here. Vice presidential candidate: William Mohr

Howie Hawkins — Green Party

You can find his profile and priorities here. Vice presidential candidate: Angela Nicole Walker

Jo Jorgenson — Libertarian

You can find her profile and priorities here. Vice presidential candidate: Spike Cohen

Donald Trump (incumbent) — Republican

You can find his profile and priorities here. Vice presidential candidate: Mike Pence

US Senate 

Shannon Bray — Libertarian

Priorities: Personal privacy and data protection; benefits for veterans + equity under the law.

Cal Cunningham — Democrat

Priorities: Lower-cost, accessible healthcare; equitable economy + living wage; investing in rural broadband; raising teacher pay; spreading solar energy; protecting Roe v. Wade; common-sense gun reform; expanding voting rights + more.

Kevin E. Hayes — Constitution Party

Priorities: Pro-life, protecting the Second Amendment, and promoting state control over education.

Thom R. Tillis (incumbent) — Republican

Priorities: Helped pass the Farm Bill; increase broadband access for rural communities; expand + maintain export markets for agricultural products; “right-sizing” solar tariffs; help with national park maintenance; secure borders and use merit-based immigration system; roll back wasteful Obama-era regulations; combat the opioid crisis.

US House of Representatives District 1

G.K. Butterfield (incumbent) — Democrat

Priorities: Grow the economy and increase job opportunities, end poverty and hunger, protect voters’ rights, and support military families and veterans.

Sandy Smith — Republican

Priorities: 2nd amendment rights, immigration + pro-life legislation.

US House of Representatives District 2

Jeff Matemu — Libertarian

Priorities: Criminal justice reform, student loan reform, and immigration reform.

Deborah Ross — Democrat

Priorities: Combating climate change, affordable healthcare, investing in transportation and infrastructure projects, and more.

Alain Swain — Republican

Priorities: Healthcare optimization, immigration reform, and improved education system.

US House of Representatives District 3

Daryl Farrow — Democrat

Priorities: Healthcare, national debt, climate control, gun control, and solving social inequities.

Gregory Murphy (incumbent) — Republican

Priorities: No information available.

US House of Representatives District 4

David Price (incumbent) — Democrat

Priorities: Campaign reform, appropriations, budget issues, education, energy and the environment, gun violence prevention, housing and community development, and the creation of better transportation programs and infrastructure.

Robert Thomas — Republican

Priorities: Protecting Constitutional safeguards, opioid addiction, improving education + updating the nation’s healthcare and infrastructure programs.

US House of Representatives District 7

David Rouzer (incumbent) — Republican

Priorities: Agriculture, economy and job creation, energy, federal spending and debt, healthcare, national security, and healthcare.

Christopher Ward — Democrat

Priorities: Healthcare, jobs, and education.

NC Governor

Roy Cooper (incumbent) — Democrat

Priorities while in office: Job growth; equal rights for LGBTQ citizens; preventing workplace discrimination; clean energy; combating the opioid crisis; banning conversion therapy + more.

Steven DiFiore II — Libertarian

Priorities: Education and healthcare reform (with a focus on mental health), reforming the NC Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC), and housing and zoning issues.

Dan Forest — Republican

Priorities: Allow school choice; preserve free speech rights on college campuses; connect classrooms with high-speed internet. Currently NC’s Lieutenant Governor. 

Al Pisano — Constitution Party

Priorities: National sovereignty and individual property rights, 2nd amendment rights, and religious freedom. 

NC Lieutenant Governor

Yvonne Lewis Holley Democrat

Priorities: The Affordable Living Initiative (ALI): affordable and attainable housing + healthcare; economic and workforce development; access to affordable, healthy food; increasing teacher pay; improving transportation infrastructure + more. Current NC House of Representatives member.

Mark Robinson Republican

Priorities: Support the Second Amendment; oppose abortion; stop illegal immigration; support veterans; cut taxes and regulations to support business owners.

NC Attorney General

Josh Stein (incumbent) — Democrat

Priorities: Healthcare, the environment, education, juvenile justice reform + protecting NC families.

