North Carolina Post-Election Update 2020

November 4, 2020

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.

All eyes were on North Carolina last night as results were tallied in one of the nation’s most critical swing states. Some of the state’s polling places had technical difficulties in the morning, leading the State Board of Elections to vote to extend some precincts’ closing times in an emergency voting session. Since North Carolina is one of the states that counts early voting ballots early, our results were able to be tabulated sooner than other swing states. We will likely see a few runoff elections, but we will know just how many to expect after the runoff request deadline passes.

For more information on COVID-19 in North Carolina, click here to visit the Department of Health and Human Services website, and be sure to stay up to date on the latest federal guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) by clicking here.

Join us after Election Day, our McGuireWoods Consulting’s bipartisan team is hosting a free, virtual post-election discussion on the 2020 federal elections, including insights into the presidential, U.S. House and Senate races. Panelists will provide a breakdown of the election results, and how the newly elected lawmakers will impact policy in North Carolina. Join us on Wednesday, November 5 from 10:00AM – 11:00AM ET. To register, click here

The Results 

Below, we lay out the totals from each of last night’s general races, from the Presidential election down to the State House. This weekend, we will provide a comprehensive list of everyone who previously served in leadership who will not be returning this January.


US President

This race has not been called. Currently Former Vice President Joe Biden leads with 68,501, 868 votes against Present Donald Trump who has 65,902,838 votes. Former Vice President Biden leads with 225 electoral votes versus President Trump who has 213 electoral votes so far. President Trump currently has 50% (2,732,084) votes in North Carolina while former Vice President Biden has 49% (2,655,383) in the state. 

US Senate

This race has not yet been called, but Sen. Tillis has declared himself the winner. 

— Republican: Incumbent US Sen. Thom Tillis (49%)

— Democrat: Cal Cunningham (47%)

US House of Representatives

District 1

— Republican: Sandy Smith (45%)

— Democrat: Incumbent US Rep. G.K. Butterfield (54%)

District 2

Former NC House member and one-time Democratic US Senate nominee Deborah Ross faced Republican Alan Swain in the general election for North Carolina’s second congressional district. The district, which currently includes some of Franklin, Harnett, Johnson, Nash, Wake, and Wilson counties, was redrawn during the redistricting battle. The district is now comprised solely of Wake County, which current District 2 Rep. George Holding (R) has said is a too safe of a Democratic seat to entice him to run to keep it. He announced that he would not run in any of the neighboring congressional districts because he believes they are already ably represented by his Republican colleagues in Congress.

— Republican: Alan Swain (34%)

 Democrat: Former NC Rep. Deborah Ross (63%)

District 3

— Republican: Incumbent US Rep. Greg Murphy (63%)

— Democrat: Daryl Farrow (36%)

District 4

— Republican: Robert Thomas (32%)

— Democrat: Incumbent US Rep. David Price (67%)

District 5

— Republican: Incumbent US Rep. Virginia Foxx (67%)

— Democrat: David Wilson Brown (31%)

District 6

— Republican: Lee Haywood (37%)

 Democrat: Kathy Manning (62%)

District 7

 Republican: Incumbent US Rep. David Rouzer (60%)

— Democrat: Christopher Ward (39%)

District 8

 Republican: Incumbent US Rep. Richard Hudson (53%)

— Democrat: Patricia Timmons-Goodson (46%)

District 9

— Republican: Incumbent US Rep. Dan Bishop (55%)

— Democrat: Cynthia Wallace (44%)

District 10

— Republican: Incumbent US Rep. Patrick McHenry (68%)

— Democrat: David Parker (31%)

District 11

 Republican: Madison Cawthorn (54%)

— Democrat: Moe Davis (42%)

District 12

 Democrat: Incumbent US Rep. Alma Adams (100%)

District 13

— Republican: Incumbent US Rep. Ted Budd (68%)

— Democrat: Scott Huffman (31%)

For a full list of results click here.

