North Carolina Democrats were able to preserve Gov. Roy Cooper used his veto power at the General Assembly to block Republican bills regarding abortion and other divisive issues.
The results of Tuesday’s elections showed that Republicans were on track to gaining a veto-proof majority within the Senate. They won 30 of 50 seats. They currently hold 28. The results show that Republican candidates won 29 seats, and are leading the race to win one more.
According to political leaders, it seems that the GOP failed to secure the three additional House seats needed to win a similar majority. John Bell, House Majority Leader, stated that the Republicans won 71 out of 120 seats — just one less than the 72 required for a veto-proof margin.
Without the help of at least one Democrat, Republican leaders will not be able to override Cooper’s vetoes during his last two years in office.
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Since late 2018, Republican majorities aren’t veto-proof. During the previous two years, most of Cooper’s Vetoes were overridden. However, none of Cooper’s 47 Vetoes have been overridden since the beginning of 2019.
Cooper was able to win the shortfall, making it a major victory. He made it a top priority in this fall’s election campaign to preserve the value of his own vetoes.
Cooper and his Democratic allies spent millions of dollars in the campaign warning voters that Republicans could pass severe restrictions on abortion if they won veto-proof majority.
Cooper tweeted late Tuesday night, “We stopped the GOP supermajority…when North Carolinians voted in balance and progress.” I’ll work with the legislature to support a stronger economy, clean energy, and strong public schools.
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Republicans indicated that they are open to considering additional restrictions on abortion next year, in light of Roe v. Wade being overturned by the U.S Supreme Court. It’s not clear if or how they will proceed on this matter.
North Carolina prohibits abortion after 20 weeks of gestation, with some exceptions. Cooper’s vetoes prevented limited abortion changes in 2019/2021.
To override a state constitution, 60% must be present in each chamber. Absences can affect the necessary vote margins.
Cooper has also vetoed other measures in the past, such as loosening gun laws or forcing sheriffs to assist U.S immigration agents in detaining defendants suspected to be illegally in the country.
Cooper will have leverage when he has enough Democrats to support his vetoes. He cannot run for reelection in 2024 due to term limits.
Senate Republicans grew their majority partly by defeating long-serving Sen. Toby Fitch from Wilson County, who was defeated by former GOP Sen. Buck Newton.
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They were also able to retain a competitive seat for New Hanover County GOP Senator Michael Lee. Additionally, they won a Democratic-leaning district covering several northeastern states as GOP Sen. Bobby Hanig beat Valerie Jordan.
“This election has been an indicator of where voters want their country and state to go,” Senator leader Phil Berger (a Rockingham County Republican) said in a press release celebrating his chamber’s veto-proof majority. “The Republican platform that includes low taxes, job creation and expanded parental choice is one that meets the needs of all North Carolinians.
Two Wake County Senate seats were won by Democrats, where abortion was a major issue. Mary Wills Bode was defeated by Marc Cavailero and Sen. Sydney Batch won against him. Sykes. According to campaign finance reports, the four candidates spent $6.9million together through October.
The House saw Republicans defeat a few incumbent Democrats from rural and eastern North Carolina. These include Rep. Howard Hunter III from Hertford County James Gailliard of Nash County, and Terry Garrison in Vance County.
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Redistricting in May this year led to two Republican incumbents running for the same seat, decreasing the potential number of GOP members who could return to Raleigh in 2023.
After defeating Ricky Hurtado, Republican Stephen Ross from Alamance County will return to the House in January. Ross represented the region for eight years in House, before Hurtado reelected him in 2020.