Jeff Nieman defeated Kayley Taber in the Democratic primary for Orange-Chatham County District Attorney, according to unofficial results.

Nieman, an assistant DA in Orange County, is expected to win November’s general election and replace retiring District Attorney Jim Woodall, also a Democrat in the reliably left-leaning county.  

With all precincts reporting, Nieman won 62 percent of the vote to Taber’s 38 percent. Both were considered well-liked, capable, qualified candidates, and the INDY endorsed both ahead of the primary. 

Unlike in Wake County, where the district attorney race turned ugly, Nieman and Taber ran a congenial race without mud-slinging. 

Taber posted a photo on Facebook late Tuesday of the two of them together smiling beneath a congratulatory note to her colleague. (Taber is also an assistant DA in Orange County).

“Please join me in congratulating Jeff Nieman! A well run positive race! Forward together,” she wrote.


Meanwhile, in the Orange County school board race, Anne Purcell, a right-leaning former OCS principal, pulled a small upset in the liberal school district, finishing second with 16 percent of the vote to win one of the four open school board seats.

Purcell, whose views include removing controversial books from library shelves, was among three conservative candidates running in the eight-candidate race. The two other conservatives—Penny Carter King and Bethni Lee—finished sixth and seventh, respectively.

Others winning school board seats were incumbent Sarah Smylie, a Democrat whom we endorsed, along with fellow incumbent Will Atherton and André Richmond, a school resource officer, who finished as the top vote-getter with 19 percent of the vote. 

While neither Atherton nor Richmond have explicitly expressed conservative views, the pair campaigned with Purcell and her fellow conservative candidates ahead of the primary.


Elsewhere in Orange County, Register of Deeds incumbent Mark Chilton won a third term, garnering 64 percent of the vote against challenger Penny Rich, and Eliazar Posada earned nearly 75 percent of the vote for a seat on the Carrboro Town Council.

Chilton and Posada were INDY endorsements.


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Follow Managing Editor Geoff West on Twitter or send an email to gwest@indyweek.com.