Politics & Government

These 5 NC Republicans won't get another term in the legislature

Voters enter the Chavis Community Center in Raleigh, North Carolina, on Tuesday, May 8, 2018.
Voters enter the Chavis Community Center in Raleigh, North Carolina, on Tuesday, May 8, 2018. ehyman@newsobserver.com

On Tuesday night, the state lawmaker behind attempts to redraw judicial districts lost his primary election by nearly 1,000 votes.

Wayne Sasser, a 67-year-old semi-retired pharmacist, beat Rep. Justin Burr of Stanly County in the House District 67 Republican primary.

Burr wasn't the only incumbent in the legislature to fall.

Democratic primary voters turned out Rep. Duane Hall, who faced sexual harassment allegations and calls to resign, as well as Sen. Joel Ford and Rep. Rodney Moore. And five Republican incumbents lost.

KaKi McKinney, a Cary woman, stands outside the Herb Young Community Center in Cary on May 1 and explains what happened when Rep. Duane Hall approached her there on April 27, 2018.

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Sen. David Curtis, a Lincoln County Republican, lost to Ted Alexander, 44 percent to 36 percent. Outside donors played a big role in the race, after redistricting dramatically changed Curtis' district.

A group called N.C. Citizens for Clear Action, which is funded by eye surgeons, spent more than $106,000 on television ads, mailers and phone calls to campaign against him.

In 2017 Curtis filed a bill that would have allowed optometrists to perform certain eye procedures that are reserved for eye doctors.

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Rep. Beverly Boswell fell to Bobby Hanig, a Currituck County commissioner, by 411 votes in their Republican primary.

Boswell of Dare County recently garnered attention outside of House District 6 and the Outer Banks for her comments about students participating in nationwide school walkouts being "Tide pod eaters" and misidentifying herself as a nurse.

Hanig received 53 percent of the vote to Boswell's 47 percent.

Video from a 2014 League of Women Voters's Dare County Commissioner Candidates forum shows Beverly Boswell talking about providing 'nursing skills and medical care" as a volunteer.

In one of two Senate districts where Republican incumbents ran against each other after a redraw of political maps, Sen. Deanna Ballard of Watauga County beat Sen. Shirley Randleman 54 percent to 46 percent. Randleman, a former Wilkes County Clerk of Superior Court, is in her third term in the Senate and had previously served in the House. Ballard is in her first term in the Senate.

The other was Senate District 31, where Sen. Dan Barrett took an early jump in the polls over Sen. Joyce Krawiec in a district that includes Davie County and part of Forsyth County — but Krawiec came back to win.

Three Republican firebrands in the state House also faced some challengers from within their own party — but all three incumbents were successful.

Rep. George Cleveland of Onslow County defeated Joe McLaughlin, a businessman and former Onslow commissioner. Rep. Michael Speciale of Craven County beat Eric Queen, a fellow Marine Corps veteran, with 57 percent of the vote. And Michael Anderson, who is known for his fedora collection, couldn't pull off an upset of Rep. Larry Pittman of Cabarrus County; Anderson garnered 36 percent of the vote.

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