Carolina Democracy

Battleground North Carolina!

May 15, 2023 JD Wooten Season 2 Episode 8
Battleground North Carolina!
Carolina Democracy
More Info
Carolina Democracy
Battleground North Carolina!
May 15, 2023 Season 2 Episode 8
JD Wooten

Welcome back to Carolina Democracy! Today, we're joined by State Senator Mary Wills Bode to discuss everything from her successful 2022 campaign and lessons learned to the atrocious attacks on liberty and personal autonomy happening in Raleigh right now!

Learn More About Mary Wills Bode:

Contact Us:

Follow Us:

Support the Show.

Carolina Democracy +
Join us in the fight to promote democracy in North Carolina!
Starting at $3/month
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Welcome back to Carolina Democracy! Today, we're joined by State Senator Mary Wills Bode to discuss everything from her successful 2022 campaign and lessons learned to the atrocious attacks on liberty and personal autonomy happening in Raleigh right now!

Learn More About Mary Wills Bode:

Contact Us:

Follow Us:

Support the Show.

Mary Wills Bode: North Carolina's gonna continue to be a battleground, so we need everybody to be with us so that we can execute on a vision of North Carolina we can be proud of.

[music transition]

JD Wooten: Hey everyone, welcome to Carolina Democracy. I’m JD Wooten, and today we’ve got a great interview with State Senator Mary Wills Bode who represents Granville and northern Wake Counties. You may remember she was on the show last summer as a first-time candidate running for the open seat in a district that was drawn to be more or less 50 / 50 in terms of lean Democrat or lean Republican. While Democrats struggled statewide and in some of our other legislative races last year, Senator Bode managed to pull out a victory by more than 5 points. That would be an impressive margin in the best of circumstances, and 2022 clearly was not the best of circumstances for North Carolina Democrats, so yeah. All that’s to say, she ran a great race, did a bang-up job in both fundraising and field work, pulled out a great win that was a bright spot for an otherwise dim year for Democrats here in the state, and it was an absolute pleasure to have her back on the show now as a sitting state senator.

Our conversation ranged from her 2022 race and lessons learned to the atrocious attacks on liberty and personal autonomy happening in Raleigh right now. Since we managed to cover quite a range of the most pressing current issues in North Carolina, I’ll just touch on the highlights right now.

First, a quick update on Moore v. Harper, the gerrymandering case that’s still sitting at the U.S. Supreme Court in which the N.C. GOP advocated the extremely radical independent state legislature theory – we don’t have an opinion from the Court yet. As a reminder, the case at the U.S. Supreme Court was predicated on the North Carolina Supreme Court’s decision that extreme partisan gerrymandering is unconstitutional. However, now that the state supreme court has flipped and the new Republican majority took the extraordinarily unusual step of reversing itself – despite the fact that the only change was the membership of the Court – the basis for the case of Moore v. Harper even being at the U.S. Supreme Court is gone. In legal jargon, we would say the case is now moot and should be dismissed. However, it’s really anyone’s guess as to what the U.S. Supreme Court will actually do. Given the current court’s inclination to set aside precedent it doesn’t like or otherwise disagrees with, I’m not convinced that they’ll let mootness get in their way if they’re determined to issue a substantive opinion. On the other hand, it didn’t seem like there were five justices at oral argument inclined to recognize the independent state legislature theory as a real doctrine, or at least not as fully as the GOP wants, so perhaps this is an easy off ramp to allow them to punt and decide another day. We may find out as early as week, but we’ll be sure to let you know as soon as we hear more.

Next, in certainly the biggest news to hit North Carolina since our last episode, North Carolina Republicans introduced a so-called 12-week abortion ban under the cover of darkness and rammed it through the General Assembly with no real debate, opportunity for public input, or opportunity for any amendments. The basic timeline was the NCGOP announced the bill at a night-time press conference on Tuesday, May 2nd. They didn’t actually unveil the exact language of the bill until extremely late in the night, and members of the House and Senate had to start voting on it the very next morning. By midafternoon Thursday, May 4th, both chambers had passed Senate Bill 20, less than 48 hours since its existence was even made public, in a drastic assault on liberty, personal autonomy, and the democratic process.

