Lawson edges Williams in NC House 6

Published 11:19 pm Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Staff, wire reports

Beaufort County voters had a say in who won three Republican primaries Tuesday to determine who faces Democratic nominees in three races for the N.C. General Assembly.

Computers problems at the State Board of Elections office in Raleigh prevented some counties from posting primary returns to the SBOE website when they had them ready, according to an election official.


In a primary battle between two Beaufort County residents, Bill Cook apparently held off Jerry Evans to become the Republican nominee to seek the 1st District seat in the N.C. Senate, according to unofficial vote totals. Cook will face incumbent Stan White, a Dare County Democrat, in the Nov. 6 general election.

White was unchallenged in his bid to become the Democratic nominee.

In Beaufort County, Cook garnered 3,012 votes to Evans’ 1,838 votes.

Cook, currently holder of the 6th District seat in the state House, chose to run for the state Senate instead of re-election to the state House.

The 1st District includes Beaufort, Hyde, Dare, Currituck, Camden, Pasquotank, Perquimans and Gates counties.


Primary returns from Dare County apparently gave Mattie Lawson, a Dare County resident, the votes she needed to hold off Beaufort County resident Arthur Williams and fellow Dare County resident Jeremy D. Adams in the Republican primary to choose the GOP nominee for the 6th District seat in the state House.

Williams, a former state representative from the 6th District, was leading in the primary until the Dare County vote totals were posted on the State Board of Elections’ website about 11 p.m. Tuesday.

GOP voters in the district provided Lawson with 2,643 votes (37.14 percent) to Williams’ 2,577 votes (36.21 percent), a difference of 66 votes. Adams garnered 1,897 votes.

It was unclear late Tuesday night if Williams is entitled to call for a recount.

In City Council election last year, a recount was allowed because the vote difference between two candidates was less than 1 percent.

The GOP primary winner will face Democrat Paul Tine, of Dare County, in the Nov. 6 general election.

The 6th District includes part of Beaufort County and all of Hyde, Washington and Dare counties.


Current Beaufort County Commissioner Robert Cayton, a Democrat and a minister, will face Republican Michael Speciale in the Nov. 6 general election for the 3rd District seat in the state House. Cayton was unchallenged in his bid to become the Democratic nominee.

Speciale fought off challenges from Chocowinity resident Wayne Langston and Vanceboro resident Clayton Tripp to take the win in the GOP primary. Although Langston carried Beaufort County, it wasn’t enough to propel him to the primary win in the district.

Langston collected 343 votes in Beaufort County.

Speciale collected 277 votes in Beaufort County.

Tripp collected 325 votes in Beaufort County.

Speciale carried Pamlico County and the part of Craven County in the district.

The 3rd District includes parts of Beaufort and Craven counties and all of Pamlico County.

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.

Beaufort County resident Greg Dority placed second in the GOP primary to pick a nominee for state auditor to face incumbent Beth Wood, a Democrat, in the Nov. 6 general election. Five Republicans sought their party’s nomination.

With half of the state’s 100 counties reporting by 10 p.m., Dority, with 23.7 percent of the vote trailed leader Debra Goldman with 34.31 percent of the vote.