The North Carolina Senate is the upper house of the bicameral North Carolina General Assembly. It has 50 members.

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."

2017–2018 Composition

Affiliation Party
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Democratic Republican Vacant
End of previous legislature 16 34 50 0
Begin 15 35 50 0
January 28, 2015[2] 14 49 1
January 30, 2015[3] 15 50 0
Latest voting share 30% 70%


North Carolina Senate[4] Officers
Position Name Party
Lieutenant Governor / President of the Senate Dan Forest Republican
President Pro Tempore Phil Berger Republican
Deputy President Pro Tempore Louis Pate Republican
Majority Leader Harry Brown Republican
Majority Whip Jerry W. Tillman Republican
Wesley Meredith[5] Republican
Majority Caucus Secretary Vacant Republican
Joint Majority Caucus Leader Norm Sanderson Republican
Minority Leader Daniel T. Blue, Jr. Democratic
Deputy Minority Leaders Clark Jenkins Democratic
Floyd McKissick, Jr. Democratic
Gladys A. Robinson Democratic
Minority Whip Terry Van Duyn Democratic
Minority Caucus Secretary Ben Clark Democratic
Minority Caucus Co-Chairs Vacant Democratic
Vacant Democratic


District Full Name of Senator Party Residence Counties Represented Terms in Senate (+ indicates partial term)
1 Bill Cook Republican Chocowinity Beaufort, Camden, Currituck, Dare, Gates, Hyde, Pasquotank, Perquimans 2
2 Norman W. Sanderson Republican Arapahoe Carteret, Craven, Pamlico 2
3 Erica Smith-Ingram Democratic Gaston Bertie, Chowan, Edgecombe, Hertford, Martin, Northampton, Tyrrell, Washington 1
4 Angela Bryant Democratic Rocky Mount Halifax, Nash, Vance, Warren, Wilson 2
5 Don Davis Democratic Snow Hill Greene, Lenoir, Pitt, Wayne 3
6 Harry Brown
Majority Leader
Republican Jacksonville Jones, Onslow 6
7 Louis M. Pate Jr. Republican Mount Olive Lenoir, Pitt, Wayne 3
8 Bill Rabon Republican Southport Bladen, Brunswick, New Hanover, Pender 3
9 Michael V. Lee Republican Wilmington New Hanover 1+
10 Brent Jackson Republican Autryville Duplin, Johnston, Samson 3
11 Rick Horner Republican Wilson Johnston, Nash, Wilson 0
12 Ronald J. Rabin Republican Spring Lake Harnett, Johnston, Lee 2
13 Danny Earl Britt, Jr. Republican Lumberton Columbus, Robeson 0
14 Dan Blue
Minority Leader
Democratic Raleigh Wake 3+
15 John M. Alexander Jr. Republican Raleigh Wake 1
16 Jay Chaudhuri Democratic Raleigh Wake +
17 Tamara P. Barringer Republican Cary Wake 2+
18 Chad Barefoot Republican Wake Forest Franklin, Wake 2
19 Wesley Meredith Republican Fayetteville Cumberland 3
20 Floyd McKissick Jr. Democratic Durham Durham, Granville 5+
21 Ben Clark Democratic Raeford Cumberland, Hoke 2
22 Mike Woodard Democratic Durham Caswell, Durham, Person 2
23 Valerie Foushee Democratic Chapel Hill Chatham, Orange 1+
24 Rick Gunn Republican Burlington Alamance, Randolph 3
25 Tom McInnis Republican Rockingham Anson, Richmond, Rowan, Scotland, Stanly 1
26 Phil Berger
President pro tem
Republican Eden Guilford, Rockingham 8
27 Trudy Wade Republican Greensboro Guilford 2
28 Gladys A. Robinson Democratic Pleasant Garden Guilford 3
29 Jerry W. Tillman
Majority Whip
Republican Archdale Moore, Randolph 7
30 Shirley B. Randleman Republican Wilkesboro Stokes, Surry, Wilkes 2
31 Joyce Krawiec Republican Kernersville Forsyth, Yadkin 1+
32 Paul A. Lowe Jr.[6] Democratic Winston-Salem Forsyth 1
33 Cathy Dunn Republican Lexington Davidson, Montgomery 0
34 Dan Barrett Republican Advance Davie, Iredell, Rowan 0
35 Tommy Tucker Republican Waxhaw Union 3
36 Paul Newton Republican Concord Cabarrus, Union 0
37 Jeff Jackson Democratic Charlotte Mecklenburg 1+
38 Joel D. M. Ford Democratic Charlotte Mecklenburg 2
39 Dan Bishop Republican Charlotte Mecklenburg 0
40 Joyce Waddell Democratic Charlotte Mecklenburg 1
41 Jeff Tarte Republican Cornelius Mecklenburg 2
42 Andy Wells Republican Hickory Alexander, Catawba 1
43 Kathy Harrington Republican Gastonia Gaston 3
44 David L. Curtis Republican Denver Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln 2
45 Deanna Ballard Republican Blowing Rock Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Caldwell, Watauga +
46 Warren Daniel Republican Morganton Burke, Cleveland 3
47 Ralph E. Hise Republican Spruce Pine Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Yancey 3
48 Chuck Edwards Republican Hendersonville Buncombe, Henderson, Transylvania +
49 Terry Van Duyn Democratic Asheville Buncombe 1+
50 Jim Davis Republican Franklin Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon, Swain 3

Past composition of the Senate

See also


  1. ^ WRAL.com
  2. ^ Democrat Earline Parmon (District 32) resigned from office effective January 28 2015. [1]
  3. ^ Democrat Paul A. Lowe, Jr. (District 32) was appointed to the seat effective January 30, 2015.
  4. ^ North Carolina Senate Leadership
  5. ^ Fayetteville Observer
  6. ^ North Carolina General Assembly - Senator Paul A. Lowe, Jr. (Democrat, 2015-2016 Session)

External links