North Carolina Senate Article

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North Carolina Senate
North Carolina General Assembly
Coat of arms or logo
Term limits
New session started
January 9, 2013
Dan Forest ( R)
Since January 7, 2013
Phil Berger ( R)
Since January 26, 2011
Harry Brown ( R)
Since January 26, 2011
Daniel T. Blue, Jr. ( D)
Since March 5, 2014 [1]
Senate diagram 2014 State of NC.svg
Political groups


Length of term
2 years
Last election
November 6, 2018
(50 seats)
Next election
November 3, 2020
(50 seats)
Meeting place
Senate chamber
North Carolina Legislative Building
Raleigh, North Carolina, United States
North Carolina Constitution

The North Carolina Senate is the upper chamber of the North Carolina General Assembly, which along with the North Carolina House of Representatives—the lower chamber—comprises the legislature of the North Carolina.

The Senate's prerogatives and powers are similar to those of the other house, the House of Representatives. Its members do, however, represent districts that are larger than those of their colleagues in the House. The President of the Senate is the Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina, but the Lt. Governor has very limited powers and only votes to break a tie. Before the office of Lt. Governor was created in 1868, the Senate was presided over by a "Speaker." After the 1988 election of James Carson Gardner, the first Republican Lt. Governor since Reconstruction, Democrats in control of the Senate shifted most of the power held by the Lt. Governor to the senator who is elected President Pro Tempore (or Pro-Tem). The President Pro Tempore appoints members to standing committees of the Senate, and holds great sway over bills.

According to the state constitution, the Senate is also the "Court for the Trial of Impeachments". The House of Representatives has the power to impeach state officials, after which the Senate holds a trial, as in the federal system. If the Governor or Lt. Governor is the official who has been impeached, the Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court presides.


The qualifications to be a senator are found in the state Constitution: "Each Senator, at the time of his election, shall be not less than 25 years of age, shall be a qualified voter of the State, and shall have resided in the State as a citizen for two years and in the district for which he is chosen for one year immediately preceding his election."

2017–2018 Composition

Affiliation Party
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Democratic Republican Vacant
End of previous legislature 16 34 50 0
Begin 15 35 50 0
January 28, 2015 [2] 14 49 1
January 30, 2015 [3] 15 50 0
Latest voting share 30% 70%


North Carolina Senate [4] Officers
Position Name Party
Lieutenant Governor / President of the Senate Dan Forest Republican
President Pro Tempore Phil Berger Republican
Deputy President Pro Tempore Louis Pate Republican
Majority Leader Harry Brown Republican
Majority Whip Jerry W. Tillman Republican
Wesley Meredith [5] Republican
Joint Majority Caucus Leader Norman W. Sanderson Republican
Minority Leader Dan Blue Democratic
Minority Whip Terry Van Duyn Democratic
Minority Caucus Secretary Ben Clark Democratic


District Full Name of Senator Party Residence Counties Represented Terms in Senate (+ indicates partial term)
1 Bill Cook Republican Chocowinity Beaufort, Camden, Currituck, Dare, Gates, Hyde, Pasquotank, Perquimans 2
2 Norman W. Sanderson Republican Minnesott Beach Carteret, Craven, Pamlico 2
3 Erica D. Smith Democratic Henrico Bertie, Chowan, Edgecombe, Hertford, Martin, Northampton, Tyrrell, Washington 2
4 Milton F. "Toby" Fitch, Jr. [6] Democratic Wilson Halifax, Nash, Vance, Warren, Wilson +
5 Don Davis Democratic Greenville Greene, Lenoir, Pitt, Wayne 4
6 Harry Brown Republican Jacksonville Jones, Onslow 7
7 Louis Pate Republican Mount Olive Lenoir, Pitt, Wayne 4
8 Bill Rabon Republican Southport Bladen, Brunswick, New Hanover, Pender 4
9 Michael V. Lee Republican Wilmington New Hanover 2+
10 Brent Jackson Republican Autryville Duplin, Johnston, Samson 4
11 Rick Horner Republican Bailey Johnston, Nash, Wilson 1
12 Ronald J. Rabin Republican Spring Lake Harnett, Johnston, Lee 3
13 Danny Earl Britt, Jr. Republican Lumberton Columbus, Robeson 1
14 Dan Blue Democratic Raleigh Wake 4+
15 John M. Alexander, Jr. Republican Raleigh Wake 2
16 Jay J. Chaudhuri Democratic Raleigh Wake 1+
17 Tamara Barringer Republican Cary Wake 3+
18 Chad Barefoot Republican Wake Forest Franklin, Wake 3
19 Wesley Meredith Republican Fayetteville Cumberland 4
20 Floyd B. McKissick, Jr. Democratic Durham Durham, Granville 5+
21 Ben Clark Democratic Raeford Cumberland, Hoke 3
22 Mike Woodard Democratic Durham Caswell, Durham, Person 3
23 Valerie P. Foushee Democratic Hillsborough Chatham, Orange 2+
24 Rick Gunn Republican Burlington Alamance, Randolph 4
25 Tom McInnis Republican Ellerbe Anson, Richmond, Rowan, Scotland, Stanly 2
26 Phil Berger Republican Eden Guilford, Rockingham 9
27 Trudy Wade Republican Greensboro Guilford 3
28 Gladys A. Robinson Democratic Greensboro Guilford 4
29 Jerry W. Tillman Republican Archdale Moore, Randolph 8
30 Shirley B. Randleman Republican Wilkesboro Stokes, Surry, Wilkes 3
31 Joyce Krawiec Republican Kernersville Forsyth, Yadkin 2+
32 Paul A. Lowe, Jr. Democratic Winston-Salem Forsyth 1+
33 Cathy Dunn Republican Southmont Davidson, Montgomery 1
34 Dan Barrett Republican Advance Davie, Iredell, Rowan +
35 Tommy Tucker Republican Waxhaw Union 4
36 Paul Newton Republican Concord Cabarrus, Union 1
37 Jeff Jackson Democratic Charlotte Mecklenburg 2+
38 Joel D. M. Ford Democratic Charlotte Mecklenburg 3
39 Dan Bishop Republican Charlotte Mecklenburg 1
40 Joyce Waddell Democratic Charlotte Mecklenburg 2
41 Jeff Tarte Republican Cornelius Mecklenburg 3
42 Andy Wells Republican Hickory Alexander, Catawba 2
43 Kathy Harrington Republican Gastonia Gaston 4
44 Vickie Sawyer Republican Mooresville Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln +
45 Deanna Ballard Republican Blowing Rock Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Caldwell, Watauga 1+
46 Warren Daniel Republican Morganton Burke, Cleveland 4
47 Ralph Hise Republican Spruce Pine Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Yancey 4
48 Chuck Edwards Republican Flat Rock Buncombe, Henderson, Transylvania 1+
49 Terry Van Duyn Democratic Asheville Buncombe 2+
50 Jim Davis Republican Franklin Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon, Swain 4

Past composition of the Senate

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ Democrat Earline Parmon (District 32) resigned from office effective January 28 2015. [1]
  3. ^ Democrat Paul A. Lowe, Jr. (District 32) was appointed to the seat effective January 30, 2015.
  4. ^ North Carolina Senate Leadership
  5. ^ Fayetteville Observer
  6. ^ Appointed to replace Angela Bryant, who resigned in 2018.

External links

NORTH CAROLINA SENATE Latitude and Longitude:

35°46′59.53″N 78°38′20.24″W / 35.7832028°N 78.6389556°W / 35.7832028; -78.6389556