With the primaries finished, nominees from the Democratic, Republican and Libertarian parties will prepare to face off in November’s general elections.
The primaries for North Carolina’s seat in the U.S. Senate featured 13 candidates running for three parties’ nominations. The race has been identified as one of the most contested and expensive in the nation.
Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., and N.C. Speaker of the House Thom Tillis, R-N.C., won the Democratic and Republican nominations, respectively. Sean Haugh won the Libertarian nomination for U.S. Senate.
The three parties’ primary winners all claimed early leads they did not relinquish.
Tillis, who won 45.7 percent of his party’s vote, said in his acceptance speech Republicans are on the same team to unseat incumbent Hagan in November.
“If we want to change Obamacare, we have to change our senator,” he said in the speech. “If we want to end our nation’s financial crisis, we have got to change our senator.”
Hagan released a statement after her victory, which she won with 77.2 percent of the vote.
“I am honored to serve North Carolina, but I know that this job is about the families working every day for a better future,” Hagan said in the statement. “I will continue putting them, and North Carolina, first as we continue our work to make all North Carolina families strong and great.”
Hagan has raised more than $13 million in campaign contributions, while Tillis has raised more than $3 million.
Haugh, who won 60.7 percent of the Libertarian vote, said his campaign works with a small budget, and no records exist on his fundraising.
His plan for the general election is to produce issue-specific YouTube videos and host town-hall-style events across N.C., he said in an interview.
“Communications technology has changed so much that it really makes it possible for me to get my message out without having to spend millions of dollars to do it,” Haugh said.
The sheriff election was one of few with a contested outcome, not only in speculation but in results.
Current Sheriff Lindy Pendergrass did not decide to run for office, leaving the position open for six contenders.
The top candidate Charles Blackwood, did not receive the required 40 percent of votes required to win outright.
There were less than a hundred votes separating Blackwood and his closest opponent, David Caldwell, Jr.
After the primary, both candidates said they were pleased with the elections and the runoff.
“This shows our government in action and how the democratic process is supposed to work,” Caldwell said.
The runoff election will be seven to 10 weeks after the primaries.
On the same night, former Carrboro mayor Mark Chilton was elected for Orange County Register of Deeds, winning by 3 percent more than incumbent Deborah Brooks.
One of his talking points during his campaign was signing marriage licenses for same-sex couples, even though Amendment One prevents same-sex marriage in N.C.
Chilton also said since there was no Republican candidate, all he has to do until the elections in November is wait.
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