You can follow the returns with me as they come in on the State Board of Elections website.

[Update No. 2. It’s midnight, and I’ve made one final pass at the numbers. With all the votes counted, the outcomes are the same as two hours ago. So again, I’ll make a very few changes as needed and call it quits for the night.]

[Update: It’s about 10 p.m. Roughly two-thirds of the precincts are in, and almost 2 million votes are counted statewide. Not much has changed, so I’ll change the text below only as needed.}

Amendment 1 was approved with nearly some 61 percent of the vote. a tremendous disappointment. In October, when Public Policy Polling first tested it, Amendment 1 was favored 61-34 percent. That three-fifths majority held solid despite a strong effort by the amendment’s opponents and $2.5 million poured into the opposition campaign.

The only grace note, if any: The amendment was rejected in Orange County (79 percent voted against); in Durham County (70 percent); in Wake County (57 percent), and in Chatham County (54 percent). So don’t blame the Triangle. Don’t blame Charlotte either, or Asheville: Mecklenburg and Buncombe counties also voted against by 54 and 51 percent, respectively.

In other elections of interest, it looks like Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton will be the Democratic nominee for governor, beating former Congressman Bob Etheridge by a 46-38 percent tally; ormer state Rep. Linda Coleman, D-Wake, is the nominee for lieutenant governor.

In Wake County, it appears that Wake Commissioners Chair Paul Coble will still be with us going forward.

Coble is losing lost his U.S. House District 13 primary to George Holding, who if he wins will have bought it fair and square with his family’s money. Holding is at about 44 percent, enough to avoid a runoff. Coble trails by about 10 points. Bill Randall is pulling a respectable, and somewhat surprising, 22 percent.

Coble’s defeat is bad news for transit proponents who hoped he’d be on his way to Washington and no longer an impediment to getting the 1/2-cent sales tax for transit in front of Wake County voters this fall.

Coble’s mate on the commissioners, Tony Gurley, is locked in a three-way struggle for two placesfinished second in a five-way primary and qualified for a runoff for lieutenant governor, GOP-nomination category. Assuming Gurley wants it, the runoff will be against front-runner Dan Forrest, who got 33 percent to Gurley’s 25 percent. The House Speaker Pro Tem, Dale Folwell, finished with 24 percent, unexpectedly failing to make it into the top two.

By the way, if either Gurley or Coble — or both — should move up, they’dhe’d be replaced by another Republican. Thus, a 4-3 Republican majority would continue on the county board.

Still, if they leave the supposedly pro-transit Republican Commssioner Joe Bryan might be allowed to take charge. With Coble and Gurley aboard, Bryan’s strictly a petty officer.


Then there’s our trio of Wake County school board members, Republicans all, looking to get out of Dodge Cary (where the school board offices are) after what we’ll tastefully term an eventful two-and-a-half in charge of the schools.

Chris Malone, of Wake Forest, looks like he’s won his primary— for the District 35 seat in the state House of Representatives. House 35 is overwhelmingly Republican, and no Democrat will oppose Malone, who prevailed if does indeed prevail over Wendell businessman Duane Cutlip. Malone won by 57-43 percent. Malone will run in the fall against Democrat Lori Millberg, an ex-school board member who was unopposed in her primary.

John Tedesco aspires to be state superintendent of public instruction. He appears to have won a spot in a runoff for the GOP nomination — the winner to challenge Democratic incumbent June Atkinson.

Debra Goldman sees herself as the next state auditor. She, too, appears to be is one of the two candidates who will move on to a runoff. She”ll square off against Greg Dority, a perennial GOP candidate. We were hoping former state Sen. Fern Shubert, would make it; she’s an actual auditor — CPA — and a bona fide government watchdog. But Shubert’s in third place so far.But Shubert finished third.

Tedesco and Goldman were both involved in five-person primaries, so getting to a runoff ain’t bad.

Finally, there’s our old friend Kenn Gardner, who’s apparently decided being an architect isn’t for him and instead would like the no-heavy-lifting job of being state Secretary of State. He was in a four-way GOP primary and battling for one of the two runoff positions. The winner takes on Sec of State Elaine Marshall.

As 10 o’clock approached, Gardner was a solid second in the field and also heads into a runoff against Ed (Eddy) Goodwin, chair of the Chowan County Board of Commissioners.


Another race we were watching that didn’t turn out to be a race at all. In state House District 38, Yvonne Holley is the runaway winner in the Democratic primary over second-place finisher Abeni El-Amin. Our friend Lee Sartain, the only openly gay candidate on the ballot, finished a dismal third.

District 38 is majority-black. Holley, with long family ties to the African-American community in Raleigh, won about 60 percent of the vote. El-Amin, also black, got about 25 percent. Sartain picked up 14 percent.

No Republicans filed in this district.