North Carolina Primary: 2018 Recap

May 10, 2018

Pardon Our Dust

We recently launched this new site and are still in the process of updating some of our archived content. Some details of this article may be incomplete, links may be broken, and other elements may not display properly yet. We appreciate your patience and understanding.

The 2018 North Carolina primary was a fascinating election full of surprises. NC was the first state to see an incumbent congressman lose in a primary this year, and the State House and Senate saw a fairly high number of incumbents lose their seats to a primary challenger. There were also numerous open seats up for grabs as a result of retirements as well as an ongoing redistricting battle. Here’s the statewide breakdown:


  • 1st district: Neither party had a primary in this race. In November, incumbent G.K Butterfield (D-Wilson) will face challenger Roger W. Allison (R).
  • 2nd district: Incumbent George Holding (R-Wake) soundly defeated his opponent, Allen Chesser last night. He will now face Linda Coleman (D), a former Wake County Commissioner who was triumphant over two fellow Democratic candidates, Ken Romley and Wendy Ella May. Coleman has run for Lt. Governor in years past.
  • 3rd district: Incumbent Rep. Walter Jones (R-Pitt) survived a nasty primary campaign, prevailing against veteran Phil Law and Craven County Commissioner Scott Dacey to face an uncontested general election. In November he will begin what he says will be his last Congressional term.
  • 4th district: David Price (D-Orange) defeated both his challengers, Michelle Laws and Richard Watkins. This fall he will face off against Steve A. (Von) Loor (R) and Barbara Howe (L), who won her primary race against Scerry Perry Whitlock.
  • 5th district: Incumbent Virginia Foxx (R-Watauga) triumphed over two primary challengers, Dillon Gentry and Courtland Meader, Jr. In the general election she will face D.D. Adams who prevailed over Jenny Marshall in the Democratic primary.
  • 6th district: Democrat Ryan Watts defeated Gerald Wong for the chance to take on incumbent Mark Walker (R-Guilford), who did not face a primary opponent, in November.
  • 7th district: Kyle Horton defeated Grayson Parker in the Democratic primary and will go on to face incumbent David Rouzer (R-Johnston) in the general.
  • 8th district: Another Republican incumbent went unchallenged in the primary. Richard Hudson (R-Cabarrus) will face the winner of the Democratic primary, Frank McNeill. McNeill, former Aberdeen Mayor, beat Indivisible Charlotte founder Scott Huffman and former teacher and firefighter Scott Tiegel.
  • 9th district: In a major upset that is gathering nationwide attention, incumbent Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-Mecklenburg) was defeated in a rematch with his 2016 primary challenger, former pastor Mark Harris. Pittenger is the first member of Congress in NC to lose to a non-incumbent challenger. Harris will face Dan McCready (D) in the general. McCready soundly defeated his opponent, Christian Cano. Pittenger’s loss is the first of its kind in the nation this year. The general race is expected to be highly competitive and could be one of the races that may help decide which party controls Congress next January.
  • 10th district: Deputy Majority whip Patrick McHenry (R-Lincoln) easily retained his seat, defeating five challengers in his primary: Seth Blankenship, Gina Collias, Jeff Gregory, Ira Roberts, and Albert Lee Wiley, Jr. McHenry will face David Wilson Brown (D), who had no primary opponent, in November.
  • 11th district: House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-Jackson) easily prevailed in his primary against Republican challenger Chuck Archerd. Phillip Price defeated D. Scott Donaldson and Steve Woodsmall in the Democratic primary and will move forward to face Meadows this fall.
  • 12th district: Incumbent Democrat and former NC House Representative Alma Adams (D-Mecklenburg) emerged victorious over her three primary challengers, Gabe Ortiz, Patrick Register, and Keith Young. The 12th district Republican primary saw Paul Wright rise above two other Republican candidates, Paul Bonham and Carl Persson.
  • 13th district: Gun store owner incumbent Ted Budd (R-Davie) went unchallenged Tuesday night. Democrat Kathy Manning, fundraiser and philanthropist, defeated Adam Coker and will face Budd in November. The 13th district race is another that will likely play a large role in determining which party will control Congress next year.