Jim O’Neill — Republican

Priorities: Clearing backlogged and untested rape kits; defending capital murder case convictions; combating the heroin and opioid crisis.

NC Auditor

Beth A. Wood (incumbent) — Democrat

Priorities: Cutting waste in government spending; following up on audits; maintaining objectivity and independence in the role; presenting audit reports for legislative actions.

Anthony Street — Republican

Priorities: Increase agricultural production; promote education + conservation.

NC Commissioner of Agriculture

Jenna Wadsworth — Democrat

Priorities: Farmland preservation, building resiliency into farm plans to address climate change, promoting hemp and cannabis legalization, increasing opportunities for farmers and rural communities, food science research, and rural broadband access.

Steve Troxler (incumbent) — Republican

Priorities: Investing in bioenergy research, supports the Hemlock Restoration Initiative, and business education for small farms.

NC Insurance Commissioner and Fire Marshal

Wayne Goodwin Democrat

Priorities: Fair, nondiscriminatory housing and auto rates, improving access to affordable coverage, enhanced consumer protections, and fighting against insurance fraud.

Mike Causey (incumbent) Republican

Priorities: Increase competition in NC’s insurance industry to provide lower rates and improve efficiency and access.

NC Labor Commissioner

Josh Dobson Republican

Priorities: No information available.

Jessica Holmes — Democrat

Priorities: Ensure safe and healthy workplaces, expand workers’ rights, and increase the minimum wage.

NC Secretary of State

Elaine Marshall (incumbent) — Democrat

Priorities: Protection of copyrights,  deterring counterfeit goods, reducing the cost of doing business for companies and individuals, and improving information technology.

E.C. Sykes — Republican

Priorities: Cutting waste, limiting the size of government, increased transparency and efficiency, and improving NC’s business environment.

NC Superintendent of Public Instruction

Jen Mangrum — Democrat 

Priorities: Increase per-pupil expenditure to national average; secure living wage for school personnel; expand access to digital resources; expand access to early childhood education; reduce class size; provide a healthy and safe school environment; increase trainings in trauma-informed care; increase teacher pay + more.

Catherine Truitt — Republican 

Priorities: Bring highly qualified teachers into schools; give students skills to be competitive in the job market; improve literacy; expand collaboration between schools and colleges, community colleges, businesses, hospitals + others; address need for equitable funding in public schools.

NC Treasurer

Ronnie Chatterji — Democrat

Priorities: Responsible investment in companies that sustain NC’s growth; support environmental protection and equity; create a healthcare system that is a model for the nation; expand access to financial services.

Dale Folwell (incumbent) — Republican

Priorities: No information available.

NC Supreme Court Chief Justice Seat 1

Cheri Beasley (incumbent) — Democrat

Priorities: Use technology to modernize the court system, increase access to recovery courts, build school and justice relationships, and hold faith and justice roundtable meetings.

Paul Newby — Republican

Priorities: No information available.

NC Supreme Court Associate Justice Seat 2

Lucy N. Inman — Democrat

Priorities: No information available.

Phil Berger Jr. — Republican

Priorities: No information available.

NC Supreme Court Associate Justice Seat 4

Mark Davis (incumbent) — Democrat

Priorities: No information available.

Tamara Barringer — Republican

Priorities: Constitutional interpretation of the laws and protection of job opportunities in NC.

NC Appeals Court Judge Seat 4

Tricia Shields — Democrat

Priorities: Independence of NC’s judiciary, diversity, and inclusion.

April C. Wood — Republican

Priorities: Uphold the Constitution,  interpret and apply the law as written, and equality.

NC Appeals Court Judge Seat 5

Lora Christine Cubbage — Democrat

Priorities: No information available.

Fred Gore — Republican

Priorities: No information available.

NC Appeals Court Judge Seat 6

Gray Styers — Democrat

Priorities: Impartiality of the justice system, economic opportunities, and equitable protection of rights.

Chris Dillon — Republican

Priorities: No information available.

NC Appeals Court Judge Seat 7

Reuben F. Young (incumbent) — Democrat

Priorities: Fairness, independence, and impartiality.

