NC Legislative Update – 2/23/2017


2017 Session Overview

In North Carolina, all 170 legislative seats were on the ballot in November, along with all constitutional officers, members of Congress and one U.S. Senate seat. Notably, Democratic challenger and then Attorney General Roy Cooper unseated the Republican incumbent, Governor Pat McCrory. In the legislature, Republicans maintained their super-majorities in both chambers, thus giving them enough votes to override any gubernatorial vetoes without the need for any Democratic votes.

The 2017 legislative “long session” convened in earnest January 25, 2017, following an earlier organizational session two weeks prior. The North Carolina General Assembly does not have a constitutional or statutory adjournment date or number of legislative days, but the long session traditionally adjourns in July or August. The determining factor for adjournment is typically the conclusion of the appropriations process—that process, which has just begun, results in adoption just prior to adjournment of a biennial budget beginning July 1, 2017 and running through June 30, 2019. Continuing budget resolutions are adopted should June 30 come and go without a new budget. The Senate begins the appropriations process this year.

For all other legislation, the crossover deadline is currently set for April 27, 2017. Crossover is the date by which a non-appropriations/finance bill must pass the chamber in which it originated and “crossover” to the other chamber in order to remain eligible for consideration through the remainder of the session (and the short session in 2018). During the long session, there are no limitations on what types of legislation can be filed, only introduction deadlines.

Litigious Atmosphere

The legislative session convened in a more litigious atmosphere than in previous sessions. The legislature, the Governor and others are currently involved in a number of lawsuits. Pending matters include HB 2 (local non-discrimination ordinances), legislative redistricting, Medicaid expansion, the confirmation process for the Governor’s cabinet, and reallocation of powers from gubernatorial appointees to other elected officials. Below are more details regarding some of these lawsuits.

Confirmation of Governor’s Cabinet

During a special session in December of last year, the legislature enacted H 17, Modify Certain Appointments/Employment, which drew on a state constitution provision specifying “advice and consent” to require the NC Senate to confirm the Governor’s cabinet secretary nominees, in a manner similar to what the US Senate does. Governor Cooper filed a lawsuit in January asserting that H 17 was unconstitutional interference with the duties of his office. Republican lawmakers argue that the constitution gives them the power to review nominees.

In early February, the NC Senate presented a schedule for confirming Governor Cooper’s nominees. Under the process, nominees would first go to the committee on the subject matter their agency oversees before a final review by the Senate Nominations Committee. Then, the full Senate would approve or reject the nomination.

Following the Senate’s announcement to begin confirmation hearings, Governor Cooper’s attorney filed suit and requested a restraining order to halt the Senate proceedings pending injunctive relief. A three-judge state court panel issued a temporary restraining order that prohibited the NC Senate from beginning confirmation hearings. The panel then heard arguments from Governor Cooper for a preliminary injunction to block the approval process on Friday, February 10. The following Tuesday, it issued an order denying the injunction. The full trial on the lawsuit is currently scheduled for March 7.


The General Assembly may also have to review legislative redistricting again this year. Last August, a three-judge federal district court found that the state’s legislative district maps constituted an unconstitutional racial gerrymander in 28 House and Senate districts. The panel ordered the General Assembly to redraw the maps by March 15 and hold special elections in 2018 to supersede those just held in 2017. Legislative leadership appealed this order. On January 10, 2017, the US Supreme Court overturned the lower court order pending further of the full appeal. The Supreme Court has yet to take further action so it is becoming more unlikely that there will be a special 2017 election, although the redrawing of maps for the 2018 elections is likely.

Medicaid Expansion

In January, Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) and House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) filed a federal lawsuit against the federal and state Departments of Health and Human Services challenging Governor Cooper’s plan to expand Medicaid. During his campaign, Governor Cooper listed Medicaid expansion as one of his top priorities and in early January, he submitted a letter and draft plan to CMS to expand Medicaid. However in 2013, the General Assembly passed legislation (S.L. 2013-5) prohibiting expansion without legislative approval. U.S. District Court Judge Louise Flanagan granted Berger and Moore’s motion for a temporary restraining order against Cooper’s expansion efforts. On January 27, that injunction was extended for another 60 days to give the new federal administration a chance to review all submissions and act accordingly.

