Recent election cycles have seen more than 40 percent of state legislative seats left uncontested. Not this year.
Graig Meyer, who serves in the North Carolina House, spent months recruiting fellow Democrats to run for legislative seats this year. He hoped to find a live body for every race, but admits he was skeptical it could happen. Back in 2016, 45 percent of the legislative seats in the state were uncontested by one party or the other.
But Meyer pulled it off. This year, there’s a Democrat running for every seat in the state House and the state Senate. On the Republican side, the recruiting effort fell just short of perfection, with a single House seat conceded to the Democrats.
In recent cycles, it’s been common around the country for more than 40 percent of seats to be left uncontested. This year is different. States where filing deadlines have passed have seen more Democratic candidates sign up than any time since at least 1982. “Thank you, Donald Trump,” says Andrea Dew Steele, president and founder of Emerge America, which recruits and trains Democratic women candidates.