Jeff Carpenter — Republican

Priorities: Following the Constitution as written, preserving the separation of powers between the three branches of government, and that the law should be applied fairly and equally to everyone.

NC Appeals Court Judge Seat 13

Chris Brook (incumbent) — Democrat

Priorities: Treat everyone fairly and with respect, regardless of their race, gender, and socio-economic status.

Jefferson G. Griffin — Republican

Priorities: Committed to the rule of law, impartiality in NC courts, and improve access to justice.

NC Senate District 11

Allen Wellons — Democrat

Priorities: Public schools, healthcare, and jobs.

Lisa Barnes — Republican

Priorities: Education, jobs, healthcare, second amendment rights, agriculture, and coronavirus recovery.

NC Senate District 14

Dan Blue (incumbent) — Democrat

Priorities: Education, healthcare, jobs, and community development.

Alan David Michael — Republican

Priorities: Balance the NC budget, increase teacher pay and support school choice, and reduce burdens on small business.

Justin Walczak — Libertarian

Priorities: No information available.

NC Senate District 15

Jay Chauduri (incumbent) — Democrat

Priorities: Reducing gun violence, preserving net neutrality, women’s rights, expanding medicaid, building NC’s economy, fighting discrimination, and preventing hate crimes.

Mario Lomuscio — Republican

Priorities: Lower taxes, school choice, pro-life.

Kat McDonald — Libertarian

Priorities: Increasing education opportunities, improving housing affordability, and eliminating the NC Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC).

NC Senate District 16

Will Marsh — Republican

Priorities: Lower taxes, state’s rights, decriminalization of marijuana, reforming the DMV, and pro-life.

Wiley Nickel (incumbent) — Democrat

Priorities: Strengthen schools, create more high-paying jobs, expand access to affordable healthcare, and preserve natural resources.

NC Senate District 17

Mark Cavaliero — Republican

Priorities: Pandemic recovery, lower taxes, free market solutions to decrease healthcare costs, improved education, protection of natural resources, and pro-life.

Travis Groo — Libertarian

Priorities: Increasing education opportunities, improving housing affordability, and eliminating the NC Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC).

Sam Searcy (incumbent) — Democrat

Priorities: Education, healthcare, COVID-19 recovery, support for higher education and state universities, and support small businesses and workers.

NC Senate District 18

Sarah Crawford — Democrat

Priorities: Education, healthcare, jobs and the economy, and protecting the environment.

Jason Loeback — Libertarian

Priorities: No information available.

Larry Norman — Republican

Priorities: Pro-life, small government, school choice, and supporting law enforcement.

NC Senate District 19

Kirk deViere (incumbent) — Democrat

Priorities: Affordable housing, reinvesting in teachers and education, increasing early childhood education access, expanding medicaid, providing support for military families and veterans, and increasing mental healthcare access.

Wesley Meredith — Republican

Priorities: Job creation and lower tax rates, eliminate wasteful spending, pay raises for teachers, second amendment rights.

NC House District 11

Alison Dahle (incumbent) — Democrat

Priorities: Fair and balanced economy, gun safety, education, social justice, environmental protection, and healthcare.

Clark Pope — Republican

Priorities: Protection in schools, financial education, and putting an end to divisive politics.

Adrian Lee Travers — Libertarian

Priorities:Increasing education opportunities, improving housing affordability, and eliminating the NC Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC).

NC House District 33

Sammie Brooks — Libertarian

Priorities: Increasing education opportunities, improving housing affordability, and eliminating the NC Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC).

Rosa Gill (incumbent) — Democrat

Priorities: Education, the economy, protecting the environment, a fair criminal justice system for all, and increased access to affordable healthcare.

Frann Sarpolus — Republican

Priorities: No information available.

NC House District 34

Grier Martin (incumbent) — Democrat

Priorities: No information available.

Michael Munger — Libertarian

Priorities: Budget payment reform and reduce regulatory burdens.

Ronald Smith — Republican

Priorities: Education, healthcare, medicaid + resources for veterans.

