Voters outside the county’s core appear to want fresh representation on the Wake County Board of Commissioners.
Republican John Adcock and Democrat Vicki Scroggins-Johnson, both new to county politics, will face each other in November in the race to become the first representative for the new District B seat on the county board.
Adcock, a lawyer from Fuquay-Varina, topped former Wake commissioner Phil Matthews of Garner in the Republican primary. Scroggins-Johnson, a Morrisville councilwoman, beat former Wake commissioner Lindy Brown of Raleigh in the Democrat primary.
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Matthews, of Garner, served on the board from 2010 to 2014, and Brown, of Raleigh, served on the board from 2006 to 2010. Despite their experience, Brown and Matthews each lost handily. Adcock and Scroggins-Johnson each beat their respective opponents by more than 5,000 votes, winning by 10-percent margins.
“I cannot tell you how much it means to me that the voters of District B recognize the hard work, dedication and leadership that I have brought to Wake County as a working mother, wife and town council member,” Scroggins-Johnson said.
Adcock’s win over Matthews is more surprising than Scroggins-Johnson’s win over Brown.
Matthews, who at one point served as chairman of the county board, appeared with the county party’s leadership on the day several Republican candidates filed to run for office. He led the press conference and boasted of endorsements from prominent local Republicans, including Sheriff Donnie Harrison.
Adcock, a relative unknown in political circles, separated himself from Matthews on the campaign trail by saying he would be more willing than Matthews to work together with the Democrats who gained control of the board when Matthews was voted out in 2014.
Scroggins-Johnson, like Matthews, entered the race early at the county Board of Elections with the leader of the county party. Brown, meanwhile, entered late after a change of heart. In October, she announced plans to run for the N.C. House of Representatives in District 37 but changed her mind hours before candidate registration closed and filed to run against Scroggins-Johnson.
While Brown touted her experience and community ties, Scroggins-Johnson often talked about how her time as a Morrisville Town Council member better prepared her for dealing with growth-related issues such as clogged roads and crowded schools.
The races have been closely watched, not just by voters and political observers but by voting rights advocates. Last year, the North Carolina General Assembly passed a law redrawing existing board districts and creating two new ones, which will expand to nine seats after this year’s election. District B, which encircles Raleigh, is meant to increase the influence of rural Wake residents.
State lawmakers’ creation of District B prompted a lawsuit from critics who said the new lines unfairly favor Republicans, but a federal judge recently dismissed that lawsuit.
Board of Commissioners, District B
Lindy Brown 44.16%
Vicki Scroggins-Johnson 55.84%
John Adcock 54.89%
Phil Matthews 45.11%
202 precincts of 202 reporting