Forest, Tedesco get GOP nods for lt. governor, schools chief
Posted July 17, 2012
Raleigh, N.C. — Dan Forest, a Raleigh architect, defeated Wake County Commissioner Tony Gurley for the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor in Tuesday’s primary runoff election, WRAL News projects.
Forest will face Democrat Linda Coleman in November.
Coleman had a message for Forest Tuesday evening: "Game on." She said in a statement that Forest is too inexperienced to lead the state Senate.
Wake County school board member John Tedesco defeated special education teacher Richard Alexander in the GOP state schools superintendent race. Tedesco will face Democratic incumbent June Atkinson in November.
Mike Causey has bested former House co-speaker Richard Morgan in the GOP race for insurance commissioner. Ed Goodwin topped Kenn Gardner in the Republican race for secretary of state and John Brooks defeated Marlowe Foster for the Democratic nomination for labor commissioner.
In the Republican state senate race in District 12, which includes Lee, Harnett and Johnston counties, retired Army Col. Ronald Rabin leads former House lawmaker Don Davis.
In District 21, which includes parts of Cumberland and Hoke counties, Robert B. Clark III beat Billy R. King for the Democratic nod for state senator. Nathan Baskerville topped Jim Crawford in the Democratic state House race in District 32, which includes parts of Granville, Vance and Warren counties.
North Carolina's voter turnout for the primary runoff was low, but isn't likely to break any records.
Gary Bartlett, executive director of the State Board of Elections, said that turnout should at least slightly exceed 2.5 percent, the low mark set in recent years for a Republican labor commissioner race and an appellate judicial race.
Bartlett based his estimates on figures he received from local elections directors. By mid-afternoon Tuesday, 50 people had voted in Orange County and 103 in Pasquotank County. Wayne County was humming with 1,279 voters.
He said voting had picked up throughout the day in areas with hotly contested races, such as in Mecklenburg and Union counties. Still, he said some turnouts in eastern counties are "not even close" to 1 percent.
"It's sad. It's really sad," Bartlett said. "It shows that voters are not supporting second primaries."
Voters already picked their party favorites in the May 8 primary, but some first-place candidates failed to receive the more than 40 percent needed to win outright, requiring the top two vote-getters to advance to a runoff.
Election administrators expected turnout statewide to be very low for Tuesday, which is 10 weeks after the first primary. Voter interest was lukewarm save for a few hot spots where campaign placards and commercials have been plentiful.
Fewer than 37,000 people had turned in ballots statewide through the early voting period that ended over the weekend, or well below 1 percent of the state's nearly 6.3 million voters, Bartlett said. That's about the same number of early voters during 2010 primary runoffs, which had one statewide race.
"It surprised me tremendously," said Bartlett, who was once hopeful the overall runoff turnout would exceed 8 percent. That's the highest he's seen for a runoff during his 20 years as director.