North Carolina Senate

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North Carolina Senate
North Carolina General Assembly
Coat of arms or logo
Term limits
New session started
January 9, 2019
Dan Forest (R)
since January 7, 2013
President pro tempore
Philip E. Berger (R)
since January 26, 2011
Majority Leader
Harry Brown (R)
since January 26, 2011
Minority Leader
Dan Blue (D)
since March 5, 2014[1]
North Carolina State Senate 2019-2021.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 state legislature of 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."

2019–20 composition[edit]

Affiliation Party
(shading indicates majority caucus)
Republican Democratic Vacant
End of 2015–16 legislature 34 16 50 0
Beginning of previous (2017–18) legislature 35 15 50 0
End of previous (2017–18) legislature
Beginning of current (2019–20) legislature 29 21 50 0
January 14, 2019[2] 28 49 1
January 31, 2019[3] 29 50 0
January 7, 2020[4] 20 49 1
April 1, 2020[5] 21 50 0
Latest voting share 58% 42%


North Carolina Senate[6] Officers
Position Name Party
Lieutenant Governor / President of the Senate Dan Forest Republican
President Pro Tempore Philip E. Berger Republican
Deputy President Pro Tempore Ralph Hise Republican
Majority Leader Harry Brown Republican
Majority Whip Jerry W. Tillman Republican
Rick Gunn Republican
Joint Majority Caucus Leader Norman W. Sanderson Republican
Minority Leader Dan Blue Democratic
Minority Whip Jay Chaudhuri Democratic
Minority Caucus Secretary Ben Clark Democratic


District Full Name of Senator Party Residence Counties Represented First elected
1 Bob Steinburg Republican Edenton Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Dare, Gates, Hertford, Hyde,
Pasquotank, Perquimans, Tyrrell, Washington
2 Norman W. Sanderson Republican Minnesott Beach Carteret, Craven, Pamlico 2012
3 Erica D. Smith Democratic Henrico Beaufort, Bertie, Martin, Northampton, Vance, Warren 2014
4 Toby Fitch Democratic Wilson Edgecombe, Halifax, Wilson 2018↑
5 Donald G. Davis Democratic Greenville Greene, Pitt 2012
6 Harry Brown Republican Jacksonville Jones, Onslow 2004
7 Jim Perry Republican Lenoir, Wayne 2019↑
8 Bill Rabon Republican Southport Bladen, Brunswick, New Hanover (part), Pender 2010
9 Harper Peterson Democratic Wilmington New Hanover (part) 2018
10 W. Brent Jackson Republican Autryville Duplin, Johnston (part), Samson 2010
11 Rick Horner Republican Bailey Johnston (part), Nash 2016
12 Jim Burgin Republican Angier Harnett, Johnston (part), Lee 2018
13 Danny Britt Republican Lumberton Columbus, Robeson 2016
14 Dan Blue Democratic Raleigh Wake (part) 2009↑
15 Jay Chaudhuri Democratic Raleigh Wake (part) 2016↑
16 Wiley Nickel Democratic Cary Wake (part) 2018
17 Sam Searcy Democratic Holly Springs Wake (part) 2018
18 John M. Alexander Jr. Republican Raleigh Franklin, Wake (part) 2014
19 Kirk deViere Democratic Fayetteville Cumberland (part) 2018
20 Natalie Murdock Democratic Durham Durham (part) 2020↑
21 Ben Clark Democratic Raeford Cumberland (part), Hoke 2012
22 Mike Woodard Democratic Durham Durham (part), Granville, Person 2012
23 Valerie Foushee Democratic Hillsborough Chatham, Orange 2013↑
24 Rick Gunn Republican Burlington Alamance, Guilford (part) 2010
25 Tom McInnis Republican Ellerbe Anson, Moore, Richmond, Scotland 2014
26 Jerry W. Tillman Republican Archdale Guilford (part), Randolph 2002
27 Michael Garrett Democratic Greensboro Guilford (part) 2018
28 Gladys A. Robinson Democratic Greensboro Guilford (part) 2010
29 Eddie Gallimore Republican Thomasville Davidson, Montgomery 2018
30 Philip E. Berger Republican Eden Caswell, Rockingham, Stokes, Surry (part) 2000
31 Joyce Krawiec Republican Kernersville Davie, Forsyth (part) 2014↑
32 Paul A. Lowe Jr. Democratic Winston-Salem Forsyth (part) 2015↑
33 Carl Ford Republican China Grove Rowan, Stanly 2018
34 Vickie Sawyer Republican Mooresville Iredell, Yadkin 2018↑
35 Todd Johnson Republican Monroe Union (part) 2018
36 Paul Newton Republican Concord Cabarrus, Union (part) 2016
37 Jeff Jackson Democratic Charlotte Mecklenburg (part) 2014↑
38 Mujtaba A. Mohammed Democratic Charlotte Mecklenburg (part) 2018
39 Rob Bryan Republican Charlotte Mecklenburg (part) 2019↑
40 Joyce Waddell Democratic Charlotte Mecklenburg (part) 2014
41 Natasha Marcus Democratic Davidson Mecklenburg (part) 2018
42 Andy Wells Republican Hickory Alexander, Catawba 2014
43 Kathy Harrington Republican Gastonia Gaston (part) 2010
44 W. Ted Alexander Republican Shelby Cleveland, Gaston (part) 2018
45 Deanna Ballard Republican Blowing Rock Alleghany, Ashe, Surry (part) Watauga, Wilkes 2016↑
46 Warren Daniel Republican Morganton Avery, Burke, Caldwell 2010
47 Ralph Hise Republican Spruce Pine Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Yancey 2010
48 Chuck Edwards Republican Flat Rock Buncombe (part), Henderson, Transylvania 2016↑
49 Terry Van Duyn Democratic Asheville Buncombe (part) 2014↑
50 Jim Davis Republican Franklin Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon, Swain 2010
  • ↑: Member was originally appointed to fill the remainder of an unexpired term.

Past composition of the Senate[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Republican Louis Pate (District 7) resigned due to health issues. Horsch, Lauren (January 15, 2019). "Republicans will choose a new state senator after Louis Pate retires a week into term". News & Observer. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
  3. ^ Republican Jim Perry was appointed to District 7. Herring, Steve (January 29, 2019). "GOP picks Perry for Senate vacancy". Goldsboro News-Argus. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
  4. ^ Democrat Floyd McKissick Jr. (District 20) resigned to join the North Carolina Utilities Commission. Fain, Travis (January 6, 2020). "McKissick leaves Senate for Utilities Commission". WRAL. Retrieved May 17, 2020.
  5. ^ Democrat Natalie Murdock was appointed to District 20. McDonald, Thomasi (April 2, 2020). "Natalie Murdock Appointed to State Senate Seat". INDY Week.
  6. ^ North Carolina Senate Leadership

External links[edit]

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