Council of State 

The NC Council of State consists of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Superintendent of Public Instruction, State Auditor, State Treasurer, Attorney General, Commissioner of Agriculture, Commissioner of Labor, Secretary of State and Commissioner of Insurance. Currently the Council of State consists of six Republicans and four Democrats.


Gov. Roy Cooper (D), a longtime NC politician, is wrapping up his first term as governor following a political career as a member of the North Carolina State House of Representatives where he served from 1987-1991 before being appointed to fill a vacant seat in the North Carolina State Senate where he then served from 1991-2001. After serving 14 years as a member of the North Carolina General Assembly, Cooper ran for Attorney General where he would hold the office for the next 16 years, from 2001-2017. Cooper’s stated second-term priorities were expanding Medicaid, raising teacher pay, providing additional funding to the state’s public schools, and helping the state recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. His opponent, an architect from Charlotte, Dan Forest has served as Lieutenant Governor for the last 8 years. In his role as Lieutenant Governor, Forest serves as the President of the North Carolina State Senate and is a member of both the State Board of Education and the State Board of Community Colleges. While lieutenant governor, Forest has advocated for and become a state leader of the school choice movement and championed legislation to protect the first amendment right of free speech on public college campuses. If elected as Governor, some of the top priorities of Forest’s administration were to include continuing his efforts to lead the school choice movement, ensuring every classroom has access to high-speed internet, defending law enforcement agencies, requiring local sheriffs to cooperate with federal agencies such as ICE, protecting second amendment rights, and improving healthcare access by incentivizing doctors to practice in rural areas.

Governor Roy Cooper has won re-election.

— Republican: Current Lt. Gov. Dan Forest (47%)

 Democrat: Incumbent Gov. Roy Cooper (51%)

 Lieutenant Governor

This race, which saw nine Republican candidates and six Democratic candidates duke it out in the primary, came down to Rep. Yvonne Lewis Holley (D-Wake) and political newcomer and conservative activist, Mark Robinson (R). Both were considered underdogs in their respective primary races. An exciting point of this particular race was that no matter who emerged victorious last night, North Carolina would at long last have its first ever Black Lieutenant Governor.

 Republican: Mark Robinson (51%)

— Democrat:  Rep. Yvonne Lewis Holley (48%)

 Attorney General

Incumbent Josh Stein (D), who has held the office since 2017, has focused on consumer protection, defending survivors of sexual assault, and fighting the opioid epidemic. He faced Forsyth County DA Jim O’Neill (R), whose priorities, if elected, were to strengthen domestic and elderly violence laws, help drug offenders get clean through programs that could get their charges reduced or dropped, and enforce stricter penalties against those who cause civil unrest. 

This race is currently tied and has not been called. 

— Republican: Jim O’Neill (50%)

— Democrat: Incumbent AG Josh Stein (50%)

State Auditor

Longtime State Auditor Beth Wood (D) faced yet another Republican challenger last night in the form of political newcomer and small business owner Tony Wayne Street (R) from Wilmington. Street, who serves on the Brunswick County Soil and Water Board, faced an uphill battle against a widely-respected Wood who has hit one home run after another for the state and is known for working well across the aisle.

This race has not yet been called. 

— Republican: Tony Street (49%)

— Democrat: Incumbent Beth Wood (51%)

Commissioner of Agriculture

One of the state’s best-known politicians, Commissioner Steve Troxler (R), a farmer who is well-loved in the state’s agricultural community, faced a young female challenger last night. Jenna Wadsworth (D), an out member of the LGBTQ+ community, launched an aggressive campaign against one of NC’s most notorious public servants. Had she been elected, she would have been the first Commissioner of Agriculture to advocate for the legalization of cannabis. She previously served on the Wake County Soil and Water Conservation Board, becoming the youngest woman ever to hold public office in NC at just 21 years.

