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Cheri Beasley: Well prepared to represent N.C. as U.S. Senator

By Yasmine Regester, Peacemaker Staff Writer / October 28, 2022

Cheri Beasley

As Election Day gets closer, one of the biggest political races in North Carolina is for the U.S. Senate.

Cheri Beasley is running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by retiring U.S. Senator Richard Burr. She won the Democratic primary election and now faces Republican Congressman Ted Budd in the November general election.

She was born Cheri Lynn Beasley on February 14, 1966, in Nashville, Tennessee, to parents William James Beasley and Dr. Lou Beasley (both deceased). Her parents divorced while she was young and she grew up an only child, raised solely by her mother, who was an Associate Professor and Associate Dean of the University of Tennessee College of Social Work, Nashville Branch.

Beasley developed an early affinity towards politics when she joined the Student Government Association and won her first election in the third grade.
She has been married to Curtis Owens for 29 years, whom she shares 21-year-old twin sons, Matthew and Thomas. She also serves as a member of the Board of Trustees at her home church, First Baptist Church in Raleigh, NC.

A former chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court from 2019 to 2020, Beasley began her career as an attorney and was first appointed an associate justice in 2012.

Beasley earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science and economics from the Douglass College of Rutgers University–New Brunswick in 1988 and a Juris Doctor from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1991. She also earned a Master of Laws degree from Duke University School of Law in 2018.

Beasley spent her first years after law school as an assistant public defender in Cumberland County, North Carolina. She was first appointed to the bench as a state district court judge by Governor Jim Hunt in 1999, and then elected in a 2002 election. She was reelected without opposition in 2006. Beasley served as a Judge in Cumberland County’s District 12 until her election to the N.C. Court of Appeals.

Her 2008 win to the North Carolina Court of Appeals, over incumbent Douglas McCullough positioned her to become the first Black woman in North Carolina to win election to statewide office without first being appointed by a governor.

After losing the 2020 North Carolina Court of Appeals election to Associate Justice Paul Martin Newby, Beasley returned to practicing as an attorney at McGuireWoods as a partner in the law firm’s Raleigh office.

Beasley spoke at a North Carolina Democratic Party “Vote for N.C.” statewide tour rally on the first day of in-person early voting in Raleigh on October 20. She spoke to attendees on her priorities and the importance of this year’s election, before making her way to the polling place to cast her vote.

“We know that the fundamental freedom to pursue life, liberty and happiness must be protected,” she said, “and we are the protectors every time we exercise our right to vote.”

Beasley is running for U.S. Senate on a platform that includes expanding access to affordable healthcare, increased funding to public education, job creation, economic growth, support for farmers and state agriculture, women’s reproductive rights, justice system reform, public safety, housing affordability and immigration.

“As we think of all the issues on the ballot this election cycle, all of them impact our families and all of these issues impact our communities,” she said, adding, “I hope we walk away this morning feeling empowered. Feeling empowered by coming to together and making voting work for us and our families.”

Guilford County has 15 early voting locations across the county starting on Oct. 20 at 8 a.m. and ending on Saturday, November 5 at 3 p.m.

Election Day is November 8.

Editor’s Note: The Carolina Peacemaker endorsed Cheri Beasley and a slate of candidates in its Oct. 20th issue.


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Since 1967, the Carolina Peacemaker has served as North Carolina’s leading news weekly with a national reputation. Founded by Dr. John Kilimanjaro, the newspaper is published by Carolina Newspaper, Inc.

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