Local Politics

Four runoff primaries set for Tuesday

Posted July 11, 2014
Updated July 15, 2014

— It may be the middle of the summer, when thoughts wander to beach vacations and backyard grills, but some candidates would appreciate a little thought about voting in the coming days.

Four area races left undecided after the May 6 primary will hold runoffs on Tuesday.

The Republican 6th Congressional District runoff pits Phil Berger Jr., the district attorney in Rockingham County and the son of the state Senate leader, against Greensboro minister Mark Walker. Berger topped Walker 34 to 25 percent in a nine-person primary, but a candidate needs to get at least 40 percent of the vote to avoid a runoff. The campaign in recent weeks has been marked by GOP infighting, finger-pointing and an ethics complaint. Election Results Graphic 400x300 July 2014 Primary Election

The winner of Tuesday's vote will face Democrat Laura Fjeld, general counsel for the University of North Carolina system, in the November general election. The 6th District includes portions of Durham, Orange, Granville and Person counties, and longtime Congressman Howard Coble is retiring.

Republican voters in Wake County will be able to choose between Jeff Cruden and John Bryant for district attorney. Cruden, an assistant district attorney, topped a four-man field in May, but only 385 votes separated him from runner-up Bryant, a defense attorney. Both are former Democrats who have challenged each other's Republican credentials.

The winner will face Wake County Clerk of Superior Court Lorrin Freeman, who won the Democratic primary, in the general election. District Attorney Colon Willoughby resigned in March to move to the private sector.

In Orange County, retired deputies Charles Blackwood and David Caldwell face off to succeed retiring Sheriff Lindy Pendergrass. Blackwood was 64 votes ahead in the six-man Democratic primary.

The winner of the runoff will be unopposed in the general election.

In state House District 23, which covers Edgecombe and Martin counties, former Edgecombe County Commissioner Shelly Willingham faces off against real estate developer R.B. "Rusty" Holderness for the Democratic nomination. Willingham topped the four-person field in May with 36 percent of the vote, while Holderness had 30 percent.

As with the Orange County race, there will be no Republican opposition in November for the winner of the runoff.

Polls will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Unaffiliated voters who chose either a Democratic or Republican ballot in the May primary are locked into those selections for any runoffs. Unaffiliated voters who didn't vote in May are eligible to vote.


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  • Carol Smith Jul 15, 2014
    user avatar

    It will be unfortunate, again, for NC if Berger Jr. wins.

  • Raleigh Rocks 1 Jul 15, 2014

    Ive looked at their websites and facebook pages and its all a bunch of fluff. I can not tell the difference between these two, so Im out. Not voting for either.

  • Eq Videri Jul 15, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    Exactly. Wake County needs a DA with experience as a criminal prosecutor -- that's Jeff Cruden.

    John Bryant, who has zero experience as a criminal prosecutor, is running on a lark.

    Because of his lack of experience, Bryant wouldn't stack up well next to Democrat Lauren Freeman -- who can't hold a candle to Cruden.

    Republicans who want the GOP to win in the fall need to vote today for Jeff Cruden.

  • Brian Jenkins Jul 15, 2014

    People still vote Democrat and Republican? Why?

  • glarg Jul 14, 2014

    I dont think being an "FDR Democrat" is a good thing, but I have seen Cruden in court and he isnt flash but is very effective.

  • archmaker Jul 14, 2014

    I sure am going to miss hearing about Cruden and Bryant both call each other Democrats and argue who is more conservative.

  • Eq Videri Jul 14, 2014
    user avatar

    In the Wake DA race, veteran criminal prosecutor Jeff Cruden is the clear choice.

    John Bryant is a chummy guy, but he has never prosecuted a single crime. Ever. Nada. Nothing. Zilch.

    If Republicans want to defeat Democrat Lorrin Freeman this fall, they should vote for the only candidate who can beat her: Jeff Cruden.