RALEIGH — Mostly blue Wake County has a new patch of red with Republican Erin Paré unseating incumbent Democrat Sydney Batch for the N.C. House District 37 seat.
“After a hard-fought campaign, I am humbled to have been elected as the next representative for House District 37. Thank you so much for your vote and your confidence in me,” Paré told supporters in a statement on election night.
Paré, a mother of two from Holly Springs, countered Batch’s early absentee mail-in vote lead with larger in-person early voting and election day numbers. She credits the hard work her team put in and the ability to connect with the voters for her win.
Batch, who ran on a progressive platform, had only served for one term and was elected after narrowly beating Republican John Adcock by 944 votes in 2018.
The unofficial count for Republican Paré is a total of 34,782 votes. Batch’s total was 32,533. In absentee by-mail voting, Batch led Paré 11,600 to 5,337. Early voting in-person favored Paré with 24,003 to Batch’s 18,580. On election day Paré took in 5,442 votes to Batch’s 2,353.
Batch outraised and outspent Paré by a little over four to one, bringing in around $1,017,582 to Paré’s $247,962.
“She outraised us, definitely, but I think what it comes down to is we talked to the voters and we made our case to every voter that we possibly could,” said Paré, crediting this effort to the help her supporters and volunteers gave to the campaign.
Paré said that a big part of her campaign’s success was the ground game between outreach events and door knocking. She said that they were “received well” and that people wanted to hear what she had to say and that voters “wanted to be heard.”
According to the partisan ranking index N.C. Free Enterprise Foundation, a research group which conducts nonpartisan political analysis, the HD-37 seat was considered a +4 Democratic lean leading up to the election. In early March, the right-leaning Civitas Institute’s partisan index ranking, which models itself after the Cook Political Report’s Partisan Voting Index, had the seat as a +3 Republican lean.
Looking forward to the issues ahead of her, Paré said that the economy is her top priority. Helping families and small businesses survive under COVID-19 restrictions is something she says has to be front and center.
“We have to be careful and smart about how we manage state finances and taxes and spending,” said Paré.
For many families, COVID-19 school closures have been painful and frustrating, for both parents and children alike. Education also ranks high on Paré’s list, and she said that a lot of parents are really concerned about how their kids are being educated and what choices they have.
“I really want to do everything I can do to start trying to bring folks together,” Paré said. She added that she wants to be very “present in the district” and reach out to everyone regardless of party affiliation.
“Results and making the community better are really what will bring people together,” said Paré. “I am going to do everything I can to make that happen.”