 Republican: Incumbent Commissioner Steve Troxler (54%)

— Democrat: Jenna Wadsworth (46%)

Commissioner of Insurance

Former Insurance Commissioner and current Chair of the NC Democratic Party Wayne Goodwin sought to reclaim his seat from incumbent Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey (R). Causey dethroned Goodwin four years ago in a major upset. Causey has been in the headlines for the last two years for helping law enforcement stop an alleged bribery scheme in a sting operation against businessman Greg Lindberg.

— Republican: Incumbent Commissioner Mike Causey (52%)

— Democrat: Former Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin (48%)

 Commissioner of Labor

With North Carolina’s political sweetheart, “Elevator Queen” Cherie Berry (R) finally hanging up her hat, this seat was left up for grabs. Current NC Rep. Josh Dobson (R-McDowell), a high-ranking leader in the House who is known for his work in healthcare, faced off against Democrat newcomer Jessica Holmes, a labor and employment attorney.

This race has not yet been called. 

— Republican: Current NC Rep. Josh Dobson (51%)

— Democrat: Jessica Holmes (49%)

Secretary of State

Incumbent Secretary Elaine Marshall faced E.C. Sykes (R) last night. Secretary Marshall has held the seat since 1996 after defeating NASCAR legend Richard Petty. Secretary Marshall is the first woman to be elected North Carolina Secretary of State and the first woman elected to statewide executive office in North Carolina. Sykes, a businessman from Durham and political newcomer, sought to bring a new face to the office. If elected, Sykes hoped to bring conservative business values to the office, remove barriers to economic growth, and foster job creation. 

— Republican: E.C. Sykes (49%)

— Democrat: Incumbent Sec. Elaine Marshall (51%)

Superintendent of Public Instruction

This seat, left open by one-term Superintendent Mark Johnson (R) when he failed in his attempt to secure the Republican nomination for Lieutenant Governor, has seen a great deal of attention this year. Dr. Jen Mangrum (D), a lifelong educator and UNC-Greensboro professor, faced off against fellow newcomer Catherine Truitt (R). Truitt is Chancellor of the online Wester Governors University and previously served as former Governor Pat McCrory’s (R) education advisor.

— Republican: Catherine Truitt (51%)

— Democrat: Jen Mangrum (49%)

State  Treasurer

Incumbent Treasurer Dale Folwell faced Ronnie Chatterji (D). State Treasurer Folwell has held the post since 2017 and previously served in the NC House of Representatives for four terms including two years as Speaker Pro Tempore. Folwell’s second-term hopes included seeking to preserve the state’s pension system, reducing unfunded health care liability, and maintaining the state’s AAA bond rating while helping local governments achieve the same. Chatterji, a political newcomer, currently serves as a professor at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, previously served as an economic advisor to former President Barack Obama, and is a member of Governor Cooper’s Entrepreneurial Council and the NC FIRST Commission. If elected, Chatterji promised to invest in changing the state’s healthcare system, seek to create environmental equity, and expand financial services for all citizens of the state. 

— Republican: Incumbent Dale Folwell (53%)

— Democrat: Ronnie Chatterji (47%)

For a full list of results click here.

Pre-election Senate seating chart

nc senate

Post-election Senate seating chart

nc senate

State Senate Races

Democrats fell short in their attempt to gain control of the Senate on election night. Pending any changes, Democrats will gain one seat in the legislature’s upper chamber, with Republicans maintaining the majority holding 28 seats to the Democrats’ 22. 