There are plenty of other commentators out there offering up critiques of this bill for its substance. Senator Bode explains most of its major provisions in our interview, so I’ll skip that for now. But make no mistake, me skipping over the substance does not take away from the horrendous nature of the  bill. It is an assault on freedom and individual autonomy, plain and simple. However, this is a podcast focused on democracy and small “d” democratic values, so I want to touch on the procedural and public opinion side of this a bit more than others have.

Let’s start with this great quote from the Greensboro News & Record:

“Protests notwithstanding, the speedy turnaround represents a frightening (and demoralizing) master class in how to run roughshod over opposition. Hole up and work out details of a thorny bill in private. Bypass normal procedures involving committee hearings and pesky public hearings. Rush it through in 48 hours and head home on Friday. In a purely political sense, it was disciplined and brilliant. Even if it is anti-democratic.” So there you have it, a master class in brilliant, anti-democratic governance.

The exact language of the 46-page bill was drafted entirely in secrecy with zero input from anyone outside the GOP caucus and presumably whoever they chose to consult, which clearly didn’t involve Democrats and perhaps not even healthcare providers, and they inserted the bill language into the shell of a bill that had been previously passed by the House and Senate. This is important to understand because of the procedural gimmicks that can go on with such a move. By gutting a previously passed bill and putting the new healthcare restrictions in that bill, it meant that the bill only had to go to the Rules committee for a quick vote and then straight to the floor for a final vote. It also meant that while members of the public could make brief comments at the committee hearings, and members of the House and Senate could make comments in committee and before the floor vote, they were just that – comments. Under the adopted rules of the House and Senate, no amendments could be made. So basically, the moment new Senate Bill 20 was introduced, the language was set and everything else was for show until the final vote, which again, happened less than 48 hours after the public and even Democratic legislators knew this bill even existed. Certainly sounds like it’s in keeping with our democratic values, huh?

As Democratic leadership in the State Senate and House said, “Republican leadership has once again schemed behind closed doors and silenced the voices of both members of the public and members of the state legislature in order to force a harmful abortion ban down our throats. North Carolinians believe in freedom, including the freedom to decide if and when to start a family.” This bill clearly violates those beliefs.

Carolina Forward and Change Research quickly put out a poll in the field to confirm that this ban is wildly unpopular. 54% of North Carolinians oppose Senate Bill 20, and only 40% support it. In a generally 50 / 50 state with pretty extreme polarization lately, a 14-point gap against a bill speaks volumes to its unpopularity. In fact, one out of five Republicans disagree with this bill. I think that’s important point to highlight because generally speaking, the Republican electorate, as opposed to their elected politicians, is not as anti-choice as the Democratic electorate is pro-choice. Depending on how candidates run with this in 2024, this could be a massive overreach by Republican politicians that backfires when voters go to the polls in 2024.

On Saturday before Mother’s Day, Governor Cooper vetoed the bill and now it will head back to the House and Senate which will presumably hold override votes in the near future. We don’t know when those will occur, but all that’s needed for freedom and liberty to win is for one Republican member to switch their vote. While I’m not going to hold my breath, I’ve been surprised enough before to also know there’s no sense in making assumptions. Perhaps someone, just one, will recognize just how undemocratic and out of step with North Carolinian preferences this bill really is and do the right thing.