2017 Session Policy Overview

Below are some of the issues that will be addressed by the General Assembly this session based on specific policy areas.


Significant healthcare policy issues this session are expected to include behavioral health reform, potential adjustments to the Medicaid reform bill, and an attempt by the Senate to repeal the state Certificate of Need law. We also expect to see bills filed to address opioid abuse, step therapy, oral chemotherapy parity and drug pricing transparency. Scope of practice battles will also consume some of the legislature’s attention, with H 36 expanding the types of procedures optometrists can perform and H 88/S 73 addressing advanced practice nurses, and likely more to come.

Regulatory Reform

Last session the legislature was not able to pass a regulatory reform bill, as it had in recent years. Those efforts will continue this session, and will likely include matters left on the table plus new ones. We also anticipate seeing changes in insurance rate and form filing, such as H 43, Auto Insurance Regulatory Modernization. H 43 would allow auto insurers to write insurer-specific driver incentive plans and opt-out of the current Safe Driver Incentive Plan (SDIP) set forth in statute. Other areas of reform will involve response to any federal “Repeal and Replace” legislation for the Affordable Care Act, further permitting reform, and likely proposed changes to beer wholesaler laws affecting small breweries.

Tax Reform

Since taking over control of the legislature in 2011, the Republican majority has enacted a series of tax policy reforms. We expect further debate on tax reform this session. Discussions may include changes to the tax credit/incentive system, lowering individual and corporate income tax rates, and mechanisms for economic development. The House Finance Committee recently held a meeting to give an overview of tax issues. The elimination of the franchise and mill machinery taxes were specifically mentioned, but changes need to avoid significant disruption the state revenues.

Education/Higher Ed

During the legislative interim, several committees met and discussed reforms to the state’s education policies. The legislature will likely consider changes to the community college funding formula and the pay structures and schedules for teachers and school administrators.

Legislation this session that has already seen action includes H 13, Class Size Requirement Changes, and H 39, Amend Appointments/UNC Board of Governors. H 13 is an attempt to address issues regarding class size requirements in earlier legislation. Schools would be able to return to the previous flexibility offered for the teacher student allotment ratio. H 39 would decrease the number of members appointed to the UNC Board of Governors by the General Assembly from 16 to 12.

HB 2 Repeal

During the 2017 long session, we expect there to be a number of attempts to repeal the measure. Already several bills have been filed which would repeal the law with or without other provisions. Governor Cooper has said repeal of H 2 is one of his top priorities and offered a compromise proposal. H 107 and S 93, Common Sense Compromise to Repeal HB 2, would repeal HB 2 and call for stricter penalties for bathroom crimes. These bills would also require cities to notify the legislature 30 days before adopting any nondiscrimination ordinance. It is unclear at this point what will transpire during the 2017 session on this highly politicized issue.

From Here

As we are only a month into the 2017 regular session, and we have not even reached the first bill introduction deadline, it is difficult to predict all of the interesting twists and turns ahead. We are on the ground, working every day on issues affecting our clients in virtually every industry. Please feel free to contact us if this outlook spurs questions or if you need additional information or detail.

TSS Cabinet Nominations Report – Updated 4/25/2017


The 115th Congress has witnessed a flurry of activity since it convened on January 3, 2017.

Republican and Democratic leaders of the Senate and House of Representatives started the year by naming chairs and allocating committee seats to incumbents and new members.

The two chambers also passed a Republican-led budget resolution laying the groundwork for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act through a process called reconciliation.

Additionally, the Senate has been busy reviewing President Trump’s nominations to lead the federal departments and agencies. These heads of departments will also make up the majority of his Cabinet.

Thus far, the Senate has confirmed the majority of President Trump’s cabinet. However, two cabinet positions, the Secretary for the Department of Agriculture and the Secretary for the Department of Labor, and one cabinet-level position, the United States Trade Representative, remain to be confirmed. Dozens of other high ranking administrations officials are also still pending confirmations.

Typically, the Senate’s confirmation process for the head of a federal department begins with an initial confirmation hearing in the committee or committees of jurisdiction. There, members can question the candidate and learn more about their policy positions.

Confirmation hearings are followed by a vote in the committee to advance the nomination to the full Senate floor, ending in a full vote by the Senate to confirm or reject the nominee.

What follows is a list of President Trump’s nominations for his Cabinet and their current status along the confirmation process. The list is in the order of the presidential line of succession.