Senate District 01

— Republican: Incumbent Bob Steinburg (55%)

— Democrat: Tess Judge (44%)

Senate District 02

 Republican: Incumbent Norm Sanderson (63%)

— Democrat: Libbie Griffin (33%)

Senate District 03 (open seat)

— Republican: Thomas Hester, Jr. (48%)

— Democrat: Ernestine (Byrd) Bazemore (52%)

Senate District 04

— Republican: Sammy Davis Webb (43%)

— Democrat: Incumbent Toby Fitch, Jr. (57%)

Senate District 05

— Republican: Karen Kozel (45%)

— Democrat: Incumbent Don Davis (55%)

Senate District 06 (open seat)

— Republican: Michael Lazzara (66%)

— Democrat: Ike Johnson (34%)

Senate District 07

 Republican: Incumbent Sen. Jim Perry (55%)

— Democrat: Donna Lake (45%)

Senate District 08

 Republican: Incumbent Bill Rabon (62%)

— Democrat: David Sink (35%)

Senate District 09

 Republican: Former Sen. Michael Lee (51%)

— Democrat: Incumbent Harper Peterson (49%)

Senate District 10

— Republican: Incumbent Brent Jackson (65%)

— Democrat: Vernon Moore (35%)

Senate District 11: Current NC Rep. Lisa Stone Barnes (R-Nash) successfully got the nod to move from her House seat to the Senate in the primary, only to face challenger Allen Wellons (D), a former NC Senator.

— Republican: Current NC Rep. Lisa Stone Barnes (55%)

— Democrat: Former NC Sen. Allen Wellons (45%)

Senate District 12

 Republican: Incumbent Jim Burgin (61%)

— Democrat: John Kirkman (39%)

Senate District 13

 Republican: Incumbent Danny Britt (63%)

— Democrat: Barbara Yates-Lockamy (37%)

Senate District 14

— Republican: Alan David Michael (23%)

— Democrat: Incumbent Dan Blue (73%)

Senate District 15

— Republican: Mario Lumoscio (37%)

 Democrat: Incumbent Jay Chaudhuri (58%)

Senate District 16

— Republican: Will Marsh (34%)

 Democrat: Incumbent Wiley Nickel (66%)

Senate District 17

— Republican: Mark Cavaliero (45%)

 Democrat: Incumbent Sam Searcy (51%)

Senate District 18 (open seat)

— Republican: Larry Norman (44%)

 Democrat: Sarah Crawford (52%)

Senate District 19

— Republican: Wesley Meredith (49%)

 Democrat: Incumbent Kirk DeViere (51%)

Senate District 20

— Republican: John Tarantino (16%)

— Democrat: Incumbent Natalie Murdock (84%)

Senate District 21

— Republican: Sev Palacios (32%)

— Democrat: Incumbent Ben Clark (68%)

Senate District 22

— Republican: Rick Padgett (39%)

 Democrat: Incumbent Mike Woodard (58%)

Senate District 23

— Republican: Tom Glendenning (32%)

— Democrat: Incumbent Valerie Foushee (68%)

Senate District 24 (open seat)

— Republican: Amy Galey (53%)

— Democrat: J.D. Wooten (47%)

Senate District 25

— Republican: Incumbent Tom McInnis (59%)

— Democrat: Helen Probst Mills (41%)

Senate District 26

— Republican: Incumbent Dave Craven (70%)

— Democrat: Jane Ledwell Grant (30%)

Senate District 27

— Republican: Sebastian King (46%)

 Democrat: Incumbent Michael Garrett (54%)

Senate District 28

— Republican: D.R. King (24%)

 Democrat: Incumbent Gladys Robinson (76%)

Senate District 29

— Republican: Incumbent Rep. Steve Jarvis (75%)

— Democrat: Duskin Lassiter (25%)

Senate District 30

— Republican: Incumbent President Pro Tempore Phil Berger (69%)

— Democrat: Wally White (31%)

Senate District 31

 Republican: Incumbent Joyce Krawiec (53%)

— Democrat: Terri LeGrand (47%)

Senate District 32

— Republican: Ven Challa (41%)

— Democrat: Incumbent Paul Lowe, Jr. (59%)

Senate District 33

 Republican: Incumbent Carl Ford (71%)

— Democrat: Tarsha Ellis (29%)

Senate District 34

— Republican: Incumbent Vickie Sawyer (71%)