I’m sure there are plenty of other things I could talk about for a while, but that’s probably enough since Senator Bode and I cover most of the other big points in our interview. Also, two quick notes. First, there are a few places in the interview where the audio file, mine in particular, got corrupted. Not sure what happened there, but it wasn’t bad enough to justify re-recording, and thanks in advance for your patience. I’ll certainly do my best to figure that out and not let it happen again. Also, this is our 2nd to last episode before a summer break. We’ll have one more planned episode on Memorial Day, then we’ll be off for most of the summer. I try to drop in a special bonus episode here and there during the summer to keep you entertained, and then we’ll try to pick back up regularly by Labor Day. Now, without further ado, here’s my interview with Senator Mary Wills Bode.

[music transition]

JD Wooten: With us today is State Senator Mary Wills Bode, who represents District 18, or as she likes to remind people, the best senate district in North Carolina, covering Granville and northern Wake Counties. Welcome back to the show, Senator Bode. 

Mary Wills Bode: Thank you. Thank you for having me. And just so everyone's clear, it is the best senate district in North Carolina. I don't just call it that, those are just the facts. 

JD Wooten: I appreciate the clarification. So last time you were on, you told us about your earliest memory of politics being when your parents put you on coat and name tag duty at an event. You also gave a plug for phone banking because that was evidently how your parents actually met volunteering on a campaign. I wasn't quick enough to think to ask, but do you know which campaign that was they were working on? 

Mary Wills Bode: Yes, so they were working on the Bob Winn for US Congress race and my mom was at Chapel Hill, she was a senior at Chapel Hill and had been really involved in politics. And my uncle, my dad's younger brother, had also been involved in politics and so he recruited his big brother to come and help with phone banking. And apparently my dad did not stay on script, so my mom had to come over and tell him to stay on script and there was just a spark that happened. And the rest, as they say is history.

JD Wooten: Well, that's brilliant. So, as a returning guest, new question, what's your earliest memory of voting? 

Mary Wills Bode: My earliest memory of voting would have been in the 2008 election. I remember I was studying abroad and worked really hard to get an absentee ballot. And I remember just running across town to make sure that it got in the mail in time to be counted from across the pond in Europe to North Carolina. So it really meant a lot to me to be able to vote in the first presidential election that I was eligible for in 2008. 

JD Wooten: I remember that election and I was trying to vote absentee cause I was military at that time. I remember my ballot showed up in my mailbox where I was in the DC area at about 3:00 PM on Monday afternoon before the election, and back in those days, the law was your ballot had to be returned to the State Board of Elections by 5:00 PM the day before. I was like, there's no physical way I can fill this out and have it back from DC to Raleigh in two hours. Oops. 

Mary Wills Bode: Yeah. I remember, mine was cut pretty clo, not that close. Getting my ballot in time and then turning it around was definitely tough and I just, I was so determined to make sure that I could exercise my right to vote. And so I was hopping on buses and running across piazzas in Italy making sure that it got there when it needed to get there.

JD Wooten: Yeah, I was cleaning up some old boxes and files in my home office just last week, and I actually stumbled across that absentee ballot from that '08 election. I was like, oh, I'm gonna put that back in that file. So, before we get to the craziness of the current legislative session, let's go back to some positive stuff. You won your 2022 race by more than five points. Quite the impressive victory for both a first time candidate in a newly drawn district and in a district that's basically 50 50 on paper. So what was your secret to success?

Mary Wills Bode: Oh man. Well thank you. I appreciate that. It was certainly one of the most competitive Senate races in North Carolina and unfortunately one of the most expensive North Carolina Senate races ever. You know, I have thought a lot about our race and I think there are three things really that I would say were quote unquote our secret. The first is that it was a complete and total team effort. I had a great team of people who worked really hard and left everything on the field. We went into early vote, just still thinking it was 50 50 and treating every day, like another opportunity to go out there and work as hard as we possibly could and leave no stone unturned. The second thing that I think was really important for, for my race and for me, was just making sure that this was a very authentic campaign. And so, I was involved in every decision, every tweet, every email. I had a very collaborative team where we really wanted to make sure that it was rooted and grounded in the issues that the people of Senate District 18 really cared about. And I think that, that, that really came through. So I think I would encourage any candidate, regardless of what level or what race they're running for to be as authentic as possible. And then the third thing is that relationships really matter and I spend a lot of time investing in relationships across the district. And that doesn't stop when you've won your race. You have to continue to really invest in relationships and foster relationships and learn even more about the issues and what people care about and show up. I think showing up is really important. And, you know, don't just show up to places you think are more Dem. You know, I felt really strongly about showing up everywhere where there were people who had concerns. And so, you know, I think that was reflected in our returns cause people really knew that I cared and that I was willing to listen to anybody. And, and really truly committed to working in good faith with anyone who wanted to work with me on issues that the people of Senate District 18 cared about.