Also included are some of the Cabinet-level positions that are not officially part of Trump’s Cabinet, but still require Senate confirmation.

Note: This report is up-to-date as of Tuesday, April 25. Dates of confirmation hearings, committee votes and full Senate votes are subject to change.

To read the report in full, please click the link below.

TSS Cabinet Update




Troutman Sanders Strategies Welcomes Hannah Irvin to Atlanta Team


Troutman Sanders Strategies Welcomes Hannah Irvin to Atlanta Team

Atlanta – Jan. 11, 2017 – Troutman Sanders Strategies is pleased to announce that Hannah Irvin has joined the Atlanta office as its new Manager of State Affairs.

Hannah comes to the firm from the Office of Governor Nathan Deal where she began her career in 2011. During her tenure, she held various roles including an appointment to the State Records Committee, an Extradition Coordinator for Governor Deal’s Executive Counsel and a Legislative Liaison for his policy team.

In her role as Legislative Liaison, Hannah served as the Governor’s direct line of communication between the House of Representatives and the State Senate. She also assisted the Governor’s legal team in ensuring passage of items on Governor Deal’s legislative agenda.

Hannah is a native of High Point, North Carolina and a graduate of the University of Georgia.

Please join us in welcoming Hannah Irvin to the firm.

About Troutman Sanders Strategies
Troutman Sanders Strategies is a full-service government relations and issue management firm that advocates for its clients’ public policy issues through a broad array of contacts at the federal, state and local levels in order to build better partnerships among governments and businesses. The firm is committed to its goal of protecting and enhancing the business of its clients through proactive support in matters involving government.

About Troutman Sanders
Troutman Sanders LLP is an international law firm with more than 650 lawyers in 16 offices located throughout North America and Asia. Founded in 1897, the firm’s lawyers provide counsel and advice in practically every aspect of civil and commercial law related to the firm’s core practice areas: Corporate, Energy and Industry Regulation, Finance, Litigation and Real Estate. Firm clients range from multinational corporations to individual entrepreneurs, federal and state agencies to foreign governments, and non-profit organizations to businesses representing virtually every sector and industry. See for more information.

TSS 2017 Federal Outlook


With the Obama administration coming to an end, January 2017 marks the beginning of a dramatic wholesale conservative shift in federal public policy making. Starting with the swearing-in of the 115th Congress on January 3rd, and followed by President Donald J. Trump’s inauguration on January 20th, the legislative and executive branches promise a robust schedule of activity heading into the Trump administration’s first 100 days.

Republicans are optimistic about their prospects for a productive legislative year; the GOP has not had undivided control of the federal government since they lost both chambers of Congress in the 2006 election cycle. The current balance of power in the Senate stands at 52 Republicans and 48 Democrats. The House of Representatives has 241 Republicans and 194 Democrats.

Since the election, Trump and GOP congressional leaders appear to have mended the hostilities that broke out during the campaign. This new found alignment bodes well, as Trump is likely to lean heavily on the policy expertise of congressional Republicans to carry out his anticipated public policy agenda.

Leadership and members of congress have already set a bold and ambitious legislative plan for 2017. There will be a strong and targeted focus on rolling back dozens of regulations proposed and finalized toward the end of President Obama’s term, as well as delivering legislative priorities like repealing Obamacare and tax reform.

The policy areas discussed below are some of the top agenda items for the 115th Congress and the new Trump administration. Also included are issues and agenda items that have carried over from the previous Congress. Many of these issues, such as Trump’s nominations, Obamacare repeal and replace, comprehensive tax reform, and confirming a Supreme Court Justice are top GOP priorities and will be addressed within Trump’s first 100 days in office. Other issues, like the debt ceiling and government funding, have hard deadlines and will have to be addressed early in the year. The remaining items may be considered later in 2017 or throughout the 115th Congress and Trump’s first term.

To read the report in full, please click the link below.

TSS 2017 Federal Outlook




TSS Adds Government Relations Expert Jennifer Walle


Troutman Sanders Strategies Adds Government Relations Expert Jennifer Walle

ATLANTA – Nov. 16, 2016 – Troutman Sanders Strategies, the governmental relations and issue management arm of the law firm Troutman Sanders LLP, announced today that Jennifer Walle joined the group as State Manager for State Government Affairs at Troutman Sanders Strategies. Before joining Troutman Sanders, Jennifer was an associate at Cornerstone Government Affairs. As a member of Troutman Sanders Strategies, Walle will specialize in economic development projects, procurement and healthcare policy. She will also assist firm clients with legislative, budget and regulatory issues in other areas.

