RALEIGH — Ronald Rabin edged out Don Davis in the Republican runoff for state Senate District 12. He received more than 52 percent of the votes Tuesday and will face Democratic nominee Brad Salmon of Lillington this fall.
The race to represent the district – covering Harnett and Lee counties and a sliver of western Johnston County – pitted the two former career Army officers and retired businessmen against each other for the seat vacated by Sen. David Rouzer, who is running for Congress.
If wisdom comes with age, Republican voters could have rested easy regardless of the outcome of Tuesday’s runoff election.
Davis, 82, of Erwin spent four consecutive terms in the state House of Representatives starting in 1994. He enlisted in the Army in 1946 and retired a couple of decades later as a major.
Rabin of Spring Lake looked somewhat similar on paper.
He is 80 and a retired colonel who served in Vietnam, and commanded a Special Forces group in Laos.
After his service, he received a master’s degree from George Washington University and worked in the aerospace and defense industries.
The key difference: This race was Rabin’s first foray into politics. He edged Davis by a couple of hundred votes.
Rabin will face Salmon, who grew up in Harnett County and attended both N.C. State University and Campbell University’s Law School.