Wednesday, May 25, 2022

2022 Primary Election: Cheri Beasley, former chief justice, races for U.S. Senate

(Courtesy Cheri Beasley and Kevin Lowery)

NORTH CAROLINA — Cheri Beasley, the former chief justice of North Carolina, is running for U.S. Senate. She is up against 10 other Democratic candidates for the nomination in the primaries.

Port City Daily has sent a questionnaire to every candidate appearing on ballots in the tri-county region, even those unopposed. For federal and state offices, we asked candidates to address issues pertinent to the Cape Fear: PFAS, offshore wind, affordable housing and more.

The paywall is dropped on profiles to help voters make informed decisions.

As a reminder, the early voting period runs from Apr. 28 to May 14. The voter registration deadline is Apr. 22. Voters may partake in same-day registration throughout the two-week early voting period (check if your registration is active at your current address).

Primary Election Day is May 17. Voters will choose which candidates from their registered party they want to move forward in the formal election. Those who are registered as unaffiliated can choose which party’s primary they want to vote in.

Beasley’s stances on issues are discussed below. All answers are included in full and the candidate’s opinions and statements are not a reflection of Port City Daily. Responses are edited only for grammar, spelling and clarity.

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Port City Daily (PCD): Name three projects that you would advocate for funding and why. 

Cheri Beasley (CB): As I travel the state, I talk to families who are working so hard to make sure their children have a better future than they did. From jobs that don’t pay living wages to the rising costs – we have major challenges to tackle. And I believe every North Carolinian should have a fair shot and a chance to thrive – no matter where they live.

To help bring health care costs down, I support expanding the Affordable Care Act with a public option and capping the cost of insulin to $35/month, among other policy reforms.

To support working families and help businesses, I would expand access to affordable child care including through universal pre-kindergarten.

And I would invest in building a Made in America economy, where good-paying manufacturing and industry jobs are available across our state.

PCD: Do you support offshore wind development? Clean energy tax breaks? Explain. 

CB: We’re facing a climate crisis that poses an urgent threat to our country and demands actions from our Senators. Anyone in North Carolina can tell you about climate change, because we are living it – from longer and more damaging hurricane seasons to the rapidly rising sea levels off our coast to severe droughts.
We need to cut carbon emissions in half by 2030 to safeguard our planet, and we can do that by investing in renewable energy. Incentivizing solar, wind, and other clean energy sources is critically important to protect our planet for the long-term and it will create thousands of good-paying jobs for our state.

PCD: What are the main priorities to address infrastructure needs in North Carolina? 

CB: Any conversation about infrastructure must include a conversation about access to reliable broadband, and I support dedicating funding to ensure that the 1.1 million North Carolinians without access to high-speed Internet can participate in our schools and economy. I also support making substantial federal investments in our infrastructure so that our bridges, roads, and water systems are safe and reliable.

Finally, I support investing in climate-resilient infrastructure – like modernizing our electrical grid, expanding our renewable energy industry, making buildings more energy efficient, and ensuring that workers across North Carolina receive the training they need for good-paying clean energy jobs.

PCD: How would you propose all North Carolinians have access to affordable healthcare? 

CB: For too many, health care is inaccessible and unaffordable, from high prescription drug prices to a lack of local hospitals or clinics. We’ve got to lower costs and make healthcare more affordable in every part of our state. I support expanding Medicaid, expanding the Affordable Care Act with a public option, lowering the cost of prescription drugs by allowing Medicare to negotiate directly with drug companies, capping the cost of insulin to $35/month, and protecting coverage for pre-existing conditions.

PCD: Are there any actions you support to increase equitability and opportunities for historically marginalized populations? 

CB: I support policies that advance affordable health care, housing, and higher education, and invest in minority- and women-owned small businesses to help uplift historically marginalized communities.

PCD: How far should the state go to attract companies and promote economic development? 

CB: North Carolina has shown we can be a major hub for good-paying jobs, including in technology and energy, and our lawmakers on every level should work to continue to grow these industries. In the Senate, I will be a tireless fighter for a strong North Carolina economy that creates opportunities for good-paying jobs and ensures that our communities can thrive.

PCD: What needs to be done to address PFAs in drinking water and other chemicals that are poisoning multiple states’ drinking water? 

CB: The Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act are vital pieces of legislation that protect the air North Carolinians breathe and the water we drink. We must make sure that the environmental laws that protect North Carolinians and all Americans continue to do so in the future. We also must hold polluters accountable. North Carolina has the third highest level of PFAS in the United States and there must be both regulation and accountability to protect North Carolinians from these harmful chemicals.

PCD: What are the top issues in our K-12 schools right now and how would you work to address it? 

CB: Our classrooms should be places of opportunity for all children to realize their abilities, pursue their dreams and gain the skills they need for 21st century jobs. As a mom, I know this is a priority for every parent.

I will fight for education funding from cradle to career for all our kids, including investing in early childhood education, universal pre-k, and fully funding the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. I also believe we must invest in our teachers and increase Title I funding to help close gaps between school districts and ensure schools are funded fairly and equitably across every zip code in our state.

PCD: What resources do we need in place to continue to fight Covid-19? How should NC prepare for a future pandemic? 

CB: It’s important that the federal government continue to fund vaccine production as Americans obtain booster shots, as children become eligible for vaccines, and to support vaccination efforts around the world. The federal government also plays a crucial role funding research, including for therapeutics, new vaccines to counter future variants, and to better understand the long-term health impacts of contracting COVID-19.

PCD: Where do you stand on the decriminalization of marijuana? Explain. 

CB: I support legalizing cannabis, which will be a boon to North Carolina’s economy, will help usher in critical reforms in our criminal justice system, and will allow for more research into the public health and medicinal benefits of cannabis.

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Alexandria Sands
Alexandria Sands is a journalist covering New Hanover County and education. Before Port City Daily, she reported for the award-winning State Port Pilot in Southport. She graduated from UNC Charlotte and wrote for several Charlotte publications while there. When not writing, Williams is most likely in the gym, reading or spending time with her Golden Pyrenees. Reach her at or on Twitter @alexsands_

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