Garner Cleveland Record

Barefoot, Calabria win key races

Every vote counted during several tight races that had heavy implications for the General Assembly and Wake County Board of Commissioners.
Every vote counted during several tight races that had heavy implications for the General Assembly and Wake County Board of Commissioners. kbettis@newsobserver.com

Republican incumbent Chad Barefoot will continue as part of the Republican majority with a second term as District 18 State Senator, edging out Democrat Sarah Crawford. Barefoot won by a 53-47 margin.

To keep his seat and help the GOP keep control of the General Assembly, Barefoot raised nearly $1 million to beat Crawford in one of the state’s most competitive legislative races, which stayed neck-and-neck until the final hour.

“We didn’t run to win, we ran to work,” he said. “That’s exactly what I’m doing already.”

During his first term, Barefoot served as vice-chair for the Senate Education Committee and served on multiple education committees, among others.

Crawford admitted that despite the disappointment of falling short, she left Barefoot a voicemail the evening of the elections to offer assistance in his upcoming term.

“I care what happens,” she said. “I’m going to keep fighting for things I believe in, including public education.”

In his upcoming term, Barefoot has promised to focus on issues surrounding the state’s economy and attracting quality public school educators.

“We need to make sure that the government doesn’t get in the way of businesses creating new jobs, and most importantly, creating higher wage jobs for our citizens,” he said.

Calabria beats out Matthews

Matt Calabria was one of four Democrats to take the Wake County Board of Commissioners seats. He beat out incumbent Phil Matthews 56 to 44 percent.

Fellow Democrats Sig Hutchinson, Jessica Holmes and John Burns swept the other seats by relatively large margins against their GOP counterparts and complete an entirely blue board of commissioners as of January 2015.

Calabria raised $100,000 during his campaign, more than doubling his opponent’s fundraising.

Republicans have voiced concerns that taxes would rise, but the Democrat sweep suggests that the county is ready to fund projects like public transportation and solutions for public schools.

Calabria has said that he heard these concerns, and wants to push teacher compensation and jump on school improvement in the county.

“I’m excited to roll up my sleeves and get to work,” he said. “In the next few months my task will be to study and to listen. It’s very important to hear different perspectives in this new role.”

Although the Fuquay-Varina resident took the seat from a Garner resident, Calabria says that the geographic diversity on the board will add a unique perspective, and he expects to watch out for the county as a whole.

Other votes

Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison, a Republican, will serve a fourth term after beating opponent Willie Rowe with 58 percent of the vote.

Jenna Wadsworth was re-elected Wake Soil and Water Conservation Supervisor along with Matt Overby.

By an 11 percent margin, voters also passed an amendment to the state constitution that empowers a judge to waive the right to jury.

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