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Orange County Dems are looking for another 'blue wave' 2020, but will they get it?

Lucy Inman Orange County Democratic Convention
2020 Candidate for NC Supreme Court, Lucy Inman, gave the keynote speech at the Orange County Democratic Convention Saturday, March 30, 2019 at Cedar Ridge High School. "They even changed the ballots to favor Republicans. This was not at the request of any judge I know. This was a legislative agenda," said Inman when speaking on election tampering.

As Orange County Democratic Convention goers sliced into a “blue wave” cake on Saturday afternoon, keynote speaker Lucy Inman urged local Democrats not to rely on a second blue wave in 2020.

“We can’t count on a blue wave like a natural occurrence, it’s got to be a man-made wave and a woman-made wave,” Inman, an N.C. Court of Appeals judge and a 2020 candidate for the state’s Supreme Court, said.

Inman was joined at the convention by U.S. Rep. David Price, D-N.C., and candidates for state offices. During the convention, delegates elected Marilyn Carter as the party’s county chairperson and Jonah Garson as first vice chairperson for 2019-2021.

Inman said statewide judicial elections are particularly important moving forward, though they tend to be overshadowed in gubernatorial years. Gov. Roy Cooper and U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., are up for reelection in 2020.

Inman said North Carolina courts have been a key barrier to unconstitutional Republican legislation, including legislation intended to weaken Democratic control of the Supreme Court itself.

She referenced a 2015 state election law which disallowed a contested election for Justice Robert Edmunds, a Republican-affiliated N.C. Supreme Court judge. The law was deemed unconstitutional by the Wake County Superior Court, allowing Democratic challenger Michael Morgan to unseat Edmunds in 2016.

“And that was not the first, nor was it the last, unconstitutional legislation in North Carolina that could only be stopped by the court,” she said.

Inman said North Carolina voters striking down a 2018 state amendment, which empowered state legislators to fill judicial vacancies, was particularly important in retaining the courts’ integrity. 

"If that amendment had passed, the same politicians whose gerrymandered districts allow them to choose who elect them, would be choosing the judges who decide whether their legislation violates the law,” she said.

Price addressed the crowd with a call for Robert Mueller’s report of Russian election interference to be publicly released. U.S. Attorney General William Barr released his four-page summary of Mueller’s report on March 24, saying he did not interpret that the report concluded Trump obstructed justice. 

“We don’t need the attorney general to tell us about the snap judgement he made in 48 hours that this obstruction of justice is not worth pursuing,” Price said.

Price also defended U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and chairperson of the House Intelligence Committee. Republicans have called on him to resign for alleging collusion between Russia and Trump’s 2016 campaign.

“It’s precisely because of Adam’s integrity, and his intelligence, and his persistence that Republicans are trying to bring him down — they cannot be allowed to do that,” he said.

N.C. Rep. Verla Insko, D-District 56, said expanding Medicaid has been her primary focus in the state legislature. She said Republicans' inaction could damage the GOP in 2020’s statewide elections.

“I’ve told my Republican colleagues that if they don’t pass that bill, that’s going to be their primary threat to their incumbency in 2020,” she said.

N.C. Rep. Graig Meyer, D-District 50, filed legislation on Friday to fully repeal House Bill 2. He said he supports proposals to provide statewide nondiscrimination protections for all LGBTQ+ people and banning conversion therapy in the state of North Carolina.

He said a reporter asked him why Democrats are pushing such an aggressive legislative agenda as the General Assembly’s minority party.

“I had an answer ready y’all — I said because when we take over in 2020, we want people to know exactly what we’re going to do," he said.


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