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Holley wins Democratic Lt. Gov. primary after Van Duyn declines runoff

Yvonne Holley (left) spoke at a Black Women Lead event held by the UNC Black Student Movement in the Stone Center on Monday, Feb. 10, 2020. Holley will be the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor after N.C. Sen. Terry Van Duyn (D-Buncombe) declined to hold a runoff election.

N.C. Rep. Yvonne Lewis Holley (D-Wake) will be the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor after N.C. Sen. Terry Van Duyn (D-Buncombe) declined to hold a runoff election.

None of the six candidates in the primary received more than 30 percent of the vote, meaning by law that the runner-up candidate could request a runoff election. Holley received the most votes, carrying 26.6 percent of those who voted in the race. Van Duyn followed with 20.4 percent, and all other candidates received less than 20 percent of the votes.

Van Duyn announced Tuesday she would not pursue a runoff.

In a post on her campaign’s Facebook page on Tuesday evening, Van Duyn thanked her supporters and reflected on the campaign.

“I got into this race because I believed that Governor Cooper needed a real partner to advance his agenda of a North Carolina where education is our top priority, where we expand Medicaid and where we grow more good paying jobs for everyone,” she said.

Van Duyn also said she would stay involved in elections in the state.

“While tonight I congratulate Representative Holley on winning our party’s nomination for Lieutenant Governor, I remain committed to building a better North Carolina for all of our families,” she said. “We have so much work to do and we must elect Democrats up and down the ticket.”

Holley released two brief posts on Facebook, one thanking individuals for their support for the campaign.

“Today I feel blessed and highly favored. Humbled and grateful,” Holley said from her account.

N.C. Democratic Party Chairperson Wayne Goodwin released a statement after the announcement saying the party is grateful for all the candidates.

“Representative Holley has been a fierce advocate for our public schools and has a proven record of working across the aisle to get things done," Goodwin said. "We look forward to adding yet another incredibly qualified candidate to our diverse slate of candidates and to winning big this November. ”

Holley’s victory sets her up for a race against Republican nominee Mark Robinson in the general election. Robinson won the Republican primary with 32.5 percent of the vote. 

Both candidates are African American, virtually ensuring that in November North Carolina will elect its first African American lieutenant governor. 

Holley has focused on social and economic issues in her campaign, such as her Affordable Living Initiative, a wide-ranging plan to take action on Medicaid expansion, wage increases, affordable housing and voting rights.

“These are real problems," Holley said in a February interview with The Daily Tar Heel. "All this prosperity is going to the upper people, but our middle class is falling."

Robinson, a member of the National Rifle Association’s outreach board, said he wants to end Common Core and limit the role of race and gender issues in public schools. He gave a speech at the Greensboro City Council in favor of gun rights that went viral in 2018.

The general election will be held on Nov. 3.

@DTHCityState |  

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