A total of 2,156,409 registered voters turned out for the March 3 Primary election, or 31.1% of all registered voters (down slightly from 2016 Primary, at 35.7%).
At the top of the ballot, Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden surged ahead in public opinion polls following his win on February 29 in SC, and ended up winning 42.9% of his party’s vote here, to 24.1% for Sanders and 12.9% for Bloomberg; President Trump won with 83.5% in the GOP primary.
In the US Senate contest, incumbent Thom Tillis won the GOP contest comfortably with 78.1%, and former state Senator Cal Cunningham won among Democrats with 57.0%, with current state Senator Erica Smith getting 34.8%.
Democratic incumbent Governor Roy Cooper won easily with 87.2%, and will meet Republican Lt. Governor Dan Forest who won with 88.9% of the GOP vote. Also on the ballot for Governor this fall will be Steven J. DiFiore, the Libertarian candidate, and Al Pisano, the Constitution Party candidate.
In something of an upset, Mark Robinson, seeking his first elected office, topped eight other candidates and avoided a runoff by winning 32.5% of the vote. Robinson spent less than other candidates and didn't have the statewide platform or political experience of others.
One the Democratic side, state Rep. Yvonne Holley took the top spot among the six candidates running, with 26.6% of the vote, and will face state Senator Terry Van Duyn, who got 20.4%, in a runoff if Van Duyn calls for one (under state election law, if no candidate gets to 30%, the second place finisher can call for a runoff).
Incumbent Republican Mike Causey got 64.6% of the vote to beat challenger Ronald Pierce. Causey will face former commissioner Democrat Wayne Goodwin in the general election, who had no primary opponent.
In the other Council of State races: ATTORNEY GENERAL: Three Republicans competed in the primary for attorney general: Christine Mumma, Jim O'Neill and Sam Hayes. O'Neill was ahead with 46% of the vote, with nearly all precincts reporting. The winner will face incumbent Democratic Attorney General Josh Stein in the general election. SECRETARY OF STATE: Incumbent Democratic Secretary of State Elaine Marshall was unopposed in the primary, and will face Republican Durham businessman E.C. Sykes who captured 42.9% of the votes.
NC TREASURER: Democrat Ronnie Chatterji won 35.8% of the vote in a three way primary, and will face incumbent Republican Dale Folwell. SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION: Incumbent Republican Mark Johnson ran for lieutenant governor, so the office is open. Democrats selected college professor Jen Mangrum with 33.1% among five candidates, and Republicans picked former McCrory education advisor Catherine Truitt with 56.7% over state Rep. Craig Horn.
LABOR COMMISSIONER: Incumbent Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry is retiring, so this office is open. State Rep. Josh Dobson of McDowell County won the GOP primary with 40.3%, and will face Democrat and Wake County Commissioner Jessica Holmes, who is unopposed in the primary. STATE AUDITOR: Democratic incumbent Auditor Beth Wood defeated primary challenger Luis Toledo by capturing 77.7% of the vote. In the Republican primary, Anthony Wayne (Tony) Street won with 56.2%.
AGRICULTURE COMMISSIONER: Democrats selected Wake County Soil and Water Conservation District Board member Jenna Wadsworth with 54%. She will face longtime incumbent Republican Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler.
Some state legislative races of note:
In Senate District 6 (Onslow and Jones county), Jacksonville City Councilman, Marine Corps veteran and past president of the NC League of Municipalities Michael Lazzara won the Republican primary and will face Democrat Ike Johnson for a shot at replacing Senate Majority Leader Harry Brown, R-Onslow, who isn't seeking another term.
Former state Senator Allen Wellons, a lawyer and farmer from Smithfield, took the Democratic nomination in Senate District 11 (Johnston and Nash counties) with 60% of the vote, and will face state Rep. Lisa Stone Barnes, who won with 68% of the votes. Democrat Sarah Crawford, a nonprofit executive, won in Senate District 18 (Franklin and Wake counties) with 74.3%, and will face attorney Republican Larry Norman, who won with 56% of the vote.
