In response to a recent survey on the Equal Rights Amendment, many North Carolina candidates for the General Assembly and the U.S. House of Representatives have declared support for the ERA. Most of the 48 legislative candidates who responded said “yes” when asked: “If elected, will you cosponsor and vote for the resolution to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment?”
The survey was conducted by Equal Rights Amendment North Carolina Citizens Task Force. The ERA organization, formed in 2011, is co-directed by Roberta Madden of Black Mountain and Nancy Glowacki of Hendersonville. Madden noted an 18 percent response rate for General Assembly candidates and a 19 percent response rate for congressional candidates.
Four out of the five congressional candidates who responded said they would cosponsor and vote for a resolution to eliminate the deadline for ratification and clarify that the ERA will become part of the U.S. Constitution after three more states ratify it. Supporting the resolution are Elisabeth Motsinger, candidate in District 5; Patsy Keever, District 10; Melvin L. Watt, incumbent in District 12; and Charles Malone, District 13. All four are Democrats. In District 2, Libertarian Brian Irving said he opposes the resolution.
The following state Senate candidates expressed support for the ERA: Greg Muse (D-2); Danny Hefner (D-8); Deb Butler (D-9); Clarence Bender (D-11); Sigmon Hutchinson (D-15); Ervin Portman (D-17); George Tatum (D-19); Floyd McKissick, incumbent (D-20); David Pratt Carter (R-23); Myra Ann Slone (D-27); Jack Flynn (D-39); and Roy Carter (D-45). Three Senate candidates said they would need to see the actual resolution before deciding whether to support it: Louis Pate, Jr., incumbent (R-7); Joel Ford (D-38); and Martin Nesbitt, incumbent, (D- 49).
The following state House candidates pledged to cosponsor and vote for the ERA: James Dancy (R-12); Lundia Washington (D-17); Susi Hamilton, incumbent (D-18); Jesse Shearin (Lib-27); Rosa Gill, incumbent (D-33); Deborah Ross, incumbent (D-34); Lisa Baker (D-36); Yvonne Holley (D-38); William “Watt” Jones (D-40); Marvin Lucas, incumbent (D-42); Richard Glazier, incumbent (D-44); Eddie Dees (D-45); Keith Karlsson (D-49); Verla Insko, incumbent (D-56); Alma Adams, incumbent (D-58); Ron Weatherford (D-61); Kevin Furr (D-67); Kenneth.
Baker (D-68); Evelyn Terry (D-71); Harry Warren, incumbent (R-77); J.R. Edwards (D-85); Jim Cates (D-86); Martha Alexander, incumbent (D-88); Nelson Cole, (D-91); Cullie Tarleton (D-93); Kelly Alexander, incumbent (D-107); Susan Fisher, incumbent (D-114); Susan Wilson (D-115); Jane Whilden (D-116); and Chuck McGrady, incumbent (R-117). William Osborne (D-65) expressed qualified support because of concerns about the deadline in the original ERA resolution.
Only two House candidates responding to the survey said they oppose the ERA: Libertarian Kent Wilsey (District 62); and Republican Robert Brawley (District 95). Brawley explained, “My wife opposes it, and it is not needed in America if you live a Christian life.” “The amendment is needed to provide bedrock constitutional protection for equal rights for everyone, regardless of gender,” Madden said. “We are very pleased by the broad, bipartisan support for equal rights thus far,” adding that supporters include Republicans, Democrats, and Libertarians. The ERA will be introduced in the General Assembly in 2013.
For copies of the questionnaires and a compilation of the responses, see www.era-nc.org.