Coleman and Earls: Two Black Women Candidates Vying to Win
By CASH MICHAELS
As the 2018 midterm elections head towards the Nov. 6th Election Day finish line, two Black women candidates are in good position to win high profile seats if Black voters show their support.
Civil rights attorney Anita Earls, Democrat, has run a good race, thus far, observers say, for the NC Supreme Court, seeking to unseat current associate Justice Barbara Jackson, a Republican.
And Linda Coleman, also a Democrat, hopes to unseat incumbent Republican Congressman George Holding in the 2nd Congressional District. A win by Ms. Coleman would give North Carolina a third Black member of North Carolina’s Congressional caucus, with First District Congressman G. K. Butterfield and 12th District Rep. Alma Adams representing the other two.
If attorney Earls wins her contest, she will join the Democratic majority on the state’s High Court, making it 5-2. She says she’s running to help restore faith in the judicial system.
“Without a doubt, as I’ve been going around the state over the past [year] talking to voters across the state, and what people want really is a fair and impartial judiciary. It’s not that one side wants their team up there. It’s that they want to have confidence that the judges will be fair, and that we have an institution that everyone trusts is fair.”
Being yet another woman of color on the state Supreme Court is also important for voters to factor in, Earls says.
“There are a number of life experiences that I would bring to the court, and I think that the voters are entitled to know what those are, and decide for themselves what they believe is important in terms of who can best [serve],: she says.
Best known for being the former executive director of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, “..a North Carolina based civil rights nonprofit that partners with communities of color and economically disadvantaged communities in the South to defend and advance their political, social and economic rights,” her court victories against the Republican legislature’s racially gerrymandered voting districts and discriminatory voter ID laws made her a champion in the eyes of many.
“I felt the need to move into this new role because of the threats to the impartiality to our courts, and this experience of, particularly in the redistricting cases, seeing the court not willing to apply the law fairly,” Earls said.
For Linda Coleman, her race in the Second Congressional District is about giving the average citizen there a voice in Congress which she feels George Holding hasn’t done.
“Everyone needs affordable health care, accessible health care and quality heath care,” Coleman, a former state representative and two-time candidate for lieutenant governor, said. “They don’t need to deal with pre-existing conditions, which can bankrupt families. Many are just a paycheck away from a catastrophic situation.”
The Second Congressional District is diverse racially, mixed with rural, urban and suburban communities. The six-county district encompasses southern and eastern Wake, northern Johnston County, southern Nash, western Wilson, and all of Franklin and Harnett. Politically, it is one-third Democrat, one-third Republican and one-third unaffiliated. In recent elections, the district has leaned conservative, but Coleman believes she can win.
The polls, thus far, are close in the final days of the midterm elections.
But if the recent negative television ads between Coleman and Holding are any indication (Holding began running attack ads during the summer when polls showed Coleman gaining strength), every vote in the Second District must count, says Coleman.
“That is where your faith comes in,” Coleman says. “The way to get to people to believe is to promote a culture of hope out there. That there will be a better day tomorrow.”
Early voting across the state ends Saturday, Nov. 3rd. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 6th. Polls open at 6:30am.