Walle has more than ten years of government relations expertise, including lobbying experience at the state level focused on economic development, energy matters, healthcare, and locality advocacy. She has represented commercial developers, localities, non-profits, and both IT and healthcare companies before the Virginia General Assembly and the Executive Branch offices. During the course of her career, Walle successfully garnered more than $5 million in state and external financing for a transformational economic development project, assisted in passing legislation to increase the safety of school buses on Virginia roads, and assisted National and Virginia-based startups in the legislative, procurement, budget, and regulatory process.

“Jennifer’s vast experience and accomplishments are impressive and make her an ideal addition to the practice,” said Clark Lewis, partner and principal with Troutman Sanders Strategies. “We know that her work and advocacy across various industries will be an immediate asset to the firm and our clients.”

Prior to Cornerstone Government Affairs, Walle was the Vice President of Legislative Affairs and Campaign Development for Right Policy & Media, before which she served as City Council Liaison for the City of Richmond as well as a Budget Analyst specializing in the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP).

Jennifer has a bachelor of arts degree in Political Science and Government from Christopher Newport University, graduating cum laude, and is also is a graduate of the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership at the University of Virginia.

About Troutman Sanders Strategies
Troutman Sanders Strategies is a full-service government relations and issue management firm that advocates for its clients’ public policy issues through a broad array of contacts at the federal, state and local levels in order to build better partnerships among governments and businesses. The firm is committed to its goal of protecting and enhancing the business of its clients through proactive support in matters involving government.

About Troutman Sanders
Troutman Sanders LLP is an international law firm with more than 650 lawyers in 16 offices located throughout North America and Asia. Founded in 1897, the firm’s lawyers provide counsel and advice in practically every aspect of civil and commercial law related to the firm’s core practice areas: Corporate, Energy and Industry Regulation, Finance, Litigation and Real Estate. Firm clients range from multinational corporations to individual entrepreneurs, federal and state agencies to foreign governments, and non-profit organizations to businesses representing virtually every sector and industry. See for more information.

NC Election Results Update


Undecided Races
As of today, several of the political races in NC are still undecided, including the governor’s race. Currently, Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper leads Republican Governor Pat McCrory by 4,862 votes out of more than 4.6 million cast. The state auditor’s race is also close with Democratic incumbent Beth Wood leading Republican challenger Chuck Stuber by less than 3,000 votes. In Wake County, incumbent Republican Senator Tamara Barringer has about a 1,000 vote lead over her opponent and Republican Representatives Gary Pendleton and Marilyn Avila trail their challengers by about 800 and 300 votes, respectively. In the Attorney General Race, Democrat Josh Stein has a 20,000 vote lead over Republican Buck Newton. And incumbent Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin trails his challenger Republican Mike Causey by 38,000 votes. None of the trailing candidates have conceded.

The final vote canvass is Friday, November 18. This is when the county Boards of Elections will have the final vote totals for absentee and provisional ballots. Absentee ballots postmarked on or before Election Day are included, as are military and overseas ballots received by Thursday, November 17. Also, elections officials must assess the more than 60,000 provisional ballots to determine if they will be accepted or rejected by county boards of elections by this Friday. Provisional ballots are used when precinct officials cannot immediately verify that a voter is registered to vote there. The voter fills out a ballot, which is then sealed with an explanation written on the outside to justify why the vote should be counted. For example, a voter might have moved recently without updating his or her address. Legally, anyone who shows up to the polls must be given an opportunity to cast a provisional ballot. Historically, a substantial number of provisional ballots have been rejected as ineligible.

After these numbers are verified, a recount could be requested. In order to request a recount, the trailing candidate in a Council of State race must be losing by less than 10,000 votes. The State Board of Elections has yet to set a schedule for any recount process. The Board is scheduled to meet November 29 to certify all election results.

Protests have been filed by various entities in at least twelve counties alleging irregularities involving conduct of the election day process, including machine malfunctions, ballot tabulation, handling of absentee ballots and other aspects. Durham County has already held a preliminarily hearing on Wednesday morning regarding a complaint demanding a recount of more than 94,000 ballots. The board ordered an evidentiary hearing be held Friday. In Bladen County, McCrae Dowless, the elected candidate for soil and water district supervisor, filed the protest alleging that a handful of people may have improperly submitted hundreds of absentee ballots. Prior to the election, the Bladen County Board of Elections began investigating the matter after a large number of write-in candidates for soil and water district supervisor were noticed. A forensic document examiner has found indications that at least 167 mail-in absentee ballots cast were written by seven people.

NC Inaugural Ball
The 2017 North Carolina Governor’s Inaugural Ball, hosted by the Junior League of Raleigh, will take place January 5-7 in Raleigh. The Inaugural Ball honors the newly elected governor and Council of State members with a series of events, including the Friday Luncheon, Council of State Reception, Rock the Ball concert, Governor’s Receptions, Gala Presentation and Inaugural Ball. There is a variety of sponsorship levels ranging from $100,000 to $600.

Please let us know if you are interested in sponsoring this event and we will help you coordinate through the Junior League of Raleigh. Intention to support the event must be submitted by December 15, 2016. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

TSS Atlanta: 2016 Georgia General Election Report


2016 Georgia General Election Report

General elections were held in Georgia yesterday, November 8th. At the federal level, ten out of the sixteen members of Georgia’s congressional delegation faced general opposition and were able to secure re-election.

At the state level, forty-two of the two hundred and thirty-six members of the General Assembly faced general opposition. In addition to these incumbent races, there were three races to fill open seats in the House and one in the Senate. Voters were also given the opportunity to decide whether or not to approve four constitutional amendments, which were placed on the ballot by the General Assembly. More information about these amendments, as well as highlights from key races in the House and Senate, can be found below. To view results from all of Georgia’s races, please see the Secretary of State’s website.

Contested Federal Elections

President of the United States

Candidate Party Results
Donald Trump R 51.22%
Hillary Clinton D 45.73%
Gary Johnson L 3.06%

United States Senate

Candidate Party Results
Johnny Isakson (Incumbent) R 54.93%
Jim Barksdale D 40.91%
Allen Buckley L 4.16%

2nd Congressional District

Candidate Party Results
Sanford Bishop (Incumbent) D 61.19%
Greg Duke R 38.81%

3rd Congressional District (Open Seat)

Candidate Party Results
Drew Ferguson R 68.37%
Angela Pendley D 31.63%

4th Congressional District

Candidate Party Results
Hank Johnson. (Incumbent) D 75.69%
Victor Armendariz R 24.31%

5th Congressional District

Candidate Party Results
John Lewis (Incumbent) D 84.54%
Douglas Bell R 15.46%

6th Congressional District

Candidate Party Results
Tom Price (Incumbent) R 61.55%
Rodney Stooksbury D 38.45%

7th Congressional District

Candidate Party Results
Rob Woodall (Incumbent) R 60.45%
Rashid Malik D 39.55%

8th Congressional District

Candidate Party Results
Austin Scott (Incumbent) R 67.73%
James Neal Harris D 32.27%

11th Congressional District

Candidate Party Results
Barry Loudermilk (Incumbent) R 67.49%
James Neal Harris D 32.51%

12th Congressional District

Candidate Party Results
Rick Allen (Incumbent) R 61.61%
Tricia McCracken D 38.39%


General Assembly Seat Distribution


Party Previous Current Change
Republican 39 38 -1
Democrat 17 18 +1
Independent 0 0 0


Party Previous Current Change
Republican 117 117 0
Democrat 62 63 +1
Independent 1 0 -1


Key Senate and House Elections
*Denotes Incumbent

Senate District 43

Residents of this eastern Atlanta district had the opportunity to choose between incumbent Senator JaNice VaNess (R – Conyers) and former House member Tonya Anderson, who was the winner of July’s Democratic primary runoff election. Results from this election are as follows:

• Tonya Anderson (D) – 70.42%
• JaNice VaNess* (R) – 29.58%

House District 80

Voters in this Atlanta district were able to choose between incumbent Representative Taylor Bennett (D – Brookhaven) and his Republican challenger Meagan Hanson. Results from this election are as follows:

