NC House race in Cabarrus County could determine legislative balance of power

CABARRUS COUNTY, N.C. — A Cabarrus County state House race could determine who controls the balance of power in the North Carolina legislature.

House District 73 pits Democrat Diamond Staton-Williams, a Harrisburg town councilmember, against Republican Brian Echevarria, a rising star in the NCGOP.

At stake is a possible supermajority for the Republican Party that would allow them to override Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto power.

Republicans already hold strong majorities in the House and Senate, but if they pick up three House seats and two Senate seats, the party could enact their policies without pushback from the governor.

With party power possibly in the balance, newcomers Echevarria and Staton-Williams are vying for the seat vacated by retiring Republican Rep. Larry Pittman.

The boundaries of the district changed significantly with new redistricting maps leaving the race as a toss up.

Echevarria landed in the spotlight after a speech earlier this year on Critical Race Theory during a Cabarrus County School Board meeting.

“I’m biracial, I’m bilingual, I’m multi-cultural,” he said during the meeting. “The fact is, in America, in North Carolina, I can do anything I want and I teach that to my children. And the person who tells my little pecan colored kids they are somehow oppressed based on the color of their skin would be absolutely wrong and absolutely at war with me.”

After that speech, he made the rounds on the Megyn Kelly Show and on Fox News.

Channel 9 reached out to Echevarria multiple times asking for an interview. He did not respond to our requests.

But on social media, he has shared his views on a number of topics, including on hot-button issues like abortion.

“I will vote for the best bill we can get through,” he said in a Facebook video titled “Abortion” that he posted last month. “The one that will save the most lives, whether that’s 15 weeks, 12 weeks, heartbeat.”

In an interview with Channel 9′s government reporter Joe Bruno, Staton-Williams said she supports a woman’s right to choose.

“I don’t believe anyone besides myself as a woman and my doctor should be involved in the decisions that impact me and my body. And I believe a lot of women feel the same way,” Staton-Williams said.

She says education is the biggest issue facing the district.

“We want our kids to be able to get jobs in the future and this learning gap we had has been detrimental to them, so we want them to be able to catch up and we want our teachers to be paid well,” Staton-Williams said.

(WATCH BELOW: Vote 2022: NC House District 98)