JD Wooten: So all wonderful things for those already running. Let me ask a slightly different question. Any advice for people who are thinking about getting involved in politics by way of maybe considering running for office themselves?

Mary Wills Bode: Sure. I mean, if you feel called to serve, I would say go for it. It has been the most incredible journey for me. I remember telling my parents when I had decided I wanted to run, I can't wait to meet the person I am at the end of this. And really it is the people that you meet along the way, for me, it has been for me, that have left such an impact on my life and, and my call to service. And so if you feel that call and that pull, go for it. Don't sit on the sidelines. Step up and be a leader and make a positive impact. Don't hesitate. 

JD Wooten: So, let's turn to the current legislative session, which unfortunately might not be as positive to talk about, but the NCGOP has a super majority now in both chambers of the General Assembly. So I'm curious, what's the atmosphere been like from your perspective as a freshman senator lately? 

Mary Wills Bode: For me, I, I don't really have anything to compare it to. I came in to this legislative session again, I made a commitment to the people of Senate District 18 that I was willing to work with anyone who wanted to work in good faith for the issues that the people of my district cared about. And I also operate under some wisdom that my grandmother told me long ago, sling a little mug, lose a little ground. And so, I have really tried to stay out of the fray down at the legislature. I try and, and treat everyone with respect. And you know, listen to everyone. We all come there wanting to serve and we all bring different experiences to the table in different places from across the state. So I have tried to really be rooted in that kind of ethos and understanding.

JD Wooten: It's not all bad news outta Raleigh. As I discussed with Senator Garrett last week, it looks like we might finally ban participation trophies in youth sports and ban forced microchip implantation in employees. I, for one, am really glad that the GOP has finally come around and is taking up these long overdue measures to protect everyday North Carolinians. What were your thoughts when you first heard about these bills? 

Mary Wills Bode: I believe the day the week the participation trophies bill was introduced was the same week as the Covenant shootings. And I spend a lot of time and am lazer focused on the issues that the people of North Carolina care deeply about that are gonna affect their lives. So that week, I had so many conversations with parents who were devastated by what was happening in Tennessee and wanted assurances that we were gonna make sure their kids were safe when they would go to school. And really, having those broader conversations also too about quality of life issues in North Carolina, like our education system or the issues like in Senate District 18, like many other places in North Carolina, we have massive growth. So talking about affordable housing and infrastructure and not just access to water, but clean water. You know, we've got a PFAS issue here in North Carolina, so, you know, I have tried in my time in the North Carolina General Assembly in the Senate to really stay laser focused on the issues that the people, not just in my district, but also across North Carolina, care deeply about and affect their lives every day. And I've tried really hard to stay out of the culture wars and all the other distractions from the issues that really affect the quality of life for the people of North Carolina. 

