State News

Donnan wins runoff for labor commissioner

Posted June 24, 2008 8:53 p.m. EDT
Updated June 24, 2008 11:07 p.m. EDT

— State labor commissioner candidate Mary Fant Donnan won the Democratic primary runoff Tuesday, putting her on the ballot for a November challenge of Republican incumbent Cherie Berry.

Donnan defeated John Brooks weeks after failing to get enough votes to win the nomination outright in the May 6 primary. She had 68 percent of the vote with 95 percent of precincts reporting.

"I'm very excited, and this positions me well for the fall," Donnan said. "Voters are ready for and responded well to the message that there needs to be an emphasis on better supports for working families and small business."

There were also runoffs for two local legislative races.

Justin Burr defeated Rep. Ken Furr in the GOP primary for the 67th House District covering Stanly, Union and Montgomery counties. Furr was appointed last August to succeed Rep. David Almond, who resigned. He faces no opposition in November.

Snow Hill Mayor Don Davis triumphed in his race against State Board of Education member Kathy Taft in the Democratic contest for the 5th Senate District covering Greene, Pitt and Lenoir counties. Davis takes on outgoing Rep. Louis Pate, R-Wayne, in November to succeed retiring Sen. John Kerr, D-Wayne.

In Triangle-area local races, Leigh Bordley claimed the nomination in the Durham County school board race; Steve Yuhasz claimed the nomination for Orange County board of commissioners; Shane Mitchell was nominated to run as an at-large commissioner in Franklin County; and Ronald B. Kinsley will run in District 4 for the Vance County school board.

Turnout for the primary was light, with about 62,000 votes counted in the only statewide race. That compares with the nearly 1.6 million people, or 37 percent of all registered voters, that cast ballots in last month's primary that featured the Democratic presidential showdown between Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama.

"It might be the election officials who are the largest bloc of voters," state elections director Gary Bartlett said Tuesday, calling activity at the nearly 3,000 precincts statewide "extremely slow."