2012 Primary Highlights
Special Report - May 10, 2012
While for some, the focus of Tuesday’s primary election was on the outcome of the Marriage Protection Amendment, primary voters also decided which candidates will advance to the November 6 general election to determine North Carolina’s congressional delegation, Governor, Lt. Governor, Council of State, General Assembly, and countless judicial and local positions across the state. The more than 2.164 million voters who cast ballots in Tuesday’s election represent 34.38 percent of North Carolina’s registered voters. Democrat voters overwhelmingly supported President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign, giving him 79 percent of their votes. Former Massachusetts Governor and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney earned nearly two-thirds of the state’s Republican voters’ support, while Ron Paul and Rick Santorum both garnered about 11 percent of the vote each. The more than 1.3 million votes in favor of the Marriage Protection Amendment carried the measure to a 22 percent margin of victory (61 percent to 39 percent), as 93 out 100 counties voted for the amendment.
Among the night’s statewide and congressional highlights are:
- Democrat Lieutenant Governor Walter B. Dalton won his bid to be the Democrat candidate for Governor in the wake of current Gov. Beverly Perdue’s announcement that she will not seek reelection. He will face Republican candidate Pat McCrory, a former mayor of Charlotte.
- Democrat Walter Smith will challenge Republican incumbent Steve Troxler for the Commissioner of Agriculture position.
- Incumbent N.C. Treasurer, Democrat Janet Cowell will face Republican challenger Steve Royal.
- Current N.C. State Sen. David Rouzer (RJohnston) won the Republican primary for U.S. House District 7, and will challenge incumbent Rep. Mike McIntyre (D).
- Current N.C. State Rep. Patsy Keever (DBuncombe) won the right to challenge U.S. House District 10 incumbent Rep. Patrick McHenry (R).
- Former U.S. Attorney for Eastern N.C., George Holding won the Republican primary for U.S. House District 13, and will face Democrat Charles Malone in the general election.
In several other races on Tuesday’s ballots, candidates failed to garner at least 40 percent of the vote in order to avoid a runoff with the second place candidate this summer. The following races are eligible for runoffs, which are scheduled for July 17, if the second place candidate formally requests a runoff by May 17:
- Republican: Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest and Tony Gurley will need a primary to determine who will go up against Democrat candidate Linda Coleman.
- Republican: Auditor Greg Dority and Debra Goldman will face off again to decide who will face incumbent Democrat Beth Wood.
- Republican: Commissioner of Insurance Former N.C. House Speaker Richard Morgan and Mike Causey will battle it out to determine who will face incumbent Democrat Wayne Goodwin.
- Democrat: Commissioner of Labor Former Labor Commissioner John C. Brooks and Marlowe Foster are slated for a runoff to decide who will face incumbent Republican Cherie Berry.
- Republican: Secretary of State The winner of a runoff between Kenn Gardner and Ed Goodwin will face Democrat incumbent Elaine Marshall.
- Republican: Superintendent of Public Instruction Democrat incumbent June Atkinson will face a challenge from either Richard Alexander or John Tedesco
- Republican: U.S. House District 8 Richard Hudson and Scott Keadle will battle it out to determine who will challenge Democrat incumbent Rep. Larry Kissell.
- Republican: U.S. House District 9 Jim Pendergraph and former N.C. Senator Robert Pittenger will need a primary to determine who will go up against Democrat candidate Jennifer Roberts and Libertarian Curtis Campbell for the seat left open by the retirement of Rep. Sue Myrick (R).
- U.S. House District 11 Democrat candidate Hayden Rogers will face the winner of the runoff between Republicans Mark Meadows and Vance Patterson.
At least four N.C. Senate contests (District 12 Republicans, District 21 Democrats, District 41 Republicans, and District 44 Republicans) are eligible for runoffs. The winner of both the District 21 and 41 races will automatically win the seat, as both are uncontested in the general election. Additionally, the winner of the N.C. House District 109 Republican runoff between Dana Bumgardner and former N.C. Rep. Wil Neumann will hold the uncontested seat.
At least eight incumbent members of the General Assembly lost their primary bids, including:
- Sen. Eric Mansfield (DCumberland) lost his primary bid for Lt. Governor to Linda Coleman.
- Chad Barefoot defeated current Rep. Glen Bradley (RFranklin), who was drawn out of his House district in the new maps, for the right to challenge incumbent Sen. Doug Berger (DFranklin) for the Senate District 7 seat in November.
- Sen. Charlie Dannelly (DMecklenburg), lost his District 38 seat to challenger Joel Ford, who will face Republican Richard Rivette in the general election.
- Rep. Jim Crawford (DGranville), who has served 14 terms in the N.C. House lost a primary contest to Rep. W.A. (Winkie) Wilkins (DPerson), who has served four terms in the N.C. House, after the two were drawn into the same district as part of this year’s redistricting. Rep. Wilkins will face Republican Timothy Karan in the general election.
- Rep. Efton Sager (RWayne) has lost his bid against fellow GOP Rep. Jimmy Dixon (Duplin), after the two were double-bunked in House District 4 under the new redistricting maps. Rep. Dixon will face Democrat Delores Kennedy and Libertarian Kevin Hayes in the general election.
- Rep. Stephen LaRoque (RLenoir) appears to have narrowly lost to GOP challenger John Bell in House District 10. The two are currently separated by just 54 votes out of a total of the 7,700 cast. The winner will face Jim Babe Hardison in the general election.
- Rep. Darrell McCormick (RYadkin) lost to fellow Republican Rep. Mark Hollo (RAlexander) after the pair were double-bunked in House District 73 in the new voting maps. Rep. McCormick suspended his campaign in March. Rep. Hollo will face Democrat William Stinson in the general election.
- Rep. Larry Brown (RForsyth) lost his bid to keep the House District 74 seat to GOP challenger Debra Conrad. David Moore won the Democrat primary and will face Debra Conrad in the general election.
Interestingly, both parties have already won more than two-dozen seats in the General Assembly by running uncontested candidates in several districts. The Democrats have secured at least five seats in the Senate and 22 seats in the House, while the Republicans have secured at least 10 Senate seats and 26 House seats. The Board of Elections has said it will not tally votes in the Democrat primary for the Senate District 5 race between former Sen. Don Davis and former Sen. Tony Moore because Moore did not meet residency requirements. Moore is said to be appealing that ruling.
State Board of Elections
Copyright © 2012. North Carolina Family Policy Council. All rights reserved.