JD Wooten: Okay. I guess that's a fair answer, thanks. I do remember the timing of that just felt like you said particularly problematic and the cognitive dissonance that goes with what we're seeing in a lot of the culture war stuff. All of these different bans that are getting introduced, then we turn around and see yet another mass shooting and the party line with the gun lobby is, oh, well bans don't work so we shouldn't do it. It's like, well you sure seem to think they work on a lot of other things. So turning to another issue that's at the forefront, I think of a lot of people's minds right now. North Carolina Republicans introduced and ran through a massive encroachment on individual liberty and freedom last week by introducing the anti-abortion legislation that reduces the availability of elective abortions from 20 weeks to 12 weeks, and places enormous burdens on those seeking abortions, even in those first 12 weeks. I want to ask about this legislation kind of in two different parts. First, the substance and then the procedure. So let's start with the substance. Would you like to, you know, this is a big bill. Would you like to summarize the key provisions of the legislation for our listeners?

Mary Wills Bode: Sure. So this is a 46 page bill that we were given less than 48 hours to vote on to read, study, and vote on 48 hours. And I know that we're gonna talk about procedure in a minute, but I think it's important to just really on the outset mention that. Essentially, there are, in my view, two different pieces of this bill. So it's the issue of the rollback of the reproductive healthcare rights as you mentioned. And then there is an appropriations piece to this bill. So money that's appropriated to address the maternal and infant mortality rate that we have in North Carolina, which is a huge issue. And then some other appropriations around contraception and adoption and parental leave in North Carolina. But the first piece, the real policy piece, as you mentioned. So, this Bill, Senate Bill 20, distinguishes between a medical abortion and a surgical abortion. A medical abortion is like Mifepristone, so the abortion pill. And really at 10 weeks in North Carolina, that's the cutoff of when you can receive a medical abortion. And so, the issue with the way that the policy provisions in this new bill, it would require three visits to a physician, three visits instead of one, which now a woman who needs a medical abortion can call a provider and receive that first consultation over the phone. And then she must wait 72 hours. Then she goes in person to receive and ingest the first pill in the presence of the physician. And that's currently the law in North Carolina. She has to come into the physician's office to do that and is given the second pill when she leaves to take later on. And then the bill also requires a follow up visit between seven and 14 days after. So we're talking about three visits to a healthcare provider within 21 days, which places incredible barriers for women seeking access to care in North Carolina. We know that we have healthcare deserts across North Carolina where, you know, three visits in 21 days where a woman will have to take off work, pay for travel, pay for lodging, pay for food, pay for childcare. These are, for many women, insurmountable barriers to receiving the access to care that they need. And what I mentioned in my floor speech is that I talked a lot about access to care because I represent the only urban, suburban, and rural senate district in North Carolina. So I think a lot about these issues as they span across the various geographies of our state. And what I'm worried about is what happens to the women who will no longer have that access to care. So just those two changes, making it illegal for a woman to consult over the phone and then requiring an additional follow up after she's received the medical abortion, will have huge impacts to access to care for women across the state.

And then, I think a second piece of this bill is about physicians and under this bill, there is no exception for a woman's health. So under this bill women can receive access to reproductive healthcare if their life is at risk, but not if her health is at risk. And so what we've seen across the country when a woman's health can't be taken into consideration is we're putting physicians in these really tough positions where they have to wait until their patient 's life is in danger before they can intervene. And then we're criminalizing providers who, you know, politicians think maybe didn't use the best discretion or judgment in that scenario. And so, I'm concerned about criminalizing physicians for using their professional judgment, but also the chilling effect that that's gonna have where I, I do believe that physicians are gonna leave the state and we're gonna have even fewer OB's and OBGYNs practicing in our state which should concern everyone. 

And then I think the third piece is that the providers, so the actual health clinics that are providing this care. And this bill places new, onerous, and burdensome licensing schemes on healthcare clinics that provide this care. And we only have 14 clinics in North Carolina in nine counties. And so I'm concerned that these new strict requirements that are aligned with requirements that we put on general acute hospitals with 99 hospital beds. I'm concerned that those providers are now going to have to shut their doors and stop providing care because they can't keep up with the licensing scheme requirements that are now required. Planned Parenthood, who operates many of those clinics have said that none of their clinics currently comply with the new licensing schemes.

