Primary day will mark the end of the campaign trail for some
Two dozen legislative seats, a Congressional campaign and many local races will be all but decided by the primary because only candidates from one party are registered to run.Posted — Updated
For example, the winner of the Charlotte area's Republican primary in the 9th Congressional District – where first-term incumbent Robert Pittenger faces Mike Steinberg – is almost assured of election this fall. There is no Democratic or Libertarian candidate registered to run, so barring an unusually successful write-in candidate or as-yet unannounced unaffiliated candidate, the winner of the Republican primary will win the election.
The 9th Congressional district race is North Carolina's only federal campaign this year where a primary is virtually the last word in the election. But dozens of state legislative seats and county-level elections will be all but decided after the polls close May 6.
For example, 9 state Senate seats and 15 state House seats will have a primary in one party, but no candidates from the state's other two officially recognized parties are registered to run. Of course, there are some districts where there is even less competition. There are 12 of 50 state Senate seats and 43 of 120 state House seats where only one candidate of any party has filed to run for office.
In the vast majority of those races, the primary victor is virtually assured of a win.
It is possible for candidates not registered as Republican, Democrat, or Libertarian to get on the ballot by gathering signatures. Those unaffiliated candidates have to gather enough signatures and submit petitions by late June. Although a state legislative candidate won election in 2010 as an unaffiliated candidate, such wins are rare.
Among the primaries in the Triangle area that likely will be settled on Tuesday are:
Sheriff: Six candidates are running in the Democratic primary to replace the retiring long-time incumbent, Lindy Pendergrass. There is no Republican in the race. The six competitors are Keith Webster, a lieutenant with the Carrboro police department, Buddy Parker, a sergeant with the Hillsborough police department, Larry D. Faucette, a captain in the sheriff's office, Andy Cagle, a business manager, David Caldwell, Jr, a former lieutenant in the sheriff's office, and Charles Blackwood, a major with the sheriff's office.
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