May 13, 2022 - Politics

GOP goes after North Carolina Dem before U.S. Senate primary

Screenshot of an attack ad against Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Cheri Beasley.
Screenshot of the National Republican Senatorial Committee ad, "Victims." Source: Youtube

National Republicans began their campaign to defeat North Carolina U.S. Senate candidate Cheri Beasley Friday, before many North Carolinians have even cast a ballot in the primary election to determine the Democratic nominee.

Why it matters: The attack offers a glimpse into the fierce and expensive campaign to come as both parties vie to win the open seat in November.

  • The winner will replace retiring U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, making the swing-state seat among the most competitive in the country, as the race to watch if Democrats want to hold onto their majority in Congress.
  • Whether or not they succeed will determine if President Joe Biden can achieve his agenda in the remaining two years of his first term.

Details: The $1.3 million ad comes four days before the state's primary election on May 17 and accuses Beasley of failing to protect victims during her time as the state supreme court's Chief Justice.

Until now, Beasley has been able to pad her campaign coffers in preparation for the general election fight.

  • She cleared the field in December, when her top competitor, state Sen. Jeff Jackson, dropped out of the race.

The other side: Republican candidates in the state have spent millions in an attempt to win the nomination.

  • One conservative political action committee, Club for Growth, has spent some $11 million backing former President Donald Trump-endorsed U.S. Rep. Ted Budd in an effort largely aimed at defeating former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory in the race.

The ad alleges Beasley threw out the indictment of a man convicted of sexual assaulting a 7-year-old girl and vacated the death sentence of a "murderer who shot a boy in the face."

What they're saying: Beasley's campaign responded swiftly, highlighting that the candidate has a long record of being endorsed by law enforcement groups. A statement from six sheriffs released from the campaign read:

"These attacks against Cheri are disgraceful and horrible. Cheri took an oath to uphold our Constitution and follow the rule of law, and she partnered with us to protect communities and hold violent offenders accountable. Having spent decades keeping North Carolina communities safe, we know that North Carolinians can trust Cheri to protect our communities and stand up for victims, just like she always has."
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