GOPAC’s Top Races to Watch: North Carolina State House


As Democrats wrap up their Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, focused on government solutions for all that ails us, GOPAC is featuring a special second edition this week of “Top Races to Watch,” highlighting key Republican races for the North Carolina State House where the GOP is looking to build a supermajority and advance small-government solutions that work.

Republicans in the North Carolina House hold a 68-52 majority under the leadership of Speaker Thom Tillis, the third Republican Speaker to serve in the state’s House of Representatives. This November, they are working to achieve a 72-seat supermajority to further advance the conservative solutions that have moved North Carolina in the right direction, including a balanced budget and surplus with no new taxes.

To achieve that supermajority, Republicans are targeting several key races, including the top five races below in which Republicans must maintain or pick-up a House seat:

Representative Mike Stone (R) vs Bill Tatum (D)

  • District 51, Lee and Harnett Counties
  • Voter make-up: Lean Republican

GOPACRepresentative Mike Stone is running for re-election in North Carolina’s 51st House District against Democrat Bill Tatum, former Lee County School Board Chairman.

A small business owner and fiscal conservative, Mike Stone has led the fight in Raleigh to cut wasteful spending and balance the state’s budget without raising taxes. He has made improving North Carolina’s public education system one of his top priorities, voting to reduce class sizes, give parents more choice in where to send their kids, reduce government bureaucracy, and reward top performing teachers with higher pay.

His opponent, Democrat Bill Tatum, recently finished up a tumultuous stint on the Lee County School Board, with a Sanford Herald editorial claiming his term “has only seemed to demonstrate more distrust.”

Republicans must keep Mike Stone and his proven record of trust and results in the NC General Assembly.

Support Representative Mike Stone.


Representative Tom Murry (R) vs Jim Messina (D)

  • District 41, Wake County
  • Voter make-up: Swing District

GOPACRepresentative Tom Murry, a member of GOPAC’s 2012 Class of Emerging Leaders, is running for re-election in North Carolina’s 41st House District against Democrat Jim Messina.

Representative Tom Murry, a licensed pharmacist and attorney, just completed his first term in the North Carolina State House where he was named the most effective freshman legislator. Tom Murry is a strong advocate for teachers and students, supporting a budget that restores $251 million state dollars for K-12 students and classrooms, increases state level funding for teachers, and gives teachers and state employees a pay raise, all while cutting taxes for North Carolinians.

Tom Murry’s opponent, Jim Messina, would be a rubber stamp for the Democrats’ liberal agenda of opposing Voter ID laws, supporting policies that run up government spending, leaving North Carolina with budget deficits, and calling for higher taxes.

A true swing district, it is imperative for North Carolina Republicans to elect Rep. Tom Murry to a second term representing House District 41.

Support Representative Tom Murry.


Rob Bryan (R) vs Representative Martha Alexander (D)

  • District 88, Mecklenburg County
  • Voter make-up: Lean Republican

GOPACRepublican Rob Bryan faces off against incumbent Democratic Representative Martha Alexander in one of the only target House races against an incumbent legislator.

Rob is a lawyer for Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, the largest law firm headquartered in North Carolina, where he has built a successful commercial real estate practice. He has seen firsthand the demands facing Charlotte businesses and will be a strong advocate for business-friendly legislation. He will fight to reform the regulatory process and improve our state’s economy by expanding tax cuts for families and small businesses and working to bring North Carolina’s tax rates in line with those of neighboring states.

Rob will apply his conservative principles to his work in Raleigh, unlike his opponent, Martha Alexander, who has been ranked by Civitas, an independent, non-partisan organization, as one of the least conservative Representatives in the North Carolina State House over her 20 year career. Martha Alexander has voted numerous times to raise taxes, including sales taxes, the Land Transfer Tax, and taxes on alcohol and tobacco.

The son of a teacher, Rob served for several years in the Teach for America program, where he taught in a low-income, inner city school. He will put this experience to work, ensuring that North Carolina’s education system provides parents, teachers, and principals with more options, so that their children are ready for the challenges of competing in a global economy.

Support Rob Bryan.


John Szoka (R) vs Eddie Dees (D)

  • District 45, Cumberland County
  • Voter make-up: Swing District

GOPACJohn Szoka, a 20 year Army veteran, is a small business owner and director of the non-profit organizations Better Business Bureau of Coastal Carolina and Team Daniel Foundation.

His opponent, Democrat Eddie Dees, is a former mayor of Hope Mills who lost re-election to a fourth term.

Szoka knows the issues facing small businesses and will fight for lower personal income taxes and cut through the red tape that stifles job creation.

Support John Szoka.


Susan Martin (R) vs Mark Bibbs (D)

  • District 8, Wilson and Pitt Counties
  • Voter make-up: Swing District

GOPACRepublican Susan Martin is running against Democrat Mark Bibbs, a local lawyer, in the open seat in House District 8.

Susan Martin worked as a Client Representative for IBM for 12 years, helping companies solve problems and become more competitive. She understands how business works and will fight to make government less intrusive to North Carolina job creators. She is actively involved in the local public school system where her two teenage daughters attend, serving as Vice President of the PTO at Toisnot Middle School.

As a State Representative, Susan will insist on local control and accountability in North Carolina’s schools so their children will be prepared to compete in the global economy.

Support Susan Martin .