NC Senate

Open seats:

  • 1st district: Despite strong backing from Senate leadership, Rep. Bob Steinburg (R-Chowan) defeated political newcomer Clark Twiddy, a realtor and Community College Board member. Twiddy had the backing of Sen. Bill Cook (R-Beaufort) who is retiring from the seat. Steinburg will face D. Cole Phelps in November in what is expected to be a competitive race. Phelps triumphed in the Democratic primary over Richard (Steven) James.
  • 16th district: This newly drawn, left leaning Wake County district saw attorney Wiley Nickel defeat Luis Toledo, a veteran and staffer at the N.C. Justice Center, in the Democratic primary. Nickel will face Republican Paul Smith in the general election.
  • 29th district: In an upset Tuesday night, Eddie Gallimore (R) defeated two-term state Rep. Sam Watford (R-Davidson) to fill the seat of retiring Sen. Cathy Dunn (R-Davidson), who endorsed Watford. Gallimore, who previously ran three times unsuccessfully for a seat in the legislature, was strongly backed by the NRA in his bid. Gallimore will face Cheraton Love (D) in the general election. Love was unopposed in the primary.
  • 33rd district: This seat, left open by Sen. Cathy Dunn, was sought after by Rep. Carl Ford (R-Rowan), a conservative legislator who has served three terms in the house, and Bill Sorensen, a high school teacher from Stanly County. Ford, who wound up double bunked with fellow conservative Republican Larry Pittman during redistricting efforts, won the primary Tuesday. He will face Democrat Geoffrey F. Hoy in the general.
  • 34th district: Seven candidates faced off in this right-leaning district Tuesday. Former Sen. Bob Rucho, tax reform and election law firebrand who serves on the UNC Board of Governors, lost his comeback attempt to return from retirement. Another Republican who is no stranger to running for office, A.J. Daoud, again fell short in his campaign. Vickie Sawyer, an Iredell County Planning Board member, won the Republican primary over Rucho, Daoud, and Bill Howell, Iredell-Statesville School Board member. Sawyer will face Democrat Beniah McMiller who won his party’s primary over opposition Lisaney Kong and William Stinson.

Incumbent losses:

  • 31st district: This newly redrawn district saw Sen. Joyce Krawiec (R-Forsyth) and appointed Sen. Dan Barrett (R) double bunked. They also faced Peter Antinozzi in their primary. Krawiec emerged victorious and will face Democrat John Motsinger in the general election.
  • 38th district: Sen. Joel Ford (D-Mecklenburg) lost the Democratic nomination to Mujtaba Mohammed (D-Mecklenburg). Mohammed, a former county Democratic Party official and assistant public defender, snagged the endorsements of the Black Political Caucus and other groups because Ford was seen by some as too centrist, often reaching across the aisle to work with Republicans. Mohammed, who is strongly favored to win the general, will face Republican Richard Rivette in November.
  • 44th district: Incumbent optometrist Sen. David Curtis (R-Lincoln) and Martin Oakes lost to Ted Alexander, former mayor of Shelby, NC. Alexander will face off with Democrat David Lee Lattimore in November.
  • 45th district: In one of the two double-bunked Senate districts, Sen. Deanna Ballard (R-Watauga) beat Sen. Shirley Randleman (R-Wilkes). Randleman, a former Wilkes County Clerk of Superior Court, is in her third term in the Senate, and had previously served in the House. Ballard is in her first term in the Senate. She will face Democrat Brandon Anderson in the general election.

Notable incumbent victories:

  • 25th district: Sen. Tom McInnis (R) defeated Whispering Pines Mayor Michelle Lexo (R) by a wide margin. This is another district that was redrawn, changing the makeup of his voter base dramatically. Over 70% of the new district’s Republican voters were new to him and were from Lexo’s home county. McInnis will face attorney Helen Probst Mills in November.
  • 39th district: Incumbent Sen. Dan Bishop (R-Mecklenburg) handily beat Beth Monaghan, despite her outspending him and attacking him for his sponsorship of the controversial House Bill 2 during his time in the NC House. who outspent him and criticized him for sponsoring House Bill 2. Hiss opponent is yet to be determined. The Democratic primary in that district culminated in a mere 5 vote difference, with Chad Stachowicz receiving 5,219 votes and Ann Harlan receiving 5,214.
  • 42nd district: Sen. Andy Wells (R-Catawba) beat former NC House member Mark Hollo as well as Dustin Long and Ryan Huffman in the Republican primary. Wells will face former Hickory Public Schools superintendent Ric Vandett in the general election.
  • 21st district: Sen Ben Clark (D-Hoke) prevailed over Dr. Navid Aziz (D-Cumberland) for the second election in a row. Clark’s residency was challenged earlier this year but he managed to quiet the allegations by claiming he lives with his parents in Raeford rather than in the home he and his wife own together, which is not in the newly redrawn district.

Additional results:

  • 8th district: In one of the state’s few Libertarian primaries, Anthony Mascolo won with 53 votes to Randy Crow’s 38 votes. Mascolo will face incumbent and Senate Rules Chair Bill Rabon (R-Brunswick) as well as Democrat challenger David Sink, Jr. in November.
  • 13th district: Robeson County School Board member John Campbell triumphed over Bobbie Jacobs-Ghaffar in the Democratic primary. Campbell will face incumbent Danny Earl Britt, Jr. (R-Robeson) in what is expected to be a competitive general election.
  • 19th district: Kirk DeViere defeated former Judge Ed Donaldson in the Democratic primary. DeViere will take on Sen. Wesley Meredith (R) in Cumberland county. This is one of the five Senate districts drawn by the redistricting special master and it is expected to be a competitive general race.
  • 47th district: David Wheeler beat out Cheryl Swofford and Christopher Rumfelt to get the Democratic nomination. Wheeler will face Senator Ralph Hise (R-Rutherford) in November.

NC House

Open seats:

  • 1st district: Eddy Goodwin (R), former state ferry director and Chowan County commissioner, defeated business owner and former TV journalist Candace Hunter in the Republican primary to vie for the seat left open by Rep. Bob Steinburg who is running for NC Senate. Goodwin will face Democrat Ron Wesson of Bertie County in November in what is anticipated to be a competitive race.
  • 8th district: Greenville City Councilwoman Kandie Smith beat out Pitt County Board of Education Chairman Mildred Atkinson Council and veteran Ernest T. Reeves for the Democratic nomination. The redrawn district is strongly Democratic, so Kandie Smith is now expected to prevail over former Macclesfield Mayor Brenda Smith (R) of in November.
  • 21st district: Wayne County school board member Raymond Smith won the Democratic primary over opponent Eugene Pearsall, a community leader and trucking business owner in Faison. Smith will face Republican Robert Freeman of Goldsboro in November to replace Rep. Larry Bell, D-Sampson, who is not seeking re-election.
  • 65th district: Rep. Bert Jones (R-Rockingham) is not seeking reelection this year, leaving his district open. Jerry Carter (R), who did not face a primary opponent, is expected to win the strong right district against Democrat challenger Mike Lee, who defeated his opponent Wally White in the Democratic primary.
  • 79th district: Republican Party leader and accountant Keith Kidwell of Chocowinity is expected to win this strongly conservative district in November. His opponent, Jim Chesnutt, withdrew from the race in March but remained on the ballot. Jerry Langley defeated Bryson Jones in the Democratic primary and will face off against Kidwell in November.
  • 80th district: Former appointed Rep. Roger Younts lost his bid to return to the State House to Davidson County Commissioner Steve Jarvis in the Republican primary. This seat was vacated by Rep. Sam Watford, who defeated Younts in 2016 and this year ran for an open Senate seat. Jarvis is expected to defeat Thomasville City Councilor Wendy Sellars (D) in the conservative district in the general election.
  • 101st district: Carolyn Logan (D), former law enforcement officer and the president of the Black Women’s Caucus of Charlotte-Mecklenburg, won the Democratic primary over Chance Harris, Gregory J. Miller, and Lucille Puckett, all seeking to fill the very left-leaning Charlotte House seat left open by the retirement of longtime Rep. Beverly Earle (D-Mecklenburg). She will face off against Republican Steven Mauney in November.