— Democrat: Barry Templeton (29%)

Senate District 35

— Republican: Incumbent Todd Johnson (64%)

— Democrat: Jose Santiago (36%)

Senate District 36

— Republican: Incumbent Paul Newton (58%)

— Democrat: Marcus Singleton (42%)

Senate District 37

— Republican: Sonja Nichols (41%)

— Democrat: Incumbent Jeff Jackson (55%)

Senate District 38

— Republican: Jack Brosch (22%)

 Democrat: Incumbent Mujtaba Mohammed (78%)

Senate District 39 (open seat)

— Republican: Joshua Niday (38%)

— Democrat: DeAndrea Salvador (62%)

Senate District 40

 Republican: Incumbent Joyce Waddell (72%)

— Democrat: Bobbie Shields (28%)

Senate District 41

— Constitution: Christopher Cole (28%)

— Democrat: Incumbent Natasha Marcus (72%)

Senate District 42 (open seat) In this race, former Rep. Mark Hollow was beat during the primary to secure the Republican nod by newcomer Dean Proctor.

— Republican: Dean Proctor (71%)

— Democrat: Tina Miles (29%)

Senate District 43

 Republican: Incumbent Kathy Harrington (66%)

— Democrat: William Young (34%)

Senate District 44

 Republican: Incumbent Ted Alexander (71%)

— Democrat: David Lee Lattimore (29%)

Senate District 45

— Republican: Incumbent Deanna Ballard (68%)

— Democrat: Jeanne Supin (32%)

Senate District 46

— Republican: Incumbent Warren Daniel (72%)

— Democrat: Edward Phifer (28%)

Senate District 47

— Republican: Incumbent Ralph Hise (68%)

— Democrat: David Brian Wheeler (31%)

Senate District 48

— Republican: Incumbent Chuck Edwards (59%)

— Democrat: Brian Caskey (41%)

Senate District 49 (open seat)

— Republican: Bob Penland (37%)

— Democrat: Julie Mayfield (63%)

Senate District 50: In SD 50, sitting NC House Rep. Kevin Corbin (R-Macon) handily defeated primary challenger Sarah Conway in his bid for a seat in the other chamber of the NCGA.

— Republican: Kevin Corbin (67%)

— Victoria Fox rel=”noopener noreferrer” (33%)

For a full list of results click here.

Pre-election House seating chart

nc house

Post-election House seating chart

nc house

State House Races

House Republicans added four seats last night and maintained the majority. Democrats had high hopes to flip the chamber, but fell short, creating a 69-51 Republican majority. 

House District 01

— Republican: Incumbent Edward Goodwin (54.55%)

— Democrat: Emily Bunch Nicholson (45.45%)

House District 02

 Republican: Incumbent Larry Yarborough (60.44%)

— Democrat: Cindy Deporter (39.56%)

House District 03 (open seat)

 Republican: Steve Tyson (60.81%)

— Democrat: Dorothea Downing White (39.19%)

House District 04

 Republican: Incumbent Jimmy Dixon (65.85%)

— Democrat: Christopher Schulte (34.15%)

House District 05

— Republican: Donald Kirkland (43.28%)

 Democrat: Incumbent Rep. Howard Hunter (56.72%)

House District 06

— Republican: Incumbent Bobby Haning (64.37%)

— Democrat: Tommy Fulcher (35.63%)

House District 07 (open seat)

— Republican: Matthew Winslow (58.95%)

— Democrat: Phil Stover (41.05%)

House District 08

— Republican: Tony Moore (39.80%)

— Democrat: Incumbent Kandie Smith (60.20%)

House District 09

— Republican: Incumbent Perrin Jones (48.90%)

— Democrat: Brian Farkas (51.10%)

House District 10

 Republican: Incumbent John Bell (69.80%)

— Democrat: Carl Martin (30.20%)

House District 11

— Republican: Clark Pope (25.97%)

 Democrat: Incumbent Allison Dahle (68.52%)

