RALEIGH – The 2020 primary elections are now behind — mostly — and the game now changes from one of drawing intra-party distinctions, to one marked by the starkest contrast between two political movements as we have seen in quite some time.
President Donald Trump, as expected, carried an overwhelming majority of primary voters. On the more unpredictable side of the aisle, Joe Biden won the North Carolina primary convincingly, along with a handful of other states, reinvigorating his campaign. Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, and, as of today, Michael Bloomberg, have left the race, coalescing support for Biden as Democrats scramble to undercut the rise of socialist Bernie Sanders. The battle between the establishment (Biden) and the insurgents (Bernie Sanders) is sure to rage on.
In federal races for U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, Democrat Cal Cunningham walked away with his party’s nomination to challenge incumbent Republican Sen. Thom Tillis.
The contest to succeed Congressman Mark Meadows in western North Carolina Congressional District 11 looks to be headed for a run off between Freedom Caucus-endorsed Lynda Bennett and second place finisher Madison Cawthorn, who barely edged out state Senator Jim Davis. On the other side of the state, Sandy Smith trounced her Republican primary opponents to challenge Democratic Congressman G.K. Butterfield in Congressional District 1.
In the Sixth Congressional District, another with no incumbent running, Lee Haywood won the Republican primary, and Kathy Manning emerged with the Democratic primayr victory. This is one district that was sacrificed to Democrats during the redistricting saga, resulting in incumbent Republican Congressman Mark Walker bowing out.
For our statewide races, Dan Forest won the votes of nine out of every ten Republican primary voters across the state. Incumbent Democrat Governor Roy Cooper held the same margin of victory over one primary challenger. That battlefield is now set for a protracted campaign in which we hope to see Forest victorious in November. This will be the most consequential election for the Old North State, because it can mean the difference between a reinvigorated conservative movement, or two more years (at least) of standoffs between the legislature and governor’s office.
As for the seat Forest is leaving, the primary elections for lieutenant governor resulted in conservative stalwart Mark Robinson earning the Republican victory, besting Republican state senator Andy Wells, and more than half a dozen others. The Democrats, though, are headed to a runoff between Yvonne Lewis Holley and Democrat state senator Terry Van Duyn.
To round out the Council of State races:
Attorney General — Republican Jim O’neil will challenge incumbent Democrat Josh Stein
State Auditor — Republican Anthony Street earned the nod to challenge incumbent Democrat Beth Wood
Commissioner of Agriculture — Democrat Jenna Wadsworth earned the privilege of losing to incumbent Republican Steve Troxler in the fall.
Commissioner of Insurance — The honorable incumbent Mike Causey fended off a primary challenge, and will face a familiar foe in former Democratic insurance commissioner and current chairman of the N.C. Democratic Party Wayne Goodwin in the fall.
Commissioner of Labor — Republican state lawmaker Josh Dobson won that race against two primary opponents, going on to be the Republican choice in November. It will be the first time since the earth cooled that voters will not see the ‘Elevator Lady’ Cherie Berry on their ballot.
N.C. Secretary of State — E.C. Sykes won the Republican primary, besting Michael LaPaglia benefiting from votes spread among third wheel candidate Chad Brown.
N.C. Superintendent of Public Instruction — Catherine Truitt won out against state lawmaker Craig Horn for the Republican spot, now to face Democrat primary winner Jen Mangrum in the general election.
N.C. State Treasurer — Democrat Ronnie Chatterji won that primary, now pitted against incumbent Republican reformer Dale Folwell in the fall.
And, of course, the bevy of local primary races across the state for N.C. House and Senate, county commissions, and more. To find results for your local elections, click here to search for your race of interest.
The next phase has now been initiated in the most significant election of our lifetimes,with the nation facing a scourge of socialist ascent, and our state caught in a struggle for which fork in the road will be taken. Game on.