North Carolina Senate and House races mostly went as projected this evening, with no major upsets or surprises.
In the closest race for the House district 56 seat, Chapel Hill Town Council member Allen Buansi defeated Democratic Party organizer Jonah Garson by the slimmest of margins: just 435 votes set them apart, with Buansi taking 51 percent to Garson’s 49 percent of the overall votes. Buansi will likely be appointed to the seat this month as longtime NC Rep. Verla Insko announced she is retiring early from the seat.
Also in Orange County, in House District 50, Orange County Commissioner Renee Price defeated Hillsborough town council member Matt Hughes by about a 70 to 30 margin. In Senate District 23, in the Democratic primary, NC Rep. Graig Meyer easily beat farmer an cookbook author Jamie DeMent Holcomb, while Landon Woods beat Bill Cooke in the Republican primary.
In Wake County, NC Senator Sarah Crawford squeaked by in her race for the NC House 66 seat against challenger Wesley Knott, taking 47 percent of the vote to Knott’s 45 percent with just 133 votes separating them.
In the NC House 33 race, Rep. Rosa Gill handily beat newcomer Nate Blanton, taking 86 percent of the vote, while Rep. Joe John easily beat newcomer Marguerite Creel in the NC House district 40 race.
Republicans Ashley Seshul and Fred Von Canon won their NC House district 34 and 35 primaries respectively. Seshul will face Rep. Grier Martin in the fall, and Von Canon will run against Rep. Terrence Everitt. Both Martin and Everitt had no challengers and both districts are thought to be safely blue.
In House District 37, former Holly Springs town council member Christine Kelly beat progressive challenger Elizabeth Parent and Mary Bethel, taking about 39 percent of the vote.
In Senate District 13, civil rights attorney Lisa Grafstein beat Raleigh city council member Patrick Buffkin, taking two-thirds of the vote. Grafstein will face Republican David Bankert (who beat Jeff Werner) in the fall.
Republican E.C. Sykes, who beat Dimitry Slabyak in tonight’s primary, will run against Democrat Mary Bode in the NC Senate district 18.
In Durham’s NC Senate district 22, Republican Larry Coleman, who beat John Tarantino tonight, will run against longtime state Sen. Mike Woodard in this safe blue district.
There was an interesting result in the NC Court of Appeals race for seat 9 where challenger Beth Freshwater Smith took on incumbent Chief Justice Donna Stroud and lost by 20 points. Freshwater Smith was heavily backed by Supreme Court Justice (and namesake son of the NC Senate leader) Phil Berger Jr.
For the NC Court of Appeals seat 11 Republican primary, Michael Stading beat Charlton Allen with 70 percent of the vote.
And for the Republican primary for NC Supreme Court seat, Trey Allen—who has no experience on the bench—defeated Judge April Wood and Victoria Prince. Allen will challenge incumbent Democratic Justice Sam Ervin IV in the fall.
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