Republicans appear to have swept the Chatham County commission, but the races were so close they may qualify for a recount.
In District 3, Republican Brian Bock brought in 12,299 votes squeaking by Democrat George Lucier by 434 votes. Bock’s upset of Lucier’s thoughtful conservationist leadership may be a calculated move by the developers and homebuilders that had supported former commissioner Bunkey Morgan. Bock received $1,500 of campaign funds from Build Political Action Committee of the National Association of Home Builders.
In District 4, Republican. Pamela Stewart won by 549 votes, upsetting Dem. Tom Vanderbeck, and in District 5, Republican. Walter Petty unseated Democrat Carl Thompson by 305 votes.
Check back tomorrow to see if the Democrats ask for a recount.
Close to 58 percent, or 24,603, of the county’s registered voters cast ballots, according to unofficial results.
In other races, Democratic incumbent Richard H. Webster won another term as sheriff with 61 percent of the vote.
This post has been corrected. Previously it erroneously stated Deb McManus lost to Gary Leonard in the District 4 board of education race. There are two District 4 seats; each candidate ran unopposed.
See unofficial results at the Durham Board of Elections website.
With 62 of 63 precincts counted Tuesday night, Durham voters approved a $20 million bond referendum to resurface ailing city streets, and also re-elected incumbent Sheriff Worth Hill to his fifth term.
With 60 of 62 precincts counted, more than 56 percent of voters supported street resurfacing bonds, which will bump property taxes to repair 150 miles of the city's worst streets. City officials have said the projects approved for this bond will be completed by 2012, a much quicker turnaround time than residents have seen with previous bond-funded work.
In the night's other notable result, Durham Sheriff Worth Hill scooped up almost 80 percent of the votes in Tuesday's election, defeating Republican contender Roy Taylor. The election was the first contested race for the incumbent sheriff in years, and demonstrated vast public support despite incidents of embezzlement and other gaffes under Hill's watch, to which his opponent had fired criticisms. Hill could not immediately be reached for comment on his victory Tuesday night.
The race between Taylor and Hill was bitter, with supporters of both candidates levying accusations of corruption at the other through battles on websites such as Facebook and YouTube. The tension spiked last Friday when three of Taylor's campaign workers accused Capt. Rickey Padgett of verbally harassing them outside the Durham Board of Elections Office. Those charges are still being investigated. Padgett is one of Hill's command staff and also secretary of the N.C. Sheriff Police Alliance, which endorsed Hill in the race.
Padgett is among one of many supporters who have publicly criticized Taylor for not living in Durham a consecutive year as required by state election law. Taylor said that based on the state constitution, he need only to have lived in Durham for 30 days. Had Taylor prevailed, the Durham Board of Elections would have held a hearing on Taylor's eligibility to serve on Nov. 11. But with Taylor coming up short, the hearing, which was prompted by an official protest filed by Hill supporter and former sheriff Roland Leary, will be canceled.
Orange County voters elected newcomer Earl McKee as the District 2 county commissioner, welcomed Sheriff Lindy Pendergrass back for a seventh term and narrowly shot down a 1/4 cent sales tax hike that was endorsed supported by both school boards and chambers of commerce, according to unofficial election results.
An e-mail between the Lawson campaign and MEI Political casts doubt on claims the Republican candidate was duped by media production company over whether Morgan Freeman really provided the voiceover for the ad.
MEI forwarded to several media outlets the following e-mail, which clearly states a voice double would be used for the ad. The Lawson campaign provided another e-mail exchange that appears to state the real Freeman would be doing the voiceover. mei_lawson.pdf
Read below the fold for more info on MEI.
Just when you thought the GOP’s election tactics couldn’t get any smarmier, well, leave it to the N.C. Republican Executive Committee.
It recently mailed two anti-Chris Heagarty fliers that were so ugly, offensive, racist, fearmongering—and most important, intentionally misleading—you have to wonder what person, bereft of any civility or moral fiber, conjured them up.
Heagarty, a Democrat, faces Republican Tom Murry for the District 41 N.C. House seat. District 41 covers Morrisville and parts of Cary and Western Wake County.
The first mailer features an altered photo of “Señor” Heagarty wearing a sombrero and saying “mucho taxo.” (Note: The Spanish word for tax is “impuesto,” as in what conservative Americans should be withholding from their hired help whose residency status they so conveniently overlook.)
Apparently not to South Carolina, which, according to the latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, has an unemployment rate of 11.5 percent. In Georgia, another state featured in the ad, the rate is 10.3 percent.
With 9.8 percent unemployment, North Carolina edges Tennessee (9.6 percent) and Virginia (7 percent). The latter has the lowest unemployment rate of neighboring states—likely because of the commuters to Maryland/D.C.—and not just for government jobs, but also for lobbying gigs on K Street or even the barista shift at the local Starbucks.
The second ad warns voters of Heagarty’s “dangerous record as a left-wing lobbyist and liberal community activist,” and compares him to “another dangerous community activist,” Barack Obama. (Note to GOP spellchecker: A caption on the flier reads “Corrupt Lobbist.”)
Before Heagarty was appointed to the District 41 seat to fill a vacancy, he worked for N.C. Center for Voter Education. That group supported voluntary public financing program for qualified state-level candidates. Known as “voter-owned” election programs, they encourage candidates to reject all special-interest donations and rely solely on voters for their support.
No wonder the GOP views Heagarty as “dangerous.” Such a clean voter program would threaten the state GOP and its comrades in arms—the shadowy nonprofits funded by archconservative millionaire Art Pope, some of which have poured money into defeating Heagarty.
And what is Heagarty’s “radical leftist agenda” to “achieve long-term change in voting behavior?” The flier cites the bill number, HB 1924, which would fund the Kids Voting program that teaches youth on the importance of being civically informed and the responsibility of voting.
Hey kids, one of the responsibilities of voting is to know when you’re being manipulated and misled. Consider these ads Lesson 1.