The Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People has released its endorsements for federal, state and local elections in May.
In local races, the Committee is backing Roger Echols for a second term as District Attorney, and Clarence Birkhead for sheriff over incumbent Mike Andrews.
Echols faces two Democratic challengers
in the May 8 primary, Satana Deberry and Daniel Meier. Deberry already picked up the endorsement of another PAC, the People's Alliance. In the sheriff's race, Birkhead also won the Peope's Alliance PAC endorsement.
For Durham County Board of Education, the Committee endorsed incumbents, with the exception of District 4. The Committee's picks are: Mike Lee in District 1, Bettina Umstead in District 2, Matt Sears in District 3 and Antonio Jones (over incumbent Natalie Beyer) in District 4. Because school board races are nonpartisan, they will be decided by the May election.
The Committee also chose incumbents for state offices, except in North Carolina House District 31, where longtime representative Mickey Michaux is not seeking reelection. The Committee, along with Michaux and the People's Alliance, is supporting Zach Hawkins, 2nd Vice Chair of the Durham County Democratic Party and a former teacher. He'll face Republican Torian Webson and Libertarian Erik Raudsep in the general election.
In District 29, the Committee is endorsing incumbent Rep. MaryAnn Black, who was appointed to her seat last year. She has no Democractic opponent, but will face a Republican challenger in Charles Becker. In District 30, incumbent Rep. Marcia Morey won the Committee's endorsement. She was also appointed to her seat last year and has no Democratic challenger in May. She'll face Republican Barry Burch and Libertarian Matthew Wagoner in the general election.
The Committee didn't make an endorsement for District 54, where incumbent Rep. Robert Reives faces Republican Jay Stobbs. The district was redrawn this year to include South Durham.
In the North Carolina Senate, the Committee endorsed District 20 incumbent Sen. Floyd McKissick Jr., over Republican Tom Stark (who is general counsel for the NCGOP) and Libertarian candidate Jared Erickson. Sen. Mike Woodard was endorsed for another term representing District 22 over Republican Rickey Padgett and Libertarian Ray Ubinger.
For the U.S. House, the Committee endorsed incumbent Rep. G.K. Butterfield in District 1, a Democrat who has held the seat since 2004. He'll face Republican Roger Allison in the general. For District 4, the endorsement went to Rep. David Price, a Democrat who has represented North Carolina's Fourth Congressional District for three decades, over Democrat Michelle Laws, a professor, minister and former executive director of the North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP.
In a press release, the Committee outlined five core issues: educational equity, criminal justice reform, improving affordable housing, enforceable standards for voting districts, and sensible gun control polices.
More on the Committee's endorsement criteria: