Local News

Harrison Certified As Winner; Reeves Defeats Coble

Posted November 9, 2002

— After a count of provisional ballots Saturday, challenger Donnie Harrison was certified as the winner in the

Wake County Sheriff's race


After the provisional ballot count, Harrison held a one-percent lead with 110,741 votes. Incumbent John Baker has 108,656 votes.

The results were certified at 2 p.m. Saturday.

"I feel good, elated and relieved it's over with," Harrison said.

In another close race not decided until Saturday, a key state Senate race in District 16, three-term Democrat Eric Reeves will hold on to his seat for anther term.

Reeves was up against former Raleigh Mayor Paul Coble, a Republican.

Reeves has a 457-vote lead, enough of a lead to make the decision final.

Reeves' win will help Democrats retain control of the Senate. Republicans are on track to take a 61-59 advantage in the House.

By law, candidates can ask for a recount if the margin separating the winner and loser is one percent or less. The candidates have until noon Tuesday to request a recount in writing to the county Board of Elections.

State elections officials have set Thursday as the day for all recounts to begin.

Baker, who has served as Wake County's sheriff for 24 years, said he will not request a recount.

"The citizens have made their decision," Baker said. "So no, I will not call for a recount. Come Dec. 1 I'll move on to higher things."

Harrison, meanwhile, said his top priority will be preparing for his new role as sheriff and making sure the transition will be a smooth one.

"It's time to go to work now to provide the service and protection these people expect me to do," he said. "I'm looking forward to it."

The Wake County Board of Election set a goal to finish the provisional ballot count Friday night. But a computer glitch delayed the process until Saturday.

Provisional ballots were not counted on election night because the voters' registration had to be verified.

Baker said if he had to do it all again, he would not change a thing about his campaign efforts.

He said he is very thankful to have been able to serve Wake County for 24 years, but said he is now looking forward to spending more quality time with his family.


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