Two UNC Charlotte students and many alumni appeared on North Carolina ballots in the March 3 primary. Both current students, Cade Lee and Jacob Baum, lost to incumbent challengers. Alumni George Dunlap (County Commissioners 3) and Mujtaba Mohammed (NC Senate 38) won their party nominations and will continue to the Nov. 3 general election along with alumni DeAndrea Salvador (NC Senate 39), Joyce Waddell (NC Senate 40), Mary Belk (NC House 88), Terry Brown (NC House 92) and Susan Rodriguez-McDowell (County Commissioners 6), who ran unopposed in the primaries.
Lee, a senior majoring in international studies and political science, lost his bid for the District 3 seat of the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners to alumnus George Dunlap. Lee won 25 percent of the vote, 5,997 votes overall, and won 53 percent of the votes in the precinct that encompasses UNC Charlotte.
“I hope my campaign serves as a message to all young people and progressives: We will not sit on the sidelines. It's up to us to stand up, demand action and take down the establishment. After all, it's our future we're fighting for,” said Lee.
Baum, a senior majoring in political science, lost his race for the Republican nomination for N.C. House District 75 to incumbent Donny Lambeth. Baum received 32 percent of the vote, or 2,202 votes. He also recently announced his candidacy for student body president of UNC Charlotte.
“For my first-election [sic.] against one of the top leaders of our state, in which tens of thousands of dollars were spent to defeat me, I’ll take that. Excited for new opportunities in 2022 and fully support Lambeth in this election and the ones to come!” Baum said on Twitter.
Students had a chance to vote early this year at UNC Charlotte’s one-stop voting site in Belk Gym. The site had 2,037 voters during the early voting period. Precinct Official Diane Buys estimates that about 98 percent of these voters were affiliated with the University. It’s unknown how many of these voters were students.
“I don’t think that a lot of students understand what the primary is exactly about,” Buys said.
North Carolina voters also elected Joe Biden as the Democratic nominee for president. Biden took 45 percent of the vote in Mecklenburg County followed by Bernie Sanders with 24 percent and Michael Bloomberg with 14 percent. Statewide voter turnout was 31 percent.
Cal Cunningham won the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate and Thom Tillis won the Republican nomination. Alma Adams will continue her tenure as U.S. House Rep. for District 12. Roy Cooper won the Democratic nomination for governor and Yvonne Lewis Howley narrowly secured the nomination for lieutenant governor. They will face Republican nominees Dan Forest and Mark Robinson in November.