Local Politics

Freeman wins Wake DA race

Posted November 4, 2014
Updated November 5, 2014

— Nancy Lorrin Freeman, the Wake County clerk of Superior Court and a former assistant district attorney, defeated attorney John Bryant in the Wake County district attorney’s race Tuesday night.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Freeman, a Democrat, obtained 56 percent of the vote to defeat Bryant, a Republican, who obtained 44 percent, according to unofficial results from the State Board of Elections.

Both candidates were vying to succeed longtime District Attorney Colon Willoughby, who stepped down in March to move to private practice.

Willoughby, a Democrat, endorsed Freeman, while Republican Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison backed Bryant.

Freeman will be Wake County's first new district attorney in nearly 30 years.

"I'm excited about where we are right now, and I'm looking forward to this new challenge," Freeman said from her home. "We have a commitment to continue to build a criminal justice system that's fair and to keep the community safe. As the county grows, we have to make sure we're using our resources the very best way."

Freeman said the biggest challenge is how Wake County's growth impacts the court system.

"We want to work to make sure we have a criminal justice system that the public feels good about and they can trust but also keeps us safe, and that is going to be the challenge,” she said.

In addition to serving as the top prosecutor in one of North Carolina's largest counties, the Wake County district attorney is politically significant, having authority to pursue criminal charges in state government corruption cases.

During her campaign, Freeman touted her management experience, noting that she worked with Willoughby and judges to keep the justice system moving in recent years. She also said she has worked with crime victims and law enforcement officers and evaluated which cases to take to trial in her previous jobs.

Freeman also said she has introduced more technology into the clerk's office and hopes to do likewise in the prosecutor's office, such as case management systems to ensure that witnesses and officers know when they need to be in court so cases aren't continued. That would help the system operate more efficiently in light of continued tight state funding, which she said is putting a strain on the system.

Bryant did not officially concede Tuesday night but acknowledged that the votes were clearly in Freeman's favor. He said that he felt his trial experience would have made him a good district attorney.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • Jerry Sawyer Nov 5, 2014
    user avatar

    Hope she is not soft on criminals. We need them off the streets.

  • Tim Blanchard Nov 5, 2014
    user avatar

    The sheriff's office maybe crooked but the Wake DA office definitely is. This is a crowd and specifically Willoughby who cost Greg Taylor years and the taxpayers 4.6M. Even when presented with the good evidence, Colin refused to back down until 3 judges vacated the conviction. And also I do not think we are done with the Brad Cooper case.

  • less_govt_is_better_govt Nov 5, 2014

    View quoted thread

    I agree but what about pills? Ask any high school student which is more readily available and pills will have double the response to pot. They get them from their parents who are hooked but have legal government prescriptions. It's legalized heroin by the government.

    The own sheriff's daughter is hooked and he is too busy playing politics to help her

  • Raleigh Rocks 1 Nov 5, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Yet you seems to have been a clinton supporter

    WRAL, your program that looks for bad words will not let this guys tag progressive redn--k go through

  • Raleigh Rocks 1 Nov 5, 2014

    get the weed out of the schools

  • Angie Cox Nov 5, 2014
    user avatar

    John is a great guy and I truly believe if he didn't have that horrible sheriff backing him he would have won.

  • less_govt_is_better_govt Nov 5, 2014

    Exactly. Mrs Freeman's first act should be to call in the FBI and start a top down investigation of the wake county sheriff's office. Too many cover-ups via his internal affairs unit. Any time deputies can obtain a warrant by falsifying probable cause and falsifying consent to search and he sweeps it under the rug as a policy failure the constitution cries.

  • Progressiveredneck Nov 5, 2014

    Glad to see Bryant not win. Anyone in cahoots with the sheriff who can't run the Wake County jail, makes deals to keep his kids out prison, and cheats on his wife is not someone we need to manage justice in Wake County.