Election 2020: Noteworthy state & local races

Election 2020: Noteworthy state & local races
November 04
14:46 2020

While most of the focus was on the race for president, there were several intriguing statewide and local races on the ballot as well.

In the race for Governor, incumbent Roy Cooper defeated Republican and former Lt. Governor Dan Forest, With more than 70% of ballots counted, Cooper led by nearly five percentage points. 

“To the people of North Carolina, thank you so much for electing me as your Governor for another four years,” Cooper continued. “Serving in this office has been an honor of my life. I’m grateful and humbled to the people who trusted me to continue the progress we’ve already made here.”

The race to represent District 31 in the N.C, Senate put incumbent Joyce Krawiec against Democrat Terri LeGrand. In what many thought would be a close race turned out to be a sizeable victory for Krawiec. With over 60% of precincts reported, LeGrand led by more than 30,000 votes, but before midnight Krawiec had taken the lead.

The final tally shows Krawiec with 52% of the total vote, compared to only 47% for LeGrand. Krawiec thanked her supporters just after midnight when the race was called.

“I am proud to be able to represent District 31 for another term,” Krawiec said. “Thank you to everyone who helped me get re-elected to the North Carolina State Senate. A big shout out to my team and volunteers who worked tirelessly … this isn’t just a win for District 31, but for all North Carolinians.” 

In the highly publicized Senate race between incumbent Thom Tillis (R) and Cal Cunningham (D), on Wednesday morning the Associated Press (AP) reported that the race was too close to call, but on Election Night Tillis declared himself the winner with an acceptance speech during an event held in Raleigh.

“What we accomplished tonight was a stunning victory and we did it against all the odds,” Tillis continued. “I also want to congratulate other statewide offices because we mounted some victories tonight. Why did we do that? Because we continue to deliver results, because delivering results still matters and Republicans made promises to the voters of North Carolina and we have lived up to those promises and exceeded those promises. And ladies and gentlemen, I’m here to tell you tonight that with six more years in the U.S. Senate, I will work tirelessly to make sure that we continue to provide opportunities and continue to fulfill promises and continue to make this nation and this state as great as it can possible be.”

There were also seats up for grabs in N.C. House of Representatives. In District 74, Dan Besse (D) and Jeff Zenger (R) battled for the vacant seat left by Debra Conrad. Although Besse, who currently serves on the Winston-Salem City Council, held a small lead early, in the end it was Zenger coming away with the victory by less than 1,500 votes.

Zenger, who is a self- proclaimed outsider who intends to “defend Forsyth County from career politicians,” has a list of policy plans that include implementing term limits, lower taxes, and supporting small businesses. Zenger is also pro-law enforcement, pro-life, and pro-second amendment. Zenger said his focus in Raleigh will be helping families and businesses across the state recover. 

“My promise to you is your recovery will be my priority in Raleigh. Thousands of North Carolina families remain without work, small businesses are shuttered and COVID-19 remains a fact of everyday life,” he said. “I will work to end the pandemic and get our lives safely back to normal.”

The race for District 75 in the House of Representatives wasn’t as close. Incumbent Donny Lambeth (R) defeated challenger Elisabeth Motsinger (D) by a margin of 60% to 39%.

In the race for Attorney General, incumbent Josh Stein was able to hold off Jim O’Neil, who currently serves as District Attorney of Forsyth County. “With all precincts in, we’re up 10,769 votes,” Stein said.

“There are still some mail-in and provisional ballots to count and we feel confident in our position. I look forward to continuing to protect the people of N.C. as your AG for another term.”

One of the most shocking results on Election Night was in the race for Chief Justice of the N.C. Supreme Court. While many polls predicted a win for incumbent Cheri Beasley (D), the first African American woman to hold the position, it was Republican Paul Newby who won the seat.

Newby was first elected to the N.C. Supreme Court in 2004. During his campaign, Newby said if elected, he would be a “leader that will fight to protect the people’s rights and defend law and order.” At the time of publication, Newby was leading the race by 3,742 votes. 

At the District Court level, Democrat Whit Davis defeated Republican Mike Silver by nine percentage points. Davis took to Facebook to thank his supporters as well. “Thank you Forsyth County for electing me to be your next District Court Judge,” Davis wrote.

“I will apply the law without bias or favoritism and ensure that everyone who appears before me receives equal access to justice.”

In the races for seats on the Winston-Salem City Council and Forsyth County Board of Commissioners, all incumbent candidates came out victorious.

To view the results from all local and statewide races, visit and click the “Results & Data” tab.

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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