Primary runner-up wins runoff for Wake DA
Posted July 15, 2014
Raleigh, N.C. — After finishing a close second in the May 6 primary, John Bryant initially wasn't sure he would call for a runoff for the Republican nomination for Wake County district attorney.
The defense attorney did, and on Tuesday, he pulled off a turnaround by easily defeating Jeff Cruden in an election where fewer than 10,000 votes were cast.
With 97 percent of precincts reporting, Bryant led Cruden, an assistant district attorney, by 63 to 37 percent, according to unofficial results.
Both men are former Democrats who spent recent weeks challenging each other's Republican credentials.
Bryant will now face Wake County Clerk of Superior Court Lorrin Freeman, who won the Democratic primary, in the general election.
In Orange County, retired deputy Charles Blackwood again outdistanced David Caldwell, another retired deputy in the Democratic runoff for sheriff. Blackwood topped Caldwell by 64 votes in the six-man field in May but won Tuesday by 53 to 47 percent, according to unofficial results.
With no Republican opposition in November, Blackwood is the likely successor to longtime Sheriff Lindy Pendergrass, who is retiring.
In a tight race in state House District 23, former Edgecombe County Commissioner Shelly Willingham downed real estate developer R.B. "Rusty" Holderness by 52 to 48 percent in the Democratic runoff, according to unofficial results. The district covers Edgecombe and Martin counties, and no Republican will be on the general election ballot opposite Willingham.