Politics & Government

Walter Jones set for final term in Congress; Coleman wins Democratic primary to face Holding

Voters enter the Chavis Community Center in Raleigh during North Carolina's primary elections Tuesday, May 8, 2018.
Voters enter the Chavis Community Center in Raleigh during North Carolina's primary elections Tuesday, May 8, 2018. ehyman@newsobserver.com

Rep. Walter Jones is almost certainly headed back to Congress for a 13th and final term.

The Eastern North Carolina Republican defeated military veteran Phil Law and Craven County Commissioner Scott Dacey in the Republican primary Tuesday. Jones secured more than 43 percent of the vote and led in 14 of the district's 17 counties.

No other candidates filed to run in the district, making it all but sure that Jones will represent the district again. Jones said it will be his final term in Congress.

All but one congressional incumbent will continue on to the November election. The exception is Republican Rep. Robert Pittenger, toppled by challenger Mark Harris.

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Former Wake County Commissioner Linda Coleman defeated her fellow Democratic challengers in the 2nd Congressional District, Ken Romley and Wendy Ella May.

Romley said he would endorse Coleman as she now takes on Rep. George Holding, who soundly defeated challenger Allen Chesser in the GOP primary.

1st District

Incumbent Democrat G.K. Butterfield did not face any opposition nor did Republican challenger Roger W. Allison.

The district includes all or parts of Bertie, Durham, Edgecombe, Gates, Granville, Halifax, Hertford, Martin, Northhampton, Pitt, Vance, Warren, Washington and Wilson counties.

2nd District

Coleman, aided by strong name recognition in the district, easily outdistanced Romley, a first-time candidate.

"I connected with the people of the district and their values, and I talked about those values," Coleman said. "It was a message that resonated."

Coleman said she hoped to turn the general election into a debate over health care — "from the kid through senior citizens."

Romley said he would endorse Coleman in the general.

"I do think she'd be a much better representative than George Holding. I will support her and wish her well," he said.

Romley, who loaned his campaign $360,000, said he still has a "desire to give back to the country."

"I still think the country is making serious mistakes and I think I have valuable experience to add to put my community and neighbors on a better path," he said.

The district includes parts or all of Franklin, Harnett, Johnston, Nash, Wake and Wilson counties.

3rd District

Jones faced a bruising primary from Dacey, who attacked Jones for a voting record that did not fully support President Donald Trump and tried to tie Jones to Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and liberal donor George Soros.

Jones has held the seat since 1994.

Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., speaks during a news conference where members of Congress introduced legislation to curb sexual harassment in the workplace on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, in Washington. Andrew Harnik AP

Jones won Dacey's home county of Craven by nine votes over Dacey.

“I’ve always had faith in the voters that they would see through the political smokescreens. This result was as much about the character of the voters as it was about the candidates," Jones said. "I’m proud to represent these fine people."

Law, who finished second to Jones in the 2016 GOP primary, was in second place.

Dacey finished third and said he still is still not ready to support Jones.

"If our congressman were willing to support our president, I'd be willing to support our congressman," Dacey said. "I don't believe he was fit to serve in office any further and just because he beat me in a race doesn't mean I've changed my opinion at all."

The district includes parts or all of 17 counties in Eastern North Carolina: Beaufort, Camden, Carteret, Chowan, Craven, Currituck, Dare, Greene, Hyde, Jones, Lenoir, Onslow, Pamlico, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Pitt and Tyrell.

4th District

Incumbent Democrat David Price defeated Michelle Laws and Richard Watkins for the nomination.

Steve A. (Von) Loor was the only Republican on the ballot.

Two Libertarians, Barbara Howe and Scerry Perry Whitlock, faced off in a primary with Howe leading Whitlock.

The district includes parts of Durham, Orange and Wake counties.

5th District

Republican incumbent Virginia Foxx defeated challengers Dillon Gentry and Courtland Meader, