Local Politics

Cline wins Durham DA race

Posted May 3, 2008
Updated January 5, 2009

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— Tracey Cline won the race for Durham district attorney Tuesday night, according to North Carolina State Board of Elections' results.

Cline, a sex crimes prosecutor in Durham for more than a decade, won with 46 percent – 29,810 – of the vote. She received more than 40 percent of the vote, so there was no need for a runoff.

“I’d like to live up to all my expectations. I think it's (the criminal justice system)at a point in Durham County...where we can do a lot of good working together and I’m ready for that challenge," Cline said Tuesday night.

No Republicans sought the position, so Cline will run uncontested in November.

Previously, Cline worked as an assistant district attorney under former District Attorney Mike Nifong, who sought for nearly a year to prosecute three former Duke University lacrosse players who were eventually cleared of charges of rape, sexual assault and kidnapping.

Barry Saunders, a political columnist with the News and Observer, said Cline's victory showed voters are concerned about current issues in the county, including probation problems and crime.

“People are ready to move onto that and forget about the debacle with Nifong,” Saunders said. “I think we’re ready to move on and tackle the other serious issues in Durham that have nothing to do with Nifong and lacrosse.”

Freda Black, a former Durham prosecutor whom Nifong dismissed after 14 years of service, was second with 34 percent – 21,834 votes.

Keith Bishop, with no ties to the office or Nifong, had 13 percent – 8,095 – of the vote.

Mitchell Garrell, who also worked as an assistant district attorney under Nifong, had 7 percent – 4,337 – of the vote.

26 Comments

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  • jeezohpete May 7, 2008

    "Cline, a sex crimes prosecutor in Durham for more than a decade" who advised DPD on how to prepare and unconstitutional NTO and was Second Chair to Nifong in the Lacrosse case...hmmm administrative involvement? Everybody in Durham better keep on ducking!

  • tab580642 May 7, 2008

    I am constantly amazed at how people in Raleigh act as if there is no crime nor bad neighborhoods. What a load of you know what!!! I've been in some areas in Raleigh where-in I felt no safer than a similar neighborhood in Durham. Raleigh does a better job at hiding it's crminal activity it's that simple. Also, resources will be made available to protect the image of Raleigh. I mean what more should one expect......IT IS THE CAPITAL OF THIS STATE!!

  • tab580642 May 7, 2008

    I really believe Freda Black did herself in by constantly trying to use the Nifong debacle to sway voters. I for one am sick of hearing about Nifong, the lacrosse players, the liar chick, Duke, etc. and so is a lot of people around Durham. I'm sick of the mudslinging in politics altogether so it was no way that I was voting for Black. She should have concentrated more on her credentials and her plans for making Durham a safer place.

  • eyecatcher May 7, 2008

    Congrats Tracy! You will make a great DA! Durham stands with you!

  • RocknRollDoctor May 7, 2008

    Good Luck....you'll need it.

  • Tax Man May 7, 2008

    Now that this is settled, I would love to see a good, qualified, Republican enter the race for November - imagine it is possible for someone to get in if the GOP supports them. Should be someone with impeccable credentials, one with gang/drug experience, and one not connected with the Durham politicos. Where are you White Knight? We need you!

  • seankelly15 May 7, 2008

    issymayake - "...that she was only involved with the case on a procedural level." I think this statement minimizes her racist search warrant that was nothing more than a fishing expedition. It so failed the 'stink' test that even Nifong wouldn't apply for the warrant.

  • DurhamDude May 7, 2008

    How come the Raleigh folks elected Meeker?

  • PaulRevere May 7, 2008

    Oh, Durham, Durham, Durham.

  • duster 340 May 7, 2008

    Durham voters would have wised up ? Durham just got another get of jail free card ! But who in there right mind would want to be a DA in Durham ?

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