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The Political Beat: Cheri Beasley’s exclusive interview with Ch. 9

CHARLOTTE — North Carolina’s U.S. Senate race is one of the closest midterm contests in the country.

Cheri Beasley, a former chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, is one of the Democratic Party’s best opportunities to maintain control of the Senate.

The Political Beat’s Joe Bruno sat down with Beasley after a campaign event in Monroe last month to discuss the changes she’d make if elected and how she plans to make them.

“I know that Washington has fallen woefully short in how we serve families here in North Carolina,” Beasley told Channel 9. “And I know it’s time for that to change.”

The open seat comes after Sen. Richard Burr announced he’d retire at the end of his term. Beasley is challenged by U.S. House Rep. Ted Budd of Davie County.

With the election weeks away, Beasley said she’s the candidate who can break the Republican control of the state’s Senate seats.

“I’m really excited about where we are in this race. We have talked with a lot of people all over this state, and the timing is right for us to be able to do it a little bit differently,” she said. “We’re really building on a lot of momentum and energy in the state for my candidacy.”

>> Next week on the Political Beat, Ch. 9 sits down with Republican candidate for Senate, Ted Budd.

If elected, Beasley said she has two priorities: lowering costs and standing up to protect constitutional rights.

“The cost of everything is more. I mean, we’ve heard from our farmers over the last couple of days, and we’ve been talking to them for several weeks now about the cost of fertilizer has more than tripled for a lot of folks, and running their machinery costs more and the supply chain issues,” she said. “It’s all cumulative for so many small business owners and farmers who really need some relief, and I think that’s a fair expectation from the next senator.”

When asked to expand on her emphasis on rights, Beasley referenced access to abortion.

“I think it’s imperative,” Beasley said about protecting a person’s right to choose. “North Carolinians were and are distraught, and they are fearful about what happened in the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs, and what that means not just for reproductive freedom, but the forecast that the court made on some other critical issues for North Carolinians.

“The majority of North Carolinians and Americans support reproductive freedom. And it’s the first time in our nation’s history that a constitutional right has been taken away. That’s frightening,” Beasley said.

In her conversation with Channel 9, Beasley said the Biden administration has worked to be of service, but the people of North Carolina still have valid concerns.

“What I truly believe is that we’ve got a ways to go, and I understand that, while that administration is working really hard, and these have been very difficult times,” she said. “I appreciate the fact that there are folks who are still disenchanted and understand that we’ve got a ways to go.”

For voters still undecided on who they’ll back this November, Beasley said she’ll use her 30 years of public service to help her do what is good for North Carolina.

“I know there’s an opportunity for us to really make sure that the next senator is working hard for North Carolina. And frankly, these issues are not partisan,” Beasley said.

“I mean, if it’s a climate crisis, which is impacting farmers, that’s not a partisan issue; we need a resolution and the solution from the Senate. I mean, if it is making sure we’re bringing good-paying jobs to North Carolina, the Senate really does have to help with economic policies to make it so we’re sure we’re building a strong economy. I mean, if it’s people having clean air or clean water or not being able to afford health care for themselves or their families, it doesn’t matter whether you’re Democrat, Republican or Independent,” she continued. “These are important issues to North Carolina. I hear about them every day. It’s important to stand up for them, and that’s what I’m committed to doing.”

(WATCH BELOW: Senate nominees Beasley, Budd parry over abortion, inflation in debate)

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