Primary night in Cumberland County was a short election night. The unofficial vote count was in before 10 p.m. With 77 of 77 precincts reporting, under 11 percent of registered voters cast a vote May 8. In Cumberland County there are 212,458 registered voters out of a total population of 332,546. Only 23,135 people made it a priority to have a say in who will run in the midterm elections Tuesday, Nov. 6.
Midterm elections are the elections held near the midpoint of the president’s four-year term. Every two years, voters elect Congress members, the 435 members of the House of Representatives. Across the country, votes will also be cast for 35 Senate seats and 39 governorships, but North Carolina is not affected. Senators get elected to six-year staggered terms. Governors get elected to four-year terms.
Cumberland County is partitioned into two congressional districts, Districts 8 and 9, of North Carolina’s 13 districts. District 8 includes all of Cabarrus, Montgomery, Moore, Hoke and Stanly counties, as well as portions of Rowan and Cumberland counties. District 9 consists of Union, Anson, Richmond, Scotland and Robeson counties. It also includes a southeast portion of Mecklenburg county, and most of Bladen and Cumberland counties. Where you live in Cumberland County will determine which congressman in the House of Representatives represents you. Generally speaking, District 8 is the northern part and District 9 takes a larger portion in the southern part of the County.
The District 8 Democratic primary winner is Frank Mcneill. Mcneill won with 15,965 (56.11percent) votes across the district. In Cumberland County, Mcneill carried the vote with 6,411 (52.86percent) votes cast here. His opponents were Scott Huffman and Marc Tiegel. Huffman tallied 6,545 (23 percent) votes district wide and county wide 2,175 (19.76 percent). Tiegel fared better than Huffman county wide with 2,420 (21.99 percent) and district wide finished below Mcneill and Huffman with 5,941 (20.88 percent) votes. Mcneill will challenge incumbent Rep. Richard Hudson, who ran unopposed in the primary.
District 9 will see new leadership. Incumbent Rep. Robert Pittenger had two challengers, Rev. Mark Harris and Clarence Goins Jr. In Cumberland County, Pittenger brought in 44.19 percent over Harris’s 31.92 percent and Goins’ 23.89 percent. Pittenger won the county by 12.27 percent over Harris. But it was not enough for him to get reelected to the House. It was a tight race across the district. Harris won the seat with 17,224 (48.52 percent) of total votes cast. Pittenger won 16,411 (46.23 percent) votes, losing his seat by 813 votes, or 2.29 percent. Speaking on Harris’ win, Frank Raczof the Cumberland County Tea Party Group, which endorsed Harris, said, “It is refreshing to see Pastor Harris move the House of Representatives and the Republican Party to the right.”
Harris will run up against the winner of the Democrat primary, Dan McCready. McCready had an easy victory over his opponent Christian Cano. In Cumberland County, McCready secured 2,829 (76.46 percent) of the votes cast. Across the district, he won 37,824 (82.83 percent) of the total votes cast. Cano picked up 7,838 (17.17 percent) across the district and in the county 871 (24.54 percent) votes.
This November, the Democrats have a chance to pick up two seats in Cumberland County.
There were two North Carolina State Senate race primaries, both for the Democrat Party. Former Town Councilman Kirk deViere won just under 2/3 of the votes for North Carolina State Senate District 19. Primary voters cast 5,248 (62.62 percent) votes for deViere over Clarence Donaldson’s total of 3,132 (37.37 percent) votes. Winner deViere will challenge incumbent State Sen. Wesley Meredith, who did not have a challenger.
In the North Carolina State Senate District 21 primary, Naveed Aziz beat incumbent State Sen. Ben Clark by 275 votes. She collected 3,814 (51.87percent) votes over 3,539 (48.13 percent) votes for Clark. Republican newcomer Timothy Leever, who was uncontested, will challenge Aziz for the District 21 seat in November’s general election.
Democrats had a primary for North Carolina House of Representatives District 43. Incumbent Rep. Elmer Floyd remains the party choice. Floyd won his district overwhelmingly with 3,880 (79.18percent) votes. His challengers, Theresa Gale and Prince Christian, garnered 889 (18.14 percent) and 131 (2.67 percent) respectively. Republican John Czajkowski, who was unopposed, will challenge Floyd for the seat.
Voters made their choice firmly known in the North Carolina House of Representatives District 44 Republican primary. Voters chose former Republican Cumberland County Party Chair Linda Devore with 1,528 (67.02 percent) votes over challenger Patrick Petsche, who picked up 752 (32.98percent) of the votes. Devore said upon her victory, “I’m very happy with today’s primary. It’s a little disappointing to not have larger numbers of voters turn out who are interested. But those who are interested have been heard, and that’s great. I look forward to representing our party on the November ballot. I’m looking forward to the race. The campaign starts tomorrow.” Devore will challenge incumbent State Rep. Billy Richardson, who did not have any challengers.
In the Cumberland County Clerk of Superior Court race, incumbent Lisa Scales won her Democrat Party primary with a solid countywide victory. Scales pulled in 12,921 (82.78 percent) votes over Eschonda Hooper, who managed 2,687(17.22 percent) votes. Cindy Blackwell, who had no opponents for the Republican primary, will challenge Scales.
November’s Cumberland County Sheriff’s race looks to be a competitive one. The Democrat primary was decidedly won by incumbent Sheriff Ennis Wright, who secured his position with 13,003 (82.70 percent) votes. Opponents Jeff Marks pulled 1,890 (12.02 percent) votes, and Denny Davis gathered 831 (5.28 percent) votes. The Republican primary was also determined by a wide margin. Charlie Baxley locked in the Republican nomination with 3,669 (53.98 percent) votes. The other three candidates accumulated 46 percent collectively. Carlton Sallie garnered 1,164 (17.13 percent) votes, Victor Starling collected 1,020 (15.01 percent) votes, and LaRue Williams picked up 944 (13.89percent) votes.
The midterm General Election will be held Tuesday,Nov. 6. Campaign signs may be pulled up until around Labor Day when you will see them sprout again, but the campaigns are just starting.