House District 12

— Republican: Chris Humphrey (54.68%)

— Democrat:  Virginia Cox-Daugherty (45.32%)

House District 13

 Republican: Incumbent Pat McElraft (71.70%)

— Democrat: Buck Bayliff (28.30%)

House District 14

 Republican: Incumbent Rep. George Cleveland (60.18%)

— Democrat: Marcy Wofford (39.82%)

House District 15

— Republican: Incumbent Rep. Phil Shepard (69.68%)

— Democrat: Carolyn Gomaa (30.32%)

House District 16

— Republican: Incumbent Carson Smith (64.40%)

— Democrat: Debbi Fintak (35.60%)

House District 17

— Republican: Incumbent Frank Iler (62.50%)

— Democrat: Tom Simmons (37.50%)

House District 18

— Republican: Warren Kennedy (40.25%)

— Democrat: Incumbent Deb Butler (59.75%)

House District 19: This eastern NC seat, left empty by current Rep. Holley Grange (R-New Hanover) in her failed bid to get the Republican nomination for Governor, was a hotly contested in this year’s general election. Republican Charlie Miller, a Chief Sheriff’s Deputy and county school board member, faced off last night against Democrat Marcia Morgan, a retired military colonel and teacher.

 Republican: Charlie Miller (58.06%)

— Democrat: Marcia Morgan (41.94%)

House District 20

— Republican:  Incumbent Ted Davis (55.41%)

— Democrat: Adam Ericson (44.59%)

House District 21

— Republican: Brent Heath (47.07%)

 Democrat:  Incumbent Raymond Smith (52.93%)

House District 22

— Republican: Incumbent William Brisson (57.76%)

— Democrat: Albert Kirby, Jr. (42.24%)

House District 23

— Republican: Claiborne Holtzman (39.63%)

— Democrat: Incumbent Shelly Willingham (58.72%)

House District 24

— Republican: Mick Rankin (47.43%)

 Democrat: Incumbent Linda Cooper-Suggs (52.57%)

House District 25

— Republican: John Check (44.80%)

— Democrat: Incumbent James Gailliard (51.59%)

House District 26

 Republican: Incumbent Rep. Donna McDowell White (53.73%)

— Democrat: Linda Bennet (34.72%)

House District 27

— Republican: Warren Scott Nail (33.20%)

 Democrat: Incumbent Michael Wray (66.80%)

House District 28

— Republican: Incumbent Larry Strickland (67.79%)

— Democrat: Corey Stephens (32.21%)

House District 29

— Democrat: Incumbent Vernetta Alston (100%)

House District 30

— Republican: Gavin Bell (18.25%)

— Democrat: Incumbent Marcia Morey (81.75%)

House District 31

— Libertarian: Sean Haugh (14.38%)

— Democrat: Incumbent Zach Hawkins (85.62%)

House District 32

— Republican: David Woodson (38.84%)

 Democrat: Incumbent Terry Garrison (61.16%)

House District 33

— Republican: Frann Sarpolus (24.86%)

— Democrat: Incumbent Rosa Gill (70.82%)

House District 34

— Republican: Ronald Smith (39.10%)

 Democrat: Incumbent Grier Martin (56.60%)

House District 35

— Republican: Fred Von Canon (45.77%)

— Democrat: Incumbent Terence Everitt (50.66%)

House District 36

— Republican: Kim Coley (43.10%)

 Democrat: Incumbent Julie von Haefen (53.26%)

House District 37

 Republican: Erin Pare (50.07%)

— Democrat: Incumbent Sydney Batch (46.83%)

House District 38 (open seat)

— Republican: Kenneth Bagnal (17.67%)

— Democrat: Abe Jones (77.80%)

House District 39

— Democrat: Incumbent Darren Jackson (100%)

House District 40

— Republican: Gerard Falzon (43.48%)

— Democrat: Incumbent Joe John (56.52%)

House District 41