Former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley announces U.S. Senate bid

Former North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley announced on Twitter Tuesday that she’s running for the Senate seat to be vacated in early 2023 by Sen. Richard Burr, the senior Republican senator representing the state since 2005. Burr has long made clear that he won’t seek reelection in 2022.

After losing in 2020 to Chief Justice Paul Newby by a razor-thin margin of 401 votes out of early 5.4 million votes cast, Beasley became a partner at McGuireWoods, an international law firm with offices in Charlotte and Raleigh. She was appointed to the chief justice seat in 2019 by Gov. Roy Cooper. She served on the North Carolina Court of Appeals from 2008 to 2012 before being appointed to the state’s highest court by then-Gov. Beverly Perdue. She then won statewide reelection in 2014.

Beasley will face challenges from at least two fellow Democrats in the 2022 primary — state Senator Jeff Jackson of Mecklenburg County and former state Senator Erica Smith, who represented a multi-county district in the northeastern part of the state before losing in the 2020 primaries in an unsuccessful attempt to unseat Sen. Thom Tillis. The Republican field currently former Congressman Mark Walker and former Governor Pat McCrory.

“Cheri has seen how Washington only responds to the well-connected, whether on health care, education or the ability to find work that supports a family and retire with dignity,” Beasley’s campaign website said. “She is running for Senate to fight for all North Carolinians.”

Beasley could not be reached for comment.

State campaign finance records show Beasley has not yet closed her state committee from her Chief Justice race.

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