I know many of us were sad to see the ruling troika survive May AND November. But things turned out to be a wash in the lower chamber. We’ll be dealing with the same partisan divide next session.
But the new session’s majority may very well be MORE conservative. Let’s review:
HD6: This Outer Banks seat has been occupied by Democrat-turned-Unaffiliated Paul Tine. Tine caucused with the Republicans last session, but maintained his same ol’ liberal voting record. His replacement, county commissioner Beverly Boswell, is a no-holds-barred conservative. So, we have a definite sharp right turn in this seat.
HD40: Democrat Joe John took this seat from Republican Marilyn Avila. Marilyn is a nice lady, but she played way too nice with leadership and the rest of the establishment. We’re losing a class act, but, in terms of ideology, this seat is a slight turn to the left.
HD46: Republican Brenden Jones picks up this seat from Democrat Ken Waddell, who decided to retire. This win clearly causes this seat to take a sharp right turn.
HD49: Moderate Republican Gary Pendleton lost his seat to liberal Democrat Cynthia Ball. So, we get a slight left turn here.
HD51: Republican John Sauls knocked off rookie Democrat Brad Salmon here. Sauls is no conservative. In his prior term in the House, he tried to give illegal aliens free tuition to community colleges. Even though it’s a GOP win, you might declare this an ideological wash or a slight left turn.
HD87: Republican Destin Hall, a young conservative attorney, snatched this seat away in the primary from George Robinson, who was locked in a furious duel with Charles Jeter to see who could rack up the most liberal voting record in the GOP caucus. Hall was unopposed Tuesday. (Oh, yeah. Tim Moore campaigned AGAINST Destin during the primary.) This is a definite sharp right turn.
HD88: Mary Belk knocks off Rob Bryan. Bryan was a leadership favorite and ran up a mushy squishy voting record, Belk will likely be a loyal Democrat. So, we’ve got a slight turn to the left in this seat.
HD92: Democrat Chaz Beasley took the seat vacated by Charles Jeter — the most liberal Republican in the House last session. So, this one goes down as a wash ideologically.
HD119: Republican Mike Clampitt snatched this seat from Democrat Joe Sam Queen. Clampitt, a NCGOPe favorite, won’t be a conservative firebrand in Raleigh. At best, this seat is a slight right turn.
So, four seats that HAD liberal voting records last session will have right-leaning ones this upcoming session. The loss of Bryan, Jeter, Avila, and Pendleton costs the ruling troika FOUR dependable votes for their schemes in 2017. Boswell and Hall replace two dependable votes for the Moore-Dollar-Lewis troika. Jones is a wild card. He has a lot of NCGOPe pals, but comes off as a good conservative. It remains to be seen how independent (friend or foe of Tim, Nelson and David) he will be when the House gavels into session.
Bringing John Sauls back in Lee County keeps this thing an overall wash in terms of raw numbers, but he will likely be in the Democrat column on many a House vote in the upcoming session.
If the governor’s race final margin holds, there will be no Republican governor to have to buttress in the upcoming session.
We could be in store for a slight move to the right for 2017.