Jackson ends Senate bid, endorses Beasley

Published 11:55 pm Thursday, December 16, 2021

By Gary D. Robertson

Associated Press

RALEIGH — A prominent U.S. Senate candidate in North Carolina withdrew from next year’s race for the Democratic nomination on Thursday and threw his support to the state’s former chief justice, who’s had the advantage in fundraising and endorsements.

State Sen. Jeff Jackson of Charlotte, who announced his candidacy nearly a year ago and had built a loyal following, said in a video released on social media that voters now needed to back primary rival Cheri Beasley so Democrats can win the seat next November. Jackson’s decision appears to put Beasley in the driver’s seat for the nomination.

“A costly and divisive primary will sink this whole thing,” Jackson said. “We need to unite right now, and we need to unite behind Cheri.”

Jackson, an Afghan war veteran, National Guard soldier and former local prosecutor with a young family, had run a very active campaign, holding town hall meetings in all of North Carolina’s 100 counties and on over a dozen college campuses. But Jackson acknowledged in the video that Beasley was consistently leading him in the polls.

North Carolina’s currently longest-serving U.S. House Democrats — Reps. G.K. Butterfield and David Price — had last week endorsed Beasley, who was the state’s first Black woman to serve as chief justice and would be the first Black senator elected from North Carolina.