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Former N.C. Chief Justice Cheri Beasley Is Running For U.S. Senate

The first Black woman to serve as chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court wants to make history again — this time as the first Black U.S. senator from North Carolina.

Cheri Beasley announced her candidacy Tuesday morning for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate, joining a robust field trying to replace retiring Republican Sen. Richard Burr.

Beasley, 55, narrowly lost her 2020 election for chief justice by 401 votes to fellow Supreme Court Justice Paul Newby. She has won two statewide judicial elections — for the court of appeals in 2008 and for the Supreme Court in 2014. In 2019, she was tapped to lead the court

“No door should ever be closed to you. With hard work and determination, you can accomplish anything,” Beasley says to open her campaign launch video, which includes her background and family story, including her late mother.

Beasley is the fifth known Democrat in the race, joining former state Sen. Erica Smith, state Sen. Jeff Jackson, virologist Richard Watkins and Beaufort Mayor Rett Newton in the field. Smith and Watkins are Black.

There are no Black women currently in the U.S. Senate.

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