Forest, Tedesco get GOP nods for lt. governor, schools chief

Posted July 17, 2012

— 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.


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  • westernwake1 Jul 19, 2012

    "Tedesco has proven that people share his sentiment and opinions - otherwise he would be a non-issue." - bigbadbill

    After dealing with having their children forced to change schools EVERY SINGLE YEAR to appease a diversity policy that provided no educational benefit whatsoever - parents were quite ready to elect board members who support a neighborhood based assignment policy.

    Nobody thinks that Tedesco is in any way perfect; but he was certainly better than the rude, condescending, non-listening Democrat board members before him. Is Tedesco a good fit for top state schools position, I don't believe so - but certainly he helped drive Wake County in the correct direction in regards to school assignment (not that the "Choice Plan" is perfect either).

  • bigbadbill Jul 19, 2012

    "I'm a former retired teacher, coach, administrator, and educational consultant. What is Tedesco's background in education other than being a BOE member? How in this world did he get this far? Only in the USA can this happen."

    Yes...in the USA you can make anything happen. Tedesco has proven that people share his sentiment and opinions - otherwise he would be a non-issue.

  • stratomaster Jul 19, 2012

    Even though I'm a registered Republican I'll never vote for John Tedesco. He's clueless.

  • Skywatch_NC Jul 18, 2012

    Congratulations Dan Forest! :) McCrory/Forest 2012! :)

  • VT1994Hokie Jul 18, 2012

    I have known June Atkinson for many years as I worked in NC for over 30 years. I was in some administrative positions while June was leading the Career Educational department at DPI. I also worked with her as a high school principal and Asst. Superintendent. I have been to dozens of meetings with her.

    She sued our esteemed Bev Perdue when she wanted to give the power to her good buddy Bill Harrison. How did that turn out? June won and she is still our Superintendent. I know Bill, and and Bev. I even have a few pictures of Bev and me when I was an assistant supt. No way under the sun can people elect this guy over her. Please do your homework on Tedesco.

  • samr Jul 18, 2012

    Does this dude even have a college degree?

  • VT1994Hokie Jul 18, 2012

    I'm a former retired teacher, coach, administrator, and educational consultant. What is Tedesco's background in education other than being a BOE member? How in this world did he get this far? Only in the USA can this happen.

  • Mister Jay Jul 18, 2012

    John Tedesco...lets see. I saw him the other night 'round town. Newer car than mine, nicer clothes than mine, buying more groceries than I could, had nice campaign die cut signs on the car....this the same "guy" that defaulted on his mortgage? Oh that's right, had to quit his job to be on the board...Anyone else see something wrong here?

  • Honesty first Jul 18, 2012

    Someone please post an accurate resume for Tedesco. I have never had anyone share what his experience is other than he can't hold any job. His choice program for Wake was great. Tell me what my choices are and then let me pick. That is not choice at all.

  • ncteacher22 Jul 18, 2012

    Oh good Lord.....if Tedesco gets the job I will be looking for a new one. Guess I'll vote for June. Hurry up November!