• Meagan Hanson (R) – 50.52%
• Taylor Bennett* (D) – 49.48%

House District 101

Voters in this metro Atlanta district were able to choose between incumbent Representative Valerie Clark (R – Lawrenceville) and her Democratic challenger Samuel Park. Results from this election are as follows:

• Samuel Park (D) – 51.07%
• Valerie Clark* (R) – 48.93%

House District 138

Voters who went to the polls in this southwestern Georgia district were able to choose between incumbent Representative Mike Cheokas (R – Americus) and his Democratic challenger Bill McGowan. Results from this election are as follows:

• Bill McGowan (D) – 50.84%
• Mike Cheokas* (R) – 49.16%

House District 145

Residents of this central Georgia district were able to choose between Republican Rick Williams and his Democratic challenger Floyd Griffin. This seat was previously held by Representative Rusty Kidd (I – Milledgeville), who declined to seek re-election due to health reasons. Results from this election are as follows:

• Rick Williams (R) – 56.58%
• Floyd Griffin (D) – 43.42%


Constitutional Amendments

Amendment 1: Opportunity School District

Voters throughout the State of Georgia voted to disapprove amendment one, which would have allowed the state to intervene in chronically failing schools. This amendment was the result of SB 133 and SR 287, passed by the General Assembly during the 2016 session. The legislation aimed to tackle the problem of systematically failing schools and school systems.

Amendment 2: Safe Harbor Fund

The Safe Harbor constitutional amendment was approved by voters. This amendment, which is the result of SB 8 and SR 7 passed during the General Assembly in 2015, creates the Safe Harbor Fund and increases the penalties for those convicted of sex trafficking. Money from this fund will be used to pay for healthcare, housing, and other rehabilitative services for victims of sex trafficking.

Amendment 3: Judicial Qualifications Commission Reform

Voters decided to approve the Judicial Qualifications Commission Reform legislation which was passed by the General Assembly in 2016. This amendment, which is the result of HB 808 and HR 1113, will abolish the current Judicial Qualifications Commission and replace it with a new commission. The primary purpose of this commission, which has been to investigate judicial misconduct, will remain the same. If necessary, they will continue to have the power to discipline or remove judges from the bench. What is changing is the composition and manner of appointment of the seven member commission.

Amendment 4: Dedication of Fireworks Tax Revenue

Georgian’s decided to approve this amendment. This legislation, which is the result of SB 350 and SR 558 passed by the General Assembly in 2016, codifies the allocation of tax revenue derived from the sales of fireworks to trauma care and fire training centers.


New State Legislators

• District 19: Blake Tillery (R)
• District 24: Lee Anderson (R)
• District 28: Matt Brass (R)

• District 3: Dewayne Allen (R)
• District 6: Jason Ridley (R)
• District 8: Matt Gurtler (R)
• District 25: Todd Jones (R)
• District 52: Deborah Silcox (R)
• District 59: David Dreyer (D)
• District 62: William Boddie Jr. (D)
• District 63: Debra Bazemore (D)
• District 64: Derrick Johnson (D)
• District 72: Josh Bonner (R)
• District 73: Karen Mathiak (R)
• District 80: Meagan Hanson (R)
• District 84: Renitta Shannon (D)
• District 91: Vernon Jones (D)
• District 95: Scott Hilton (R)
• District 99: Brenda Lopez (D)
• District 101: Samuel Park (D)
• District 123: Mark Newton (R)
• District 125: Sheila Clark Nelson (D)
• District 138: Bill McGowan (D)
• District 142: Mariam Paris (D)
• District 145: Rick Williams (R)
• District 162: Carl Gilliard (D)
• District 179: Don Hogan (R)


TSS Election Report **Updated 11/9 – 6:00 PM**


TSS Election Report

One of the most historical and headline-producing races for the White House in recent memory is finally over, and Donald Trump has officially been chosen as the President-elect over Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton.

Additionally, in what many considered a unlikely outcome for Senate Republicans, they will maintain their majority in the 115th Congress.

Below you will find a link to the Troutman Sanders Strategies team’s Election Report, giving an overview of the White House, the Senate, the House of Representatives, and the Governors races results.

Also included is a synopsis of what we could see during the lame duck session, a preview of the 115th Congress, and a listing of changes to House and Senate committee leadership positions.