In Senate District 20 (Durham County), Natalie Murdock, a Durham County soil and water conservation district supervisor, will likely be headed to the Senate well before the November general election. She won and the primary, and local Democratic Party leaders have indicated they'll appoint the primary winner to serve during this spring's short legislative session. She’ll face Republican John Tarantino in November.
In Senate District 42 (Catawba and Alexander counties), incumbent Sen. Andy Wells, R-Catawba, ran for lieutenant governor leaving the seat open. Hickory businessman and N.C. Wildlife Commission member Dean Proctor won the GOP primary and will face Democrat Tina Miles.
With Senator Terry Van Duyn, D-Buncombe, running for lieutenant governor, Senate District 49 (Buncombe County) Asheville will get a new senator. Asheville City Councilwoman Julie Mayfield won the Democratic primary and will face Republican Bob Penland.
In House District 3 (Craven County), longtime Republican Craven County Commissioner Steve Tyson won and will face Democrat Dorothea Downing White to replace Rep. Michael Speciale, R-Craven, who is retiring.
Marcia Morgan, a retired Army colonel, received the Democratic nomination for House District 19 (Brunswick and New Hanover counties), formerly held by Rep. Holly Grange, R-New Hanover, who unsuccessfully ran for governor. Morgan took 82% of the vote and will face Republican Charlie Miller, a chief sheriff’s deputy and school board member in Brunswick County, who received the Republican nomination with 62% of the vote.
In House District 38 (Wake County), incumbent Rep. Yvonne Holley, D-Wake, gave up her seat to run for lieutenant governor, and Democratic voters in parts of Raleigh picked former Wake County commissioner and former Superior Court Judge Abe Jones, who will face Republican Kenneth Bagnal and Libertarian Richard Haygood in the fall.
Former elementary school principal Amber Baker won the Democratic primary in House District 72 (Forsyth County) for the seat being vacated by Rep. Derwin Montgomery, D-Forsyth, who is seeking a seat in Congress, and will face Republican Dan Lawlor in November. In House District 80 (Davidson County), Rep. Steve Jarvis, R-Davidson, vacated his House seat to primary Sen. Eddie Gallimore, R-Davidson, and Davidson County Rep. Sam Watford won the Republican primary and the chance to serve again in a seat he once held, if he defeats Democrat Wendy Sellars in November. Democrat Aimy Steele, an educator, won House District 82 (Cabarrus County) with 83% of the vote and will face Republican Kristin Baker, a psychiatrist who received 54% of the vote.
Two lawmakers, Sen. Eddie Gallimore, R-Davidson, and Rep. Elmer Floyd, D-Cumberland, lost their seats to their opponents during the primary. Republican Rep. Steve Jarvis, R-Davidson, defeated Gallimore for Senate District 29 (Davidson and Montgomery counties) with 53% of the vote. Jarvis will face Democrat Duskin Lassiter in the general election.
Floyd was defeated by Kimberly Hardy, who took 56% of the vote for House District 43 (Cumberland County). Hardy, a school social worker, will face Diane Wheatley, who won the Republican nomination with 56% of the votes.
Other incumbent legislators beat out their challengers. Despite a strong challenge from former Cabarrus County Commissioner Jay White, incumbent Rep. Larry Pittman, R-Cabarrus, received the Republican nomination to retain House District 83 seat with 62% of the vote. He will face Democrat Gail Young in the general election.
Rep. Howard Hunter, D-Hertford, won the Democratic nomination to retain the House District 5 seat with 72% of the vote. He will face off against Republican Donald Kirkland in the general election.
Rep. George Cleveland, R-Onslow, won the Republican nomination to retain the House District 14 seat with 68% of the vote, and will face Democrat Mary Wofford in the general election.