Republican incumbents in Triangle, including Sen. Tamara Barringer, held onto their N.C. Senate seats Tuesday, despite the controversial House Bill 2 figuring prominently in their opponents’ campaigns against them.
Barringer, a professor at the Kenan-Flagler Business School at UNC, narrowly defeated challenger Susan Evans with 48.32 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results.
About 1,000 votes separated her and Evans, a Democrat who has served on the Wake County school board since 2011. Evans won 47.47 percent of the vote. Libertarian candidate Susan Hogarth had 4.21 percent.
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“I’m very encouraged by tonight’s results and looking forward to this process playing out,” Barringer said Tuesday.
Because the difference between the candidates is within 1 percent of the total votes cast, Evans is eligible to request a recount.
Dustin Ingalls, Evans’ campaign spokesman, said Wednesday that the campaign isn’t ready to comment about whether a recount will be pursued.
“We are, even though disappointed, gratified that it was very close,” he said. “We feel good about the campaign we ran.”
Barringer has occupied the seat for two terms. The district covers Cary and southwestern Wake County, including Apex, Holly Springs and Fuquay-Varina.
But at least one mailer from Evans’ campaign against Barringer cited HB2, which limits protections for LGBT people. While Barringer voted for the bill in March, she was the first GOP legislator to call for its repeal.
Sen. Chad Barefoot defeated Democratic challenger Gil Johnson to win a third term, receiving 55.35 percent of the vote to Johnson’s 44.65 percent, according to unofficial results.
Barefoot’s outspoken support for HB2 in a district that elected a Democratic senator as recently as 2012 was cited as a potential vulnerability for the incumbent’s bid. Johnson was a longtime member of the Franklin County Board of Education and served as its chairman.
Barefoot, as a first-time candidate in 2012, narrowly beat incumbent Doug Berger, a Democrat, for control of the district, which includes much of eastern Wake County – Rolesville and Wake Forest – and a portion of southern Franklin County.
First-term Republican Sen. John Alexander Jr., president of Cardinal International Trucks, will return to Raleigh for a second term. He defeated Democratic candidate Laurel Deegan-Fricke and Libertarian candidate Brad Hessel with 50.00 percent of the vote, with all precincts reporting.
Deegan-Fricke, the founder and CEO of the National Coalition of Native American College Placement Services, had 45.74 percent and Hessel had 4.26 percent. Senate District 15 stretches from the Five Points neighborhood in Raleigh north to Falls Lake.
Alexander voted for HB2, but was the fifth GOP lawmaker who called for revisions to the law.
Democratic incumbent Sen. Jay Chaudhuri defeated businessman Eric Weaver, a Republican from Apex, with 65.32 percent of the vote to Weaver’s 34.68 percent with all votes counted. Chaudhuri was appointed in April to the seat vacated by former Democratic Sen. Josh Stein when Stein announced he would run for attorney general.
District 16 comprises northern Cary, Morrisville and much of West Raleigh.
Longtime Nash-Rocky Mount Board of Education member Rick Horner, a Republican, has defeated political newcomer and retired planner Albert Pacer, a Democrat. Horner had 61.18 percent of the vote.
Horner and Pacer were vying to fill the seat vacated by former Sen. Buck Newton, the Republican candidate for attorney general.
The district includes parts of Nash, Johnston and Wilson counties. It stretches from Clayton north to the western reaches of Rocky Mount and west to Saratoga.
Incumbent Sen. Ronald Rabin, a two-term senator, defeated Democratic challenger Susan Byerly, a senior hospice care consultant and adjunct professor in the Campbell University School of Education with all votes counted.
Rabin, a retired U.S. Army colonel, had 57.55 percent of the vote to Byerly’s 42.45 percent. Byerly lost a bid for the N.C. House District 53 seat in 2014.
The district covers Lee and Harnett counties and part of Johnston County.
Incumbent Sen. Floyd McKissick Jr., a Democrat who has been in the Senate since 2007, easily defeated Libertarian candidate Barbara Howe with 81.62 percent of the vote.
The district covers Granville County and part of Durham County.
Incumbent Sen. Mike Woodard, a two-term Democratic senator and former Durham City Council member, defeated Republican challenger T. Greg Doucette, an attorney, in District 22.
Woodard, a financial services administrator at Duke University, had 65.53 percent of the vote to Doucette’s 34.47 percent.
The district encompasses Caswell and Person counties and part of Durham County.
With 68.03 percent of the vote, Democratic Sen. Valerie Foushee defeated Republican Mary Lopez-Carter in a rematch of the 2014 battle for District 23, which includes all of Orange and Chatham counties. This will be her third term in Raleigh.
Kathryn Trogdon: 919-460-2608: @KTrogdon
Rick Horner, R 61.18%
Albert Pacer, D 38.82%
51 of 51 precincts reporting.
Susan Byerly, D 42.45%
Ronald Rabin, R (i) 57.55%
30 of 30 precincts reporting.
John Alexander, R (i) 50.00%
Laurel Deegan-Fricke, D 45.74%
Brad Hessel, L 4.26%
57 of 57 precincts reporting.
Jay Chaudhuri, D (i) 65.32%
Eric Weaver, R 34.68%
49 of 49 precincts reporting.
Tamara Barringer, R (i) 48.32%
Susan Evans, D 47.47%
Susan Hogarth, L 4.21%
43 of 43 precincts reporting.
Chad Barefoot, R (i) 55.35%
Gil Johnson, D 44.65%
55 of 55 precincts reporting.
Barbara Howe, L 18.38%
Floyd McKissick, D (i) 81.62%
66 of 66 precincts reporting.
T. Greg Doucette, R 34.47%
Mike Woodard, D (i) 65.53%
61 of 61 precincts reporting.
Valerie Foushee, D (i) 68.03%
Mary Lopez-Carter, R 31.97%
62 of 62 precincts reporting.