Teachers dance during a protest outside the state capitol in Raleigh, North Carolina on May, 16 2018.  Education funding has been a major concern in North Carolina in the last decade after the GOP-controlled legislature handed down steep cuts. (Photo by Logan Cyrus / AFP) NC Educators Protest
Teachers dance during a protest outside the state capitol in Raleigh, North Carolina on May, 16 2018. Education funding has been a major concern in North Carolina in the last decade after the GOP-controlled legislature handed down steep cuts. (Photo by Logan Cyrus / AFP)

North Carolina’s public schools faced deep cuts under GOP leadership in the last decade. Naturally, the NC Association of Educators isn’t picking them.

North Carolina’s largest advocacy group for public school employees endorsed several Congressional candidates this week ahead of next month’s primary elections.

The North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE) represents active, retired, and student members and calls for, among other things, “an equitable, quality public education for every child.”

The primary, the election that decides who will represent each major party in November’s general election, will be on May 17, but the early voting process has already begun.

Here are the candidates the NCAE is endorsing and what NCAE President Tamika Walker Kelly says about each.

Congressional District 12: Charlotte-area

US Rep. Alma Adams, incumbent

Rep. Alma Adams
Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC) speaks during a House committee in 2019. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Kelly: “The students and educators of North Carolina have a true friend in Congresswoman Adams. She has worked tirelessly to ensure our public schools are adequately funded, that our educators are paid as the professionals they are, and that every child has the opportunity to succeed. She is a champion of the people, and we are proud to once again endorse her to represent us in Washington.” 

District 6: Guilford County

US Rep. Kathy Manning, incumbent

Kelly: “The work that Kathy has done in her community speaks volumes and shows the passion she has not only for the citizens in her district, but across the state. She has been a true asset in Washington. Her work to ensure our students and educators have what they need for success lets us know she is committed to a strong public education system in North Carolina.” 

District 2: Wake County

NC Rep. Deborah Ross, incumbent

Deborah Ross
US Rep. Deborah Ross, D-NC, during a 2016 appearance. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, Pool)

Kelly: “Known for her ability to work across the aisle to deliver results, Deborah is a much-needed voice for students, educators, and public schools on Capitol Hill – advocating for all students to have the opportunity for a quality public education.” 

District 1: Eighteen Counties in Northeast NC.

NC State Senator Don Davis

Don Davis
State Sen. Don Davis, D-Greene, takes the oath of office in the state Senate chamber in 2017. as lawmakers gather for the start of the 2017 Legislative session at the North Carolina General Assembly in Raleigh, N.C., Jan. 11, 2017. U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield has endorsed state Sen. Davis to become his successor in North Carolina’s 1st Congressional District. The retiring congressman gave Davis on Monday, April 25, 2022 his seal of approval as the May 17 Democratic primary approaches. Three other Democrats are running for the nomination, including former state Sen. Erica Smith. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

Kelly: “The work of Senator Davis as a member of the General Assembly clearly demonstrates that the children and public schools of North Carolina matter. He clearly values our educators and their efforts to ensure students are successful, not only in the classroom, but in their communities as well.” 

Editor’s Note: (This seat was formerly held by Rep. G.K. Butterfield, a Democrat, who is not seeking re-election.)

District 14: Parts of Gaston and Mecklenburg Counties

NC State Senator Jeff Jackson

NC Congressional Candidate Jeff Jackson
State Sen. Jeff Jackson, speaks during a town hall in Gastonia, North Carolina. (Photo by Allison Lee Isley for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Kelly: “Washington could use more lawmakers like Senator Jackson, who not only talks the talk, but walks the walk. He has a true passion for the citizens of North Carolina, exhibited by his service, dedication, and commitment.” 

District 13: Harnett, Johnston and Wayne Counties, and part of Wake

NC State Senator Wiley Nickel

Wiley Nickel
State Sen. Wiley Nickel (standing) is running for Congress in NC District 13. (Image via Nickel’s Facebook page)

Kelly: “The dedication Senator Wiley exhibits in keeping North Carolina a strong and vibrant state speaks volumes. He knows the educated workforce North Carolina needs to remain competitive in the future begins with great public schools. We stand united in supporting him in his efforts to ensure our students receive a quality education, that schools are fully funded, and that educators are valued and compensated for the work they do every day.”