Should you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact one of our offices to find out more about Troutman Sanders Strategies’ professionals and expertise.

TSS Election Report




NC 2016 Election Results


Voter Turnout

North Carolina is the 10th largest state, with an estimated total population in excess of 10.0 million people. Of those, ­­4.7 million out of 6.9 million registered voters cast ballots in this general election, or 68.2%. That compares to a similar participation rate of 68.37% during the last presidential election in 2012 (4.5 million out of 6.6 million). More than 3.1 million residents voted by mail or in person prior to Election Day, setting a record.

Presidential Race

Both parties viewed North Carolina as a key battleground state in the race for President, and the candidates made substantial investments in the state. For the week of October 25 alone, Hilary Clinton spent over $3 million in North Carolina for television campaign ads while Donald Trump spent approximately $1.1 million.

Both candidates came to Raleigh on Monday, the day before the general election. Hilary Clinton’s husband and daughter introduced her to midnight rally attendees at N.C. State University in Raleigh, before Lady Gaga, Jon Bon Jovi, and DJ Samantha Ronson performed. Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine also campaigned in Charlotte at the Mecklenburg County Democratic Headquarters on Monday morning. Donald Trump held a rally at the nearby North Carolina State Fairgrounds in Raleigh on Monday afternoon. Governor Pat McCrory and Attorney General candidate and current state Senator Buck Newton introduced Trump along with his daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, an NCSU alumna who grew up in Wrightsville Beach, NC. Trump’s campaign was also represented in Mooresville, NC. Trump spokesperson Katrina Pierson and Lara Trump, the candidate’s daughter-in-law, spoke to a crowd of female supporters at Richard Petty Motorsports, near Charlotte Motor Speedway.

During the final days of campaigning, RealClearPolitics’ polling average had Republican Donald Trump with a 1 percentage point lead over Democrat Hillary Clinton (46.5% to 45.5% respectively). In the end­­­, ­­Donald Trump won North Carolina with 49.9% to Clinton’s 46.1%, a margin of 176,000 votes.

U.S. Senate Race

The U.S. Senate race between Republican incumbent Senator Richard Burr and Democrat Deborah Ross also appeared highly competitive prior to election day. Burr’s and Ross’ campaigns reported raising a combined $23 million, with independent groups spending over $58 million on the Senate race. While early polls placed Burr in a fairly comfortable lead, Monday’s polling numbers showed Burr up by only 2 percentage points, and some polls had him behind slightly. Ultimately, Sen. Burr prevailed 51.1% to 45.3% (by 268,105 votes).


All thirteen of North Carolina’s congressional seats were voted on this election. Currently, North Carolina’s Congressional Delegation is composed of 10 Republicans and 3 Democrats, and remains the same today. There was only one open seat, in District 13, where Republican Ted Budd defeated Democrat Bruce David (56. As you may recall, two federal court rulings invalidated the congressional maps in NC and required the legislature to draw new ones. All of this made for a very interesting primary. Congressman George Holding (the incumbent of District 13) won the primary for District 2, making for one less incumbent in the general election. Ted Budd ended up winning the open seat, 56% to 44%.

Governor’s Race

The country also watched closely North Carolina’s gubernatorial race. Incumbent Governor Pat McCrory (R) saw a challenge from sitting Attorney General Roy Cooper (D). Prior to Election Day, Cooper had a 1-2% lead over Gov. McCrory. Out of 4.7 million votes cast, Cooper is leading by 5001 votes, so the race is still too close to call. The State Board of Elections still needs to count provisional ballots, and we will not know who received those votes until the canvass on November 18. After that, either candidate can demand a recount if the election is still within 0.5% (1% in non-statewide elections). We don’t expect this election to be decided for some time, although it seems unlikely that McCrory would gain enough votes to overcome the deficit.

Council of State

In NC, there are ten statewide elected offices. These include the Governor and the nine members of the Council of State (each of whom leads a department). These individuals act independently of the Governor and like the Governor serve a 4-year term. All of the Council of State seats were up for election this year.

Lieutenant Governor

The Lieutenant Governor race was a rematch of 2012 with Republican incumbent Dan Forest facing Democratic challenger Linda Coleman. In 2012, Forest narrowly defeated Coleman by about 7,000 votes. This year Dan Forest won the rematch by more than 6 points.

