John Larson, Josh Brannon win primary contests

John Larson/Josh Brannon

John Larson, Josh Brannon win primary contests
June 09
12:00 2016

5th District race will repeat in the fall



John Larson decisively won the City Council South Ward primary that was held again during the June 7 primary.

Carolyn Highsmith, president of the Konnoak Hills Community Association, won the March 15 primary by just six votes with 2,029 votes to Larson’s 2,023 votes, before the State Board of Elections ordered a re-election due to election errors. Tuesday’s turnout was far lower and the victory far larger with Larson receiving 962 votes to Highsmith’s 562.

Larson, vice president of restoration at Old Salem Museum and Gardens, will face Republican Michael Tyler in November.

“It sort of validates obviously the protest that we offered back in March, and validates the work we did to allow people to vote that had been disenfranchised,” said Larson.

Larson’s election protest to the Board of Elections involved voters who received the wrong ballot and were not able to vote in the South Ward primary when they should have. Larson said he believed there were less errors this time and commended the Board of Elections on its efforts.

Larson credited the hard work of his volunteers and the extra time to get his name out for his victory.

Highsmith credited the low turnout for the vastly different results in this primary, which she felt was “undemocratic.” She said she plans to continue to advocate for the South Ward and didn’t rule out running again. She said she was disappointed that all the supporters who worked so hard on her campaign didn’t get a better result.

“ My main regret is all these people had such high hopes for getting me in office,” she said. “They haven’t seen the last of us yet.”

In the 5th District primary for the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Virginia Foxx of Banner Elk beat Pattie Curran, an Army veteran and activist from Kernersville. Foxx has represented the heavily Republican district since 2004.

Foxx will face Democrat Josh Brannon once again. The software developer from Wautaga County defeated Jim Roberts and Charlie Wallin, garnering  47.65 percent of the vote.

“Where ever I’ve gone, I’ve found that people, no matter which side of the aisle they’re on, they really like the message of taking back our democracy from billionaires,” said Brannon. “If I can get them to look past the “D” or the “R” on the ballot, I believe that we’ll have some change.”

Brannon, who lost to Foxx in 2014 by 22 percent, knows that the district is historically a long-shot for Democrats, but he believes it’s an election year that anything can happen in. Brannon, who shares many positions with Democratic Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders, believes he’s part of a movement that’ll bring a wave of progressive congressional candidates to champion things like universal healthcare and getting big money out of politics.

In the N.C. Supreme Court race, Robert Edmunds of Greensboro, who has served on the state high court since 2001, and Superior Court Judge Michael R. Morgan of Raleigh will face off in November. Edmunds got 48 percent of the vote, while Morgan got 34.32 percent, beating attorneys Daniel Robertson of Advance and Sabra Jean Faires of Wake County in the non-partisan primary.

Only 505,687 ballots were cast statewide in the primary.

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Todd Luck

Todd Luck

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