Burke holds on to seat; Clinton wins

Burke holds on to seat; Clinton wins
March 17
00:00 2016
Burke, Clinton



Tuesday primary results largely went as expected but there were some surprises in local races.

There was a surprising squeaker in the South Ward race to replace City Council Member Molly Leight, who is not running for re-election. Leight endorsed John  Larson, vice president of restoration at old Salem Museum and Gardens, as her successor. however, he had stiff competition from Carolyn Highsmith, president of the Konnoak Hills Community Association. Highsmith pulled an upset by only four votes, accord-ing to unofficial results from Tuesday night.

“Today we’ll start a process of examining the possibility of a recount,” Larson said Wednesday morning.

According to Forsyth County Board of Elections Director Tim Tsujii, the board is still receiving absentee ballots and researching provisional ballots. On Tuesday, there will be a canvas to examine the votes in the primary and ensure the authenticity of the vote total. After final official results are determined during the canvas, candidates have one business day to file for a recount. The official winner will face Republican Michael Tyler in the general election.

Highsmith said she was pleased with the results and hopes that she comes out as the official winner. She said her message that she could better represent the ward resonated and her campaign has been working non-stop for months to pull out a win. “We thought it be sheer hard work to see if we can pull this off and we put everything into it,” Highsmith said.

Another surprise was in the race for Forsyth County Register of Deeds, where challenger Lynne Johnson, a former Register of Deeds employee, had a decisive victory over current office holder Norman Holleman. She’ll face Republican Challenger Steve Wood of Pfafftown in November.

Other races followed expectations and polls. Mayor Pro Tempore Vivian Burke, who has served on the City Council since 1977, won her primary and, without a Republican challenger, has secured her 11th term.

“The citizens spoke,” said Burke. “The Northeast Ward citizens are satisfied. They know that I have a lot of energy, wisdom.”

Burke won decisively against her opponent Keith King, owner of Kingz DownTown Market.

“Obviously, I was disappointed in the turnout,” he said, but added. “We’re not done yet. We’ll be back again.”

Besides Johnson, another African-American political newcomer won his primary race. Dan Blue III, son of N.C. Senate Minority Leader Dan Blue Jr., won his race for state treasurer.

Also, Linda Coleman, an African-American, again won her primary race for lieutenant governor.

Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton won North Carolina by double digits. She also won the states of Ohio, Illinois, Missouri and Florida on Tuesday. On the Republican side, Presidential Candidate Donald Trump took North Carolina, Missouri, Illinois and Florida, while John Kasich took Ohio.

N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper defeated former lawmaker Ken Spaulding for the Democratic nomination to challenge Republican Gov. Pat McCrory, who also won his nomination.

For Senate, former law-maker Deborah Ross easily won the Democratic nomination and current Sen. Richard Burr won the Republican nomination.

For attorney general, N.C. Senator Josh Stein clinched the Democratic nomination. Buck Newton defeated Forsyth County District Attorney Jim O’Neill for the office’s Republican nomination.

Linda Coleman got the Democratic nomination to face incumbent Lt. Gov. Dan Forest – again. It will be a repeat of the race four years ago.

Incumbent Commissioner of Agriculture Steve Troxler won the Republican nomination and faces no Democratic challenger.

Mike Causey won the Republican nomination for N.C. insurance commissioner and will face Democratic incumbent Wayne Goodwin in the general election.

Former Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker won the Democratic nomination for commissioner of labor, beating Mazie Ferguson of Greensboro. He’ll face longtime incumbent Republican Cherie Killian Berry.

Dan Blue III won the Democratic nomination for N.C. treasurer and faces no Republican challenger, so he will succeed incumbent Janet Cowell, who didn’t seek re-election.

Michael LaPaglia won the Republican nomination for N.C. secretary of state and will challenge Democratic incumbent Elaine Marshall, who has held the office since 1997.

N.C. Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson won her nomination and will face Republican challenger Mark Johnson, who is a member of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools board.

The NC Connect Bond was approved by more than two-thirds of voters.

Winston-Salem State University Chancellor Elwood L. Robinson, who supported the bond initiative, issued the following statement regarding the passage of the Connect NC Bond:

“Thank you to the residents of North Carolina who voted to approve the Connect NC Bond. At Winston-Salem State University, this investment will allow us to construct a 123,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art science building that supports the university’s commitment to meet-ing the region’s demand for more STEM-H (science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and health sciences) graduates. As a historically black university, WSSU is committed to providing under-served populations with cutting-edge learning spaces and laboratories that help pre-pare them for the rigors of the ‘real world’ application of science and research. We are grateful North Carolina residents voted to support this critical investment.”

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Todd Luck

Todd Luck

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