Voters in Raleigh cast their ballots on Election Day for incumbents in most state races, and also helped ensure a Democratic sweep for Wake County Commission.
Democrats held on to three N.C. House seats that represent Raleigh or northern Wake, as did three Republicans.
Most incumbents won easily. In District 33, Rosa Gill, a retired teacher and former Wake County school board member, won more than 87 percent of the vote.
The race for District 49 was much closer, but Republican Gary Pendleton won his bid to keep the seat he was appointed to in August. He won 52 percent of the vote to beat Kim Hanchette.
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Some local N.C. Senate races were also close.
In District 16, incumbent Democrat Josh Stein handily beat Molotov Mitchell, who ran an unusual campaign in the heavily Democratic district.
But it was much closer in District 15, where Republican John Alexander defeated Democrat Tom Bradshaw by just 717 votes.
In District 18, Republican Chad Barefoot kept his seat by winning 53 percent of the vote against Sarah Crawford.
Both the District 15 and District 18 Senate races saw more than $1 million in spending, including the kind of slick television commercials not often seen in legislative races.
State party organizations poured funding into the two races, which were among the most expensive Senate races in the state.
While much of the country favored Republicans on Tuesday, Wake County was quite blue.
Voters ousted four Republican Board of Commissioners incumbents, paving the way for an entirely Democratic board.
U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, a Democrat, lost statewide to Republican challenger Thom Tillis but won Wake County with 55 percent of the vote. Tillis won 42 percent, and Libertarian Sean Haugh won 3 percent of the vote.
Hagan’s showing was particularly strong in Raleigh precincts, while Tillis won northern and southern Wake precincts, according to unofficial results.
N.C. House District 11: Hall wins
Democrat incumbent Duane Hall swept the District 11 state House race with 62 percent of the vote against Republican challenger Ray Martin.
Hall, a practicing attorney, has represented Cary and Raleigh for one term. During that time, he sponsored 64 bills and was elected House minority freshman leader.
Throughout his campaign, he emphasized that in the coming term he would oppose Medicaid privatization, and would work to increase teacher pay and lower the tax burden for the working class.
N.C. House District 33: Gill wins
Democratic Rep. Rosa Gill was elected to her fourth term by a wide margin over Republican Perry Whitlock.
Gill, a retired teacher and former Wake County school board member, focused on education and creating a fair justice system.
Whitlock had said he supported enforcing a provision in the state constitution that says “every person shall be responsible for their abuse,” and suggested to the Raleigh City Council that people be allowed to openly carry guns on greenways.
N.C. House District 35: Malone wins
Republican incumbent Chris Malone Tuesday night won re-election, beating political newcomer and Democrat Brian Mountcastle 56 to 44 percent.
Malone, a former Wake Forest town commissioner and Wake County school board member, won his House seat in 2012.
Mountcastle, a construction manager who described himself as “middle of the road,” said during the campaign that Malone has not done enough to help his district. But Malone said things are moving in the right direction.
N.C. House District 38: Holley wins
Incumbent Yvonne Lewis Holley easily kept her N.C. House District 38 seat, winning nearly 80 percent of the vote to defeat challenger Joe Thompson.
District 38 spans parts of Southeast Raleigh, along with eastern parts of the city. Holley has said her top issues are to support teacher pay raises and to improve healthy-food access, workforce development and job creation.
N.C. House District 49: Pendleton wins
Republican Rep. Gary Pendleton beat Democrat Kim Hanchette 52 to 48 percent in a race political observers had called a toss-up. The Raleigh district is nearly evenly split between Democrats, Republicans and a large number of unaffiliated voters.
Pendleton, a former Wake County commissioner, ran to keep the seat he was appointed to this summer after Republican Rep. Jim Fulghum died. Hanchette has said the legislature needs to change course, especially on education and health care.
N.C. House District 40: Avila wins
Marilyn Avila kept her N.C. House District 40 seat. With all precincts reporting, Avila, a Republican who has served four terms in the House, led with 54.36 percent of the vote.
Democrat Margaret Broadwell had 45.64 percent of the vote.
District 40 spans much of northwestern Wake County.
Avila was involved with legislation requiring voter identification cards. Broadwell was the first female elected mayor of Morrisville in 1995.
N.C. Senate District 15: Alexander wins
Republican John Alexander defeated Democrat Tom Bradshaw by a mere 717 votes.
Bradshaw’s total puts him within the margin to request a recount, and his campaign says that decision will be made Wednesday. Alexander, however, declared victory.
The race was among the state’s most expensive, with spending exceeding $1 million. Voters were inundated with campaign mailers that painted Bradshaw as a lobbyist and Alexander as a “tea partier.”
N.C. Senate District 16: Stein wins
Incumbent Sen. Josh Stein easily fought off a challenge from Republican Molotov Mitchell.
Mitchell, a conservative filmmaker and Krav Maga defense instructor, challenged Stein to do push-ups and promised to “bounce” a National Security Agency-funded laboratory off N.C. State’s campus.
District 16 voters, however, stuck with Democrat Stein, who says he can still make a difference in a GOP-dominated Senate.
N.C. Senate District 18: Barefoot wins
In an expensive and tight race for state Senate District 18, Republican incumbent Chad Barefoot kept his Senate seat by a narrow margin.
His race against Democrat Sarah Crawford was neck in neck most of the night, with Franklin County results coming in very late for a dramatic finish.
Barefoot raised nearly $1 million in an attempt to beat Crawford in one of the state’s most competitive legislative races.
Both competitors clashed over taxes and environmental issues. Barefoot has promised to focus on the economy.
Wake County sheriff: Harrison wins
Donnie Harrison won a fourth term as Wake County’s sheriff after defeating Willie Rowe, a retired veteran sheriff’s commander.
Harrison had about 59 percent of the vote. Rowe was trailing the incumbent by more than 50,000 votes when he conceded the race just before 10 p.m. Tuesday.
Wake County District Attorney: Freeman wins
Lorrin Freeman cruised to an easy victory in the race for Wake County district attorney Tuesday, bringing a new face to an office that has long gone without a contested election.
With all precincts reporting, Freeman carried 56 percent of the vote. John Walter Bryant had 43 percent.
Freeman, 43, a Democrat, brought her experience as Wake County’s clerk of court to the campaign.