Senate race heads for summer runoff
by Courtney Price
N.C. Senate candidate David Curtis will face Sen. Chris Carney in a second Republican primary after neither managed to earn a clear majority in Tuesday’s election.
The candidates will meet in a runoff election over the summer, but the date for that race has not been set.
Carney earned 35.04 percent of the 25,186 votes cast, about 1 percent more than Curtis’ 34.08 percent. But since election laws require a winner with more than 40 percent, Carney hasn’t yet won.
Mooresville resident Karen Ray, the third candidate in the race, pulled in 30.88 percent, preventing either of her opponents from obtaining a majority.
Curtis, of Denver, trailed Carney by 243 votes after taking nearly half of the vote in Lincoln County and earning 22 percent in Iredell.
Carney, a former Mooresville commissioner, took 40 percent of the vote in Iredell County and 27 percent in Lincoln.
County Elections Director Bill Beam said he hadn’t received a petition for the runoff as of Wednesday afternoon, but Curtis said he planned to send it in Thursday.
Curtis is hoping to pick up Ray’s supporters in the runoff, but he expects voter turnout to be the deciding factor.
“If we had another 25,000-vote election, I’d probably win. But in a smaller election, who knows?” Curtis said. “People are in the middle of vacations, and it’s going to be really hard to get people out to vote. That’s what it’s going to turn on.”
Rep. Jason Saine will keep his seat in Raleigh after winning the race for N.C. House District 97 against Commissioner Jim Klein and Iron Station resident Charles Newman.
Saine easily won with 51.61 percent, or 5,971 of the 11,570 votes cast.
Klein pulled in 34.49 percent and Newman earned 13.9 percent.
Saine said he felt the election validated his appointment last fall, after former Rep. Johnathan Rhyne resigned.
“First and foremost, our message has been lower taxes, less government and more freedom,” he said Wednesday. “Our message reflected the will of Lincoln County. That’s what really won yesterday. I’m proud to be that candidate they were looking for.”
Saine took 23 of the 28 precincts across the county, while Klein secured four of the eight eastern precincts. The two tied in the Lowesville precinct, where they both live.
US House primary
Denver resident Ken Fortenberry lost to incumbent Rep. Patrick McHenry in the Republican primary for U.S. House District 10. McHenry pulled in 72.56 percent of the 80,734 votes cast across the district.
Fortenberry earned 19.64 percent and Don Peterson, of Crammerton, took 7.8 percent.
McHenry will face Democrat Patsy Keever in the general election in November.