Attorney General

With the sitting Attorney General Roy Cooper (D) running for governor, the attorney general became an open seat race between NC State Senator Buck Newton (R-Wilson) and former NC State Senator Josh Stein (D-Wake). This is another race that is very close, with Stein leading Newton by only 21,000 votes. We expect Stein will become the next NC Attorney General, but the election could still go to a recount, with the margin at 0.46%.

State Treasurer

Last October, current State Treasurer Janet Cowell (D) announced she would not seek a third term. Raleigh attorney and former Wake County Democratic Party chairperson Dan Blue III (D) faced former Employment Security Division head and NC House Rep. Dale Folwell (R-Forsyth) for the open seat. Folwell won this race with 52.7 %of the vote to Blue’s 47.2. We expect this may result in some turnover within the State Treasurer’s office, including at the retirement and state employee health plan management.

Commissioner of Insurance

Republican Mike Causey faced Democratic incumbent Wayne Goodwin in the Commissioner of Insurance race. This was Causey’s fifth run for Insurance Commissioner. Causey defeated Goodwin 50.4 % to 49.6% of the vote in a surprising upset. A Democrat has held the insurance commissioner’s office since North Carolina’s first commissioner took the post in 1899.

Below is the outcome of the remaining Council of State seats, with the winner in bold.

Secretary of State

Elaine Marshall (D) – Incumbent, running for re-election to sixth term
Michael LaPaglia (R)

Commissioner of Agriculture

Steve Troxler (R) – Incumbent, running for re-election to fourth term
Walter Smith (D)

Commissioner of Labor

Cherie Berry (R) – Incumbent, running for re-election to fifth term
Charles Meeker (D)

Superintendent of Public Instruction

June Atkinson (D) – Incumbent, running for re-election to fourth term
Mark Johnson (R)

State Auditor

– This race is extremely close, with Wood leading by only 3000 votes out of nearly 4.5 million cast (0.06%), and likely subject to recount after canvass if demanded.

Beth Wood (D) – Incumbent, running for re-election to third term
Charles Stuber (R)

General Assembly

All 170 seats in the North Carolina General Assembly were up for election. Before the election, the North Carolina House and Senate were both controlled by Republican supermajorities. The House majority was 74-45-1 and the Senate majority was 34-16. Close to half of the 170 seats were already decided with 76 candidates running unopposed.

The NC Senate majority has grown and is now 35-15. Some of the most competitive races occurred in the urban counties such as Wake and Mecklenburg. Some of the districts we were watching that could potentially flip from Republican to Democrat included Sen. Jeff Tarte (District 41) and the open seat left by retiring Republican incumbent Sen. Bob Rucho (District 39), both in Mecklenburg County. In Wake County, we were watching three Republican incumbent seats, Senators John Alexander (District 15), Tamara Barringer (District 17) and Chad Barefoot (District 18). All of the incumbents, plus Rep. Dan Bishop (R) in the Rucho seat, won their seats. In NC Senate District 13, Danny Britt (R) defeated incumbent Jane Smith (D) with 55 percent of the vote for the one seat gain.

In the House, there was potential for a fairly significant shift (R to D) based on a large number of swing districts around the state’s two largest cities, Raleigh and Charlotte. In Raleigh, incumbents Rep. Marilyn Avila (R) and Rep. Gary Pendleton (R) both lost close elections. Former Judge Joe John defeated Avila with 50.4 percent of the votes cast and Cynthia Ball beat Pendleton by only 800 votes. Two candidates for the North Carolina legislature passed away before yesterday’s election. Representative Paul Luebke was running for his fourteenth term in the NC House for House District 30 in Durham County. Democratic candidate Warren Judge of Manteo was running in the House District 6 race which was left vacant from retiring incumbent Rep. Paul Tine (U-Dare). Both names appeared on the ballots with appointed candidates receiving their votes. Durham County Democrats appointed Phillip Lehman to replace Rep. Luebke while Tess Judge, Warren Judge’s wife, was nominated as his replacement by District 6 Democratic officials. While Lehman prevailed, Ms. Judge did not. Thus, the net gain of one seat in the House by the Democrats, to 46 (74 R).

For more detailed results, please visit the NC State Board of Elections website or feel free to give Amanda Donovan a call at (919)-835-4140.