Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Several incumbents lose the N. Carolina legislative primaries.

RALEIGH, NC ( Associated Press) — Many state legislators will not return to the North Carolina General Assembly next January after primary losses, while former lawmakers trying to get back in the House or Senate had mixed results.

At least six incumbents — four Republicans and two Democrats — lost in Tuesday’s primaries for seats in their current chamber.

Three of those sitting Republicans ran against fellow GOP incumbents who lived in the same district because of redistribution changes., As of Wednesday, the Associated Press had not convened a similar one-off race between two Senate Republicans.

Two Senate Democrats – Sens. Kirk Devier and Ernestine Bezmore – and Republican Rep. Pat Hurley – also lost the primaries for his seats.

In addition, two incumbent House members – Democrat Raymond Smith and Republican Lee Zachary – failed to win the Senate primaries. Each attempted to jump into the Senate after facing similar “double-bunking” with House colleagues in their districts because of the remapped boundaries.

According to unofficial election results, in four primaries featuring two Republican office-bearers, Mitchell County Sens. Sens of Watauga County, Ralph Hiss 47th District. Deanna was leading by about 1.5 percentage points from Ballard. The Republican majority each has significant leadership jobs—Hiss co-chairs a Senate finance committee, while Ballard co-chairs a pair of education committees.

In the northeast, Sen. Norm Sanderson of Pamlico County defeated Sen. Bill Steinberg of Chowan County. He was contesting for the seat of the same 1 district.

In the House, Moore County’s veteran representative, Jamie Boles, lost to first-term Representative Ben Moss of Richmond County in the Sandhills-area 26th District. And Polk County Rep. Jake Johnson easily defeated Rutherford County Rep. David Rogers for the 113th District seat.

DeViere lost to Fayetteville City Council member Val Applewhite in a three-way race for the 19th Senate District. Applewhite benefited from the support of Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper. The governor and other Democrats were unhappy with DiVier for siding several times with Senate Republicans on key legislation, including the 2021 state budget.

Bezemore, a first-term senator from Bertie County, lost to Valerie Jordan of Warren County in the third Senate district primary. The winner will face Dare County Republican Bobby Hannig, who is a current House member, in November.

and Hurley, an eight-term House member, lost to Randolph County School Board member Brian Biggs in the 70th District Republican Primary.

Incumbent legislators running for seats in the opposite house included three Democrats: Reps Greg Mayer of Orange County and Candy Smith of Pitt County, and Sen. Sarah Crawford of Wake County. Meyer and Smith won the Senate primary, while Crawford won the House primary.

But Zachary, of Yadkin County, finished third in a race for four candidates for the Northwest Senate seat. And Raymond Smith, a House member from Wayne County, lost to Sen. Toby Fitch of Wilson County in the Democratic primary for Fitch’s Senate seat.

Former state legislators who advanced to the legislative primaries for their old house include former Sen. Buck Newton, a Wilson County Republican; Former GOP Representative Stephen Ross for Allamans County; and former Democratic Reps. Elmer Floyd of Cumberland County and Tricia Cotham of Mecklenburg County. Newton will take on Fitch in November. And former Cumberland County Sen. Wesley Meredith, who won the Republican primary on Tuesday, will face Applewhite in November.

Former lawmakers who lost in Tuesday’s primaries include former censor Eddie Galimore and Tony Moore, who are both Republicans. Shirley Randleman, a former House and Senate member, failed to win a Senate primary that also included Zachary.


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