NC House District 35

Terence Everitt (incumbent) — Democrat

Priorities: Education, small businesses, gun safety, clean energy, healthcare, and putting an end to gerrymandering.

Michael Nelson — Libertarian

Priorities: Education, housing affordability, and the privatization of NC’s Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) system.

Fred Von Canon — Republican

Priorities: Pro-capitalist and pro-constitutional issues.

NC House District 36

Bruce Basson — Libertarian

Priorities: No information available.

Kim Coley — Republican

Priorities: Healthcare, school choice, and pro-life.

Julie von Haefen (incumbent) — Democrat

Priorities: Healthcare, education, workforce development, and economic growth.

NC House District 37

Sydney Batch (incumbent) — Democrat

Priorities: Ensuring strong public education programs, protecting NC’s air and water, providing quality and affordable access to healthcare, expanding broadband internet service, support for small businesses, providing more resources for substance abuse and mental healthcare, and ensuring fair and equal elections.

Liam Leaver — Libertarian

Priorities: Reduce regulations and provide school choice.

Erin Pare — Republican

Priorities: Small business, 2nd amendment rights, pro-life, school choice, immigration control, fiscal responsibility, lower taxes, lowering the cost of healthcare through a competitive marketplace.

NC House District 38

Kenneth Bagnal — Republican

Priorities: No information available.

Richard Haygood — Libertarian

Priorities: Freedom to choose your own schools and healthcare, and reduce regulations on businesses.

Abraham P. Jones — Democrat

Priorities: Affordable housing, vocational education, and criminal justice reform.

NC House District 39

Darren Jackson (running unopposed)— Democrat

Priorities: Pay raises for teachers and public workers, expand medicaid, and improve workforce benefits and pay.

NC House District 40

Gerald Falzon — Republican

Priorities: Individual rights, manufacturing, tax and energy policies.

Joe John (incumbent) — Democrat

Priorities: Nonpartisan redistricting in NC, education, and establishing a nonpartisan judicial branch.

NC House District 41

Gale Adcock (incumbent) — Democrat

Priorities: Preserving public education, ensuring access to quality healthcare, strengthening our economy​, and protecting our environment.

Guy Meilleur — Libertarian

Priorities: Increase healthcare choice, free enterprise for small businesses, and school choice.

Scott Populorum — Republican

Priorities: Protect the rights of the unborn, second amendment rights, improve education and healthcare, create more infrastructure, and enforce media accountability.

NC House District 49

Cynthia Ball (incumbent) — Democrat

Priorities: Improve public school funding, close the healthcare gap, adjust tax structures to benefit NC families, and provide post-secondary and technical training for jobs.

David Robertson — Republican

Priorities: No information available.

Dee Watson — Libertarian

Priorities: Education, housing affordability, and the privatization of NC’s Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) system.

Wake County District 1

Sig Hutchison — Democrat

Priorities: Public education, transportation, improving greenways and open space, confronting homelessness and food insecurity, and improving job opportunities through economic development.

Greg Jones — Republican

Priorities: Eliminate wasteful spending.

Wake County District 2

Matt Calabria (running unopposed) — Democrat

Priorities: Job creation, improved worker training, and build a more robust public transportation system.

Wake County District 3

Maria Cervania — Democrat

Priorities: Public education, health and wellbeing, resources for seniors, affordable housing, public transportation and infrastructure, and public safety.

Steve Hale — Republican
Priorities: Fiscal conservatism, debt reduction, public safety, mental health + education.

Wake County District 4

Susan Evans (running unopposed) — Democrat

Priorities: No information available.

Wake County District 5

James West (running unopposed) — Democrat

Priorities: No information available.

Wake County District 6

Shinica Thomas Democrat

Priorities: Education and support for small businesses.

Karen Weathers — Republican

Priorities: Fiscal responsibility.

Wake County District 7

Vickie Adamson — Democrat

Priorities: Education, public transit, and affordable housing options.

Faruk Okcetin — Republican

Priorities: Preserve quality of life, create more efficiency in local government, and increase prosperity.

Wake County Register of Deeds

Tammy L. Brunner — Democrat

Priorities: Improving accessibility and modernizing operations for the office, as well as increasing customer service and community relationships.