JD Wooten: So you've got a tremendous burden on the patient. A tremendous burden on the doctor. Tremendous burden on the facilities. It sounds to me like more or less trying to make abortion if not impossible, at least mostly improbable, even though it's technically allowed up to 10 or 12 weeks. 

Mary Wills Bode: It will be an illusion. Access to this care will be an illusion to many, to many women in our state. What happens to women who are desperate tragic, devastating, dangerous things happen to women who are desperate and North Carolina is a healthcare destination. We have world class healthcare in our state, and it's so tragic that we are limiting access to care, especially for the most vulnerable in our state. 

JD Wooten: Couldn't agree more. So let's turn to the procedure for a second. I heard about the bill shortly after the late night Tuesday press conference from the GOP, and I didn't actually see it until the following day. I'm curious, as a sitting member of the state Senate, when did you first hear about the bill? 

Mary Wills Bode: Sure, so when we were in session on Tuesday, what happened was earlier in the session, we had passed a bill around safe surrender of, of infants and it had gone over to the House and it had had passed the House with some changes. And so when a bill passes from one chamber to the other, and there are some, some differences, it goes to conference. So on Tuesday during session when session started, we we had to vote on whether or not we would agree with the conference reports from a bill, the Safe Surrender bill that we had voted on previously in the session Senate Bill 20, which had passed from the Senate, gone to the house, the House had made some differences, so it went to conference. And so the sponsor of that bill got up and, and voted and asked the chamber to vote no on the conference report from what had come out of that conference on Senate bill 20 and to send it back to conference. And so what ended up happening was the conference report from this bill, this new Senate Bill 20, which we voted on on Thursday, was the vehicle that was used for allowing that vote to come back to the North Carolina General Assembly and then be voted on by the House and Senate. So it was really a bill that in large part had been gutted and, and then replaced with the new text of, of the new Senate Bill 20, which we voted on this past week. So through that process a conference report, you, you can't make an amendment to a conference report, so, we had a committee meeting, a rules committee meeting on Wednesday morning and there was an opportunity to ask questions and the public asked questions, but there was no opportunity to amend the bill. There was no opportunity to amend the bill on the Senate floor. And this new Senate Bill 20 had not gone through any other previous committees because it had come to the Senate this past week as a conference report. 

We didn't see the text of the bill until 11 o'clock the night before. I mean, there was no real opportunity for discussion and debate. And so, we really missed out on an opportunity to provide scrutiny, input, feedback, all of the things that people expect their legislatures to do on any bill, but especially a bill that is as important and significant as this bill is and will continue to be for North Carolina. And so I think, not just letting legislators weigh in, all legislators weigh in, but also allowing the people of North Carolina to weigh in and share with the North Carolina House and Senate, how they feel about these issues is really critically important and a big piece of our democracy and our democratic process.

JD Wooten: So, There's a theme here, unfortunately, in other terrible legislation, news, North Carolina Republicans evidently don't seem to have learned a whole lot from the economic damage they did with Amendment One and HB2. And so, we're jumping back into culture wars again with legislation that's truly dangerous to the people of North Carolina. It's really bad for business too, so rather than asking about particular pieces of legislation, because we could be here all day if we were to do that, I'd rather ask it this way. What do you think it says about the Republican policy ideas for helping to improve the lives of everyday North Carolinians that they're so focused on the culture war issues instead, right now?

