Tuesday night’s election determined the nominees for races up and down the ballot in the November general election. But one nomination remains undecided.
No candidate received at least 30 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor, leaving open the possibility of a runoff.
Patrick Gannon, public information officer for the North Carolina State Board of Elections, explained the rules for a runoff primary in North Carolina in an email on Friday.
“The candidate who receives the second-highest vote total in a primary contest may demand a second primary if no candidate receives more than 30 percent of the votes cast for all candidates in that contest,” Gannon said. “The top two vote-getters would be on the ballot for the second primary.”
According to unofficial results, N.C. Rep. Yvonne Lewis Holley (D-Wake) received 26.57 percent of the vote, N.C. Sen. Terry Van Duyn (D-Buncombe) had 20.44 percent and Hoke County Commissioner Allen Thomas and N.C. Rep. Chaz Beasley (D-Mecklenburg) each had 18.86 percent.
Bill Toole and Ron Newton both had less than 10 percent of the vote.
Although the presidential primary stole much of the spotlight away from down-ballot races, some voters, like Heather McKay of Hillsborough, said state-level primaries were a motivator to come to the polls.
McKay said she was supporting Van Duyn.
“One person can’t do it by themselves,” she said. “To me, it’s about strategically filling those seats who will vote together as a party and support, hopefully an executive who agrees with me.”
Holley has served four terms in the N.C. House, while Van Duyn is a three-term state senator and former Democratic whip.
Regardless, the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor will be a woman. If either of them were to win the general election, they would be North Carolina’s second female lieutenant governor. For some, like Gabriel James of Pembroke, that was a motivator in the ballot box.
“I also feel like someone who historically could not vote, as a woman of color, both being a woman and a person of color, it’s my duty to my ancestors to utilize my right to vote,” James said.
The candidate in second place after results are certified would have to request a second primary by March 12. If she does, North Carolina’s primary may extend well into April, Gannon said.
“If no federal contest requires a second primary, the second primary would be held April 21, 2020,” he said.
@DTHCityState | firstname.lastname@example.org
Dylan Phillips and Henry Haney contributed reporting.
To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.