US Senate candidate profile: Erica Smith

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GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — Erica Smith is quick to point out how she is connected to so many parts of North Carolina.

“It’s no secret that I grew up in rural North Carolina and I want a North Carolina that works for all of us – not just the wealthy, not just the well-connected,” says Smith, who is running for the Democratic nomination for the US Senate for the second time. 

Smith lost the 2020 primary won by Lexington’s Cal Cunningham, who went on to lose the general election to incumbent Thom Tillis. Smith is now one of roughly eight Democrats running to replace retiring Republican Richard Burr, who has held the senate seat since 2004.

Smith’s stances are unapologetically populist.

“We are up against a rigged economy, a broken healthcare system and a political class that’s continuing to allow this to happen,” Smith says. “We have to prioritize investments, particularly infrastructure investments, investing in human capital.”

After graduating from North Carolina A&T State University with a degree in mechanical engineering, she got her master’s from Howard University and currently works as a math instruction specialist, though she also served three terms in the North Carolina senate from 2014 through 2020. 

In those terms, she represented the area near her family’s farm, a district that ran from Person County north of Raleigh to Beaufort County on the Pamlico Sound. She believes those roots set her up well for a statewide run.

“We have lost 10 of the last 12 US Senate races and the reason why it will be different is people are tired of the status quo,” Smith says. “They want someone who is going to champion everyone – who’s going to fight for Charlotte, who’s going to fight for Chowan County; who’s going to fight from Murphy to Manteo for every community in this state.”

Smith, who turns 52 in November, says she has a lot of public service left to contribute.

“I’m fighting for communities, not corporations, in this state.  So, it’s time for someone who’s going to back people who go to work every day and still can’t pay their bills.”

Hear more from Erica Smith in this edition of the Buckley Report.

You can find out more at Erica Smith’s website: https://ericaforus.com/

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