Mary Wills Bode: Yeah. I spend a lot of time thinking about that question and I spend a lot of time trying to, to really wrap my head around what that could look like in the legislature if we were spending as much time on affordable housing as we spend on sports betting, right? Or spend as much time on our infrastructure needs and transportation as we're spending now talking about any of the other litany of quote unquote culture war issues. There are folks in the legislature who are working hard on these issues and we, we just need more of them. We need more of them to be elected and we need more of them to step up and serve because these issues aren't going anywhere. The issues of our growth we're only growing faster and faster and so it's such a disservice to be wading into to these issues, these culture war issues that aren't making life any easier for people which is really what we need to be doing each and every day and what our North Star should be each and every day. I am one of the youngest people elected in the legislature and, you know, JD, we're about the same age, I think, and we've grown up in an era of this extreme polarization and hostility and really we bear the brunt of it. There's gotta be a shift. There, there just has to be. And so, that is where I really see myself stepping into the void. And I am really trying to, to really make sure that the culture war ends in North Carolina and that we get refocused on things that really matter to working families for people across our state. And so, that is my plug. Anyone who is listening, who is thinking about running, step up and do it. And make sure that you have that North Star. Because people are watching, you know, I think about the fourth graders and the third graders that come and sit in the gallery, and they're watching how we behave and how we talk to one another. And that's the next generation of leadership. So it's really important to me that the political landscape shifts. And so I'm hopeful that this podcast can help make that happen. No pressure. 

JD Wooten: Well, we'll keep doing our best and listeners, you heard it here. Let's get Senator some more support there in Raleigh. So we've covered a lot and it's been pretty heavy, but is there anything that we've missed that you wanna share with our listeners legislative wise, or policy priorities, or anything like that? 

Mary Wills Bode: Well, I think that we're starting to see a lot of the jockeying for 2024. So as much as I would love to see the political tide shift and the temperature turned down, or whatever phrase you wanna use, North Carolina is a battleground state. And so I think it's really important that people stay very clear-eyed about what our objectives are for 2024 and what we need to be doing and how we need to be talking to people about these issues, about the clear choice that's in front of them with who they want to represent them. That's what I've been thinking a lot about as we approach seems, we, we literally just got finished with an election cycle and here we go again. But North Carolina's gonna continue to be a battleground. So we need everybody to be with us so that we can execute on a vision of North Carolina we can be proud of.

JD Wooten: Yeah, I can't believe that we're teeing up the next election cycle already. So, any words of wisdom or suggestions for people that want to get involved and want to help. You ran a brilliant campaign in 2022 with amazing field support and massive volunteer effort. Now you're looking at the whole state picture. As y'all move forward where do you recommend people try and get involved?

Mary Wills Bode: There are so many great organizations: Neighbors On Call, County to County, Never and Now. I think don't be afraid to just step in. That's how I got involved and creating community around the values you care about is an incredible thing. When you keep showing up and you bring other people to show up, and then more people show up. You know, don't underestimate the power of a few people and the big difference that they can make. And stay consistent. Phone banking you know, you don't always have a great conversation, but people know that you're reaching out and you're caring. And that time and time again, consistency does make a huge difference. And so I think those are kind of the key things. Grab a friend, find a candidate you care about and don't look back. Keep going. And it's gonna take you on a really incredible journey. And you're gonna meet great people along the way. Like, I would've never met you, JD. 

JD Wooten: And, you know, maybe not every conversation on phone banking is great, but maybe you meet your future spouse and...

Mary Wills Bode: But definitely stay on script. Definitely stay on script when you're phone banking. 

JD Wooten: Yes. All right. So Senator Bode, what's the best way for listeners to learn more about you and stay updated on your work in Raleigh?

Mary Wills Bode: So you can follow me on all the socials: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Bode 4 Senate. You can go to my website,, all very original and consistent and sign up for my newsletter. I would love to hear from you and what you're thinking about. And if you're interested in getting involved, we'd love to have you be part of our team.

JD Wooten: Well Senator Bode, thank you so much for taking the time to join us today. It's been a real pleasure. 

Mary Wills Bode: Thanks so much.

[music transition]

JD Wooten: Thank you again to Senator Bode for joining us today, and thanks so much  to everyone for listening. If you have questions, comments, or suggestions for future episodes, send me an email at And as always, please subscribe wherever you get your podcasts and share this episode with a friend. Together, we can achieve a better North Carolina for everyone!

Interview with Mary Wills Bode
Closing Notes