In N.C. House District 11, the INDY Endorses Allison Dahle | Our Endorsements | Indy Week

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In N.C. House District 11, the INDY Endorses Allison Dahle

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Until recently, state Representative Duane Hall, an affable and reliably center-left Democrat, was a shoe-in for reelection. But that all changed in March, when the website NC Policy Watch, an offshoot of the N.C. Justice Center, published a bombshell report in which a number of sources accused Hall of sexual misconduct. Rather than follow the protocol favored by many other prominent figures and politicians caught up in the #MeToo movement—apologize and vow to reflect quietly and change—Hall went on the attack, vehemently denying the allegations, refusing to resign, and then floating the odd conspiracy theory that the article was payback for him dating and then breaking up with the daughter of the Justice Center's executive director.

Whatever the truth of the allegations, that's where Hall lost us. Rather than engage in a difficult conversation like we'd expect from a pro-woman, pro-choice advocate, Hall refused to accept any responsibility or take the allegations seriously, instead chalking the entire story up to a political vendetta from a scorned lover.

And even if you were to give him every benefit of the doubt, the reality is that he is now effectively neutered as a legislator. After the allegations surfaced, Governor Cooper, House Minority Leader Darren Jackson, and party chairman Wayne Goodwin all called for Hall's resignation; it's impossible to see how he could be effective even in his own caucus after that. And it's unclear if he even wants to do it anymore. He's gone dark on social media and declined to respond to our candidate questionnaire.

We're endorsing Hall's primary challenger, Allison Dahle, a Raleigh native and former theater stage manager-turned disability advocate. Dahle didn't expect to have a chance when she threw her hat in the race, and she is not making the allegations against him a primary campaign issue. But she does believe that he should step down—and that the voters of his district are ready for a change. We agree.

Here again, there are two Republicans squaring off in a primary for this blue-leaning seat, Shawn Hamilton and Tyler Brooks, but we're not endorsing either. Hamilton's answers to our questionnaire were generally brief and superficial—he says he fully supports the Second Amendment but dodges the question of raising the age for gun purchases, though he also says HB 2 was none of the state’s business, which is something*—and we couldn't find much more about him online. Brooks is a lawyer for the radical anti-abortion Thomas More Law Center, so no thanks.

One other note: Heather Metour will also be on the ballot in the Democratic primary, though she dropped out of the race for family reasons.

*Correction: This story originally said Hamilton did not respond to our questionnaire. He did. Unfortunately, his email got lost in our system. This story has been updated to reflect the new information, though it did not alter our decision not to endorse in the Republican primary. We apologize for the error.

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