Butterfield, Jones coast to victory

Published 11:16 pm Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Staff, wire reports

Beaufort County voters helped decide primary winners in two congressional districts Tuesday.

Incumbent U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield of Wilson easily won the Democratic nomination for the state’s 1st Congressional District seat, having fought off a primary challenge by Dan Whittacre, according to unofficial vote totals. He will face Republican challenger Peter DiLauro in the Nov. 6 general election.

The Associated Press called the nomination for Butterfield at 8:37 p.m.

DiLauro was the lone Republican to file as a candidate for the office.

Butterfield is seeking a fifth term in the U.S. House after he was selected as the Democratic nominee in a special election to fill an unexpired term as the representative from North Carolina’s 1st Congressional District in July 2004.

Whittacre is a retired Air Force officer and federal agent. He teaches at Northern Vance High School in Henderson. If elected, according to Whittacre, he would serve no more than four terms, for a total of eight years.

In Beaufort County, Butterfield received 611 votes (77.44 percent) to Whittacre’s 178 votes (22.56 percent).

In the Republican primary to choose the GOP nominee for the state’s 3rd Congressional District, incumbent U.S. Rep. Walter B. Jones of Farmville held off a challenge from Frank Palombo, a retired New Bern police chief, according to unofficial vote totals. Jones will face Democrat Erik Anderson in the Nov. 6 general election.

Anderson was the lone Democrat to file as a candidate for the office.

In Beaufort County, Jones tallied 3,987 votes (79.3 percent) to Palombo’s 1,041 votes (20.70 percent).

Jones became a congressman in 1995, taking the seat once held by his father. He is serving his ninth term in the U.S. House.

Palombo, before beginning a career in law enforcement, served in the Air Force. Palombo paints himself as a leader, not a career politician.

Vote totals are unofficial until ballots are canvassed by local boards of election and certified by the State Board of Elections. In Beaufort County, the Board of Elections will canvass ballots at 11 a.m. Tuesday.

Unofficial vote totals include absentee ballots and early voting ballots, but they do not include provisional ballots. Voters whose registration status can’t be verified on the spot mark provisional ballots on Election Day. On or before canvassing day, the ballots are checked against elections records to clear up any registration discrepancies.