Four runoff primaries set for Tuesday
Posted July 11
Updated July 15
Raleigh, N.C. — 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. 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.