Charles Gilliam (incumbent) — Republican

Priorities: No information available.

Wake County Soil and Water Conservation District Board

M.C. Brock — Nonpartisan

Priorities: No information available.

Jean-Luc Duvall — Nonpartisan

Priorities: No information available.

Marshall Harvey (incumbent) — Nonpartisan

Priorities: No information available.

Scott Lassiter — Nonpartisan

Priorities: Develop collaborative relationships among landowners, farmers, homeowners, government agencies, schools, and businesses to support, fund and educate the public on the topic of soil and water resource conservation.

Final note: depending on your district, you will see a number of candidates for open seats for state judicial, senate, house + local commissioner seats. You can view a sample ballot and research additional candidates before you go by clicking here.

General Election timeline

Mark your calendars. 🗓️ Find all of your General Election voting dates + deadlines listed below.


  • Sep. 22: National Voter Registration Day
  • Oct. 24: National Vote Early Day
  • Nov. 3: Election Day
  • Nov. 4: Preliminary results expected; certified results could take longer.

North Carolina

  • Oct. 9: Voter registration deadline (same-day registration still available at polling places)
  • Oct. 15: Early voting begins
  • Oct. 27: Absentee ballot request deadline
  • Oct. 31: Early voting ends
  • Nov. 6: Absentee ballot return deadline

Election dictionary 

As we get deeper into the election cycle, there’s a lot of terminology circulating out there, and we want to make sure you have a (somewhat) comprehensive resource to help you discern some meaning from it all. We give you RALtoday’s election dictionary — or, if you’ll indulge us, our electionary. If we missed a word or phrase you’ve been wondering about, be sure to email us or drop a note in the comments section to let us know. Source: Votesmart.org

Absentee voting

Similar to mail-in voting, this process allows voters to submit their ballot through the mail or in-person, without going to the polls on Election Day.


A debt security issued by a local, state, or national government to support spending toward specific government programs or obligations. Often requires constituent support and appears on ballots for voter determination.

Certified results

The final and official results of an election, as verified by the local elections office. These results confirm that all ballots have been counted.


Any person who is a legally-recognized member of a locality, state, or country. Except under exclusionary circumstances, all citizens have the right to exercise their vote.

Congressional districts

The US is divided into 435 jurisdictions for the purposes of electing members to the House of Representatives in Congress. Each district is meant to be proportionately sized for its resident population.


The voters within a specific locality or district; the people elected officials represent.

Electoral College

The voters of each state that formally elect the United States President and Vice President. Each state has as many electoral college votes as it does U.S. Representatives and U.S. Senators in Congress combined.

General election

A regular election between candidates of multiple parties, as opposed to a primary election where the candidates are within the same political party.

House of Representatives

One of two houses within the federal branch of government called Congress. Each state has representatives based on its population.


If a candidate running for election is also the current seat-holder for that position, they are called the incumbent.

Mail-in ballot

An official ballot that is submitted to the local elections board by mail instead of in-person at a designated polling place.

Polling place

A designated location where voters cast their ballots in-person on Election Day or during an early voting period.

Popular vote

The raw number of votes cast by individual voters within a locality, state, or country. Within the US system of voting, the popular vote can differ from the deciding votes of the Electoral College.

Preliminary results

The projected or anticipated results of an election, usually announced when the majority of districts are reporting. These results are not definitive and can change as ballots continue to be processed and counted on or after Election Day.


The legal process of submitting to the voters for their approval or rejection of proposed state or rejection of proposed state of local laws or constitutional amendments.


One of two houses within the federal branch of government called Congress. Each state has two senators.

Swing state

Any US state where the level of support for two major political parties is considered to be fairly equal on both sides.

Unaffiliated voters

Voters who are not registered to vote with a specific political party are called unaffiliated.

Voter turnout

The percentage of registered, eligible voters within a locality who cast a ballot during any given election.

This is part of our ongoing election coverage. You can learn more about our Editorial Ethics Policy and how we prioritize information regarding the upcoming elections here.