Legislator Profile: Senator Joel Ford (D-Mecklenburg)

This installment of Real Facts NC’s legislator profile series focuses on Senator Joel Ford, a Democrat from Mecklenburg County. Ford, a self-proclaimed “recovering entrepreneur” who has bought and sold several businesses, was elected to the NC Senate in 2012 after a brief stint as a political consultant. Ford, formerly a VP of the embattled Cardinal Innovations Healthcare, came in a distant third in Charlotte’s 2017 mayoral election.

Ford took an anti-LGBTQ stance during the HB2 controversy and aftermath, even sponsoring a failed repeal bill based on an indefinite moratorium for nondiscrimination ordinances. During the Charlotte mayoral race, Ford responded to a constituent who expressed concerns about his record on LGBTQ issues with a gif of a dog pooping. Ford’s record of looking out for himself first has been proven time and time again. Read more here.

"We need to be sensitive to religious freedom and respecting individual rights, and that has proven to be difficult because of people who look for tolerance while they themselves are intolerant” – Joel Ford, 3/25/15


Ford mocked the LGBTQ community on Twitter and has supported bills that take away the civil rights of LGBTQ North Carolinians

  • Ford tweeted a GIF of a dog pooping in response to a constituent concerned about his record on LGBTQ issues
  • Ford attempted to repeal HB2 with a bill that included an indefinite moratorium on nondiscrimination ordinances, essentially the same as a proposal made by Senator Phil Berger
  • Ford voted for Phil Berger’s bill that would allow magistrates to recuse themselves from performing same-sex marriages

Ford looks out for himself first. He entered into politics because of his business failures, was vice president of a managed care organization criticized for lavish spending

  • Ford claimed he got into politics because “the Mecklenburg County Commission entered into a disposal agreement with a competitor for substantially cheaper.”
  • Ford was a vice-president of Cardinal Innovations Healthcare, cited in a 2017 state audit for “questionable” spending. He stepped down after controversy and received nearly $52k severance. 

Ford, who was paid by Duke Energy for “professional fees,” voted for the  “Duke Bailout Bill” that was “damning proof” families could not rely on the  state to protect drinking water from pollution like coal ash.

  • "Duke Bailout Bill” would raise rates for average NC families by $18 per year for 25 years
  • Ford voted for so-called “polluter protection act” which allowed polluters to be exempted from civil penalties for their pollution.

Read more here.