Incumbent losses:

  • 6th district: After a turbulent campaign, Rep. Beverly Boswell (R-Dare) lost her bid for reelection to Currituck County commissioner Bobby Hanig by a margin of 411 votes. Hanig is predicted to defeat Democrat Tess Judge in this conservative district in November.
  • 11th district: After facing months of public allegations of inappropriate behavior and calls from many members of Democratic Party leadership to step down, Rep. Duane Hall (D-Wake), was defeated in his primary Allison Dahle, after third candidate Heather Metour dropped out of the primary. Dahle will face attorney Tyler Brooks (R) in November who defeated Shawn Michael Hamilton in the Republican primary.
  • 67th district: Rep. Justin Burr (R-Stanly), one of the forces behind the legislature’s judicial redistricting effort, was handily defeated in the Republican primary by pharmacist Wayne Sasser, despite out-fundraising Sasser and having served in the House for five terms. Sasser is expected to claim victory in November against Democrat Karen Webster in this strong right-leaning district.
  • 99th district: After battling allegations of campaign finance violations, Rep. Rodney Moore (D-Mecklenburg) lost his bid for re-election, coming in third behind Priscilla Johnson, Jackson Pethtal, and winner, Former Charlotte City Councilor Naif Majeed (D). Being one of the most Democratic districts in the state, it is expected that Majeed will trump his Republican candidate, Joshua Niday, in November.

Notable incumbent victories:

  • 3rd district: Two Marine Corps veterans faced off in eastern NC. Eric Queen challenged another one of NC’s most conservative members, Rep. Michael Speciale (R-Craven). Speciale, the victor, will likely be the victor in the general against Barbara Lee who defeated Charles Dudley in the Democratic primary.
  • 14th district: One of the House’s most notoriously conservative members, Rep. George Cleveland (R-Onslow), defeated Joe McLaughlin, a businessman and former Onslow County commissioner. He is expected to win the far-right district over Democrat Ike Johnson in the general election.
  • 22nd district: Tony Denning defeated Lawrence A. Aycock in the Democratic primary and will face Incumbent candidate William Brisson (U)f in what is expected to be a very competitive race. Last year, Rep. Brisson changed his party affiliation from Democrat to Unaffiliated.
  • 59th district: House Majority Whip Rep. Jon Hardister (R-Guilford) defeated two challengers in his primary, former NC Senator Mark McDaniel and Karen C. Albright. Hardister will face Steven Buccini (D) in November.
  • 83rd district: Photographer and fedora aficionado Michael Anderson was unsuccessful in his bid to unseat conservative firebrand Rep. Larry Pittman (R-Cabarrus). Pittman will take on a so far unknown victor of the Democratic primary. Retired local government employee Gail Young and psychologist Senah Andrews had a very close call with 43.6% and 42.8% of the vote, respectively. Retired probation investigator Earle Schecter was knocked out of the Democratic primary with just 13.6% of the vote.
  • 110th district: Republican incumbent Kelly Hastings defeated challenger Charlete High, a former teacher and counselor. He will face Democrat Christy McCleary in the general.

Additional results:

  • 20th district: Activist Leslie Cohen (D) beat establishment favorite Gary Shipman (D) in and will take on incumbent Holly Grange (R-New Hanover) in a race that is expected to be centered around GenX water pollution.
  • 115th district: Amy Evans (R) defeated Nathan West and will take on incumbent John Ager (D-Buncombe) in what will be a competitive November race.
  • 7th district: Rep. Bobbie Richardson (D-Franklin) is facing a competitive general election in November while she tries to hold onto her seat in a district redrawn to be Republican-leaning. After Tuesday’s primary, her opponent will be Nash County Commissioner Lisa Barnes, who comfortably beat former Rep. Glen Bradley in the Republican primary.
  • 52nd district: Incumbent Rep. Jamie Boles (R-Moore) defeated Ken Byrd in his primary and will face Democrat Lowell Simon, a retired business owner and educator, in November.
  • 17th district: Transportation chairman Rep. Frank Iler (R-Brunswiick) defeated Brunswick County Commissioner Pat Sykes Tuesday and will face Democrat Tom Simmons in the general.
  • 19th district: Rep. Ted Davis soundly beat his opponent, Hunter Ford, after out-fundraising his Republican opponent over 475 to 1. Davis will square off against retired Army Colonel Marcia Morgan in the very Republican district in November.
  • 2nd district: Republican incumbent Larry Yarborough will run against Democrat Darryl Moss.
  • 4th district: Republican incumbent Jimmy Dixon will run against Democrat Da’Quan Marcell Love.
  • 13th district: Incumbent Republican Pat McElraft will run against Democrat Charlie Deaton.
  • 27th district: Rep. Michael Wray (D) is expected to win the strongly Democratic district in November against Republican Ray Dyer.
  • 33rd district: Incumbent Democrat Rosa Gill won her primary and is being challenged by a former staffer to retired Rep. Skip Stam – Republican Anne Murtha.
  • 35th district: Republican incumbent Chris Malone narrowly held onto his seat and will face Democrat attorney Terence Everitt in a competitive district.
  • 43rd district: Democrat incumbent Elmer Floyd won his primary and will face Republican John Czajkowski.
  • 44th district: Democrat incumbent Billy Richardson will face Republican primary winner Linda Devore.
  • 47th district: Democrat incumbent Charles Graham will face Republican primary winner Jarrod Lowery.
  • 48th district: Democrat incumbent Garland Pierce will face Republican primary winner Russell Walker.
  • 53rd district: House Rules Chairman David Lewis will face Democratic primary winner Richard Chapman.
  • 58th district: Incumbent Democrat Amos Quick won his primary and will face Republican Peter Boykin in the general.
  • 64th district: Republican incumbent Dennis Riddell will face Democratic primary winner Cathy Von Hassel-Davies.
  • 81st district: Incumbent Republican Larry Potts won his primary and will face Democrat Lewie Phillips in the general.
  • 86th district: Incumbent Republican Hugh Blackwell will face Democrat primary winner Tim Barnsback.
  • 88th district: Incumbent Democrat Mary Belk will face Republican primary winner Ty Turner in this heavily left-leaning district.
  • 90th district: Speaker Pro Tempore Sarah Stevens (R-Surry) won her primary and will face Democrat John Worth Wiles.
  • 93rd district: Incumbent Republican Jonathan Jordan won his primary and will face Democratic professor Ray Russell.
  • 96th district: Incumbent Republican Jay Adams won his primary and will face Democratic business owner Kim Bost.
  • 97th district: Incumbent Republican and House Senior Co-Chair of Finance Jason Saine won his primary and will face Democrat Natalie Robertson.
  • 98th district: Deputy Majority Whip John Bradford will face Democratic primary winner Christy Clark.
  • 102nd district: Democratic incumbent Becky Carney won her primary and will face Republican challenger Tyler Norris.
  • 105th district: Republican incumbent Scott Stone will face Democratic primary winner Wesley Harris.
  • 106th district: Democratic incumbent Carla Cunningham won her primary and will face Republican Geovani Opry Sherow.

Emergency Management Proposals

The Joint Legislative Emergency Management Oversight Committee voted Thursday to approve their committee report, which contains four legislative proposals. Sen. Ron Rabin explained the four pieces of proposed legislation:

  1. An act to require training and certification of police telecommunications.
  2. An act to require charter schools, regional schools, UNC Laboratory schools, and nonpublic schools accepting students receiving opportunity scholarship grants and to encourage other nonpublic schools to develop a school risk management plan, hold school safety exercises, and provide school safety information to local law enforcement and the Division of Emergency Management.
  3. An act to encourage local law enforcement agencies to operate programs that education citizens regarding law enforcement operations, to recognize the danger signs of potentially violent activities, and to provide training to citizens who want to provide volunteer services to local law enforcement agencies.
  4. An act to amend the NC Emergency Management Act to clarify that prevention is within the scope of the Act.

Want more details?

To see vote counts, primary candidate breakdowns, and fundraising numbers, check out these fantastic charts from our friends at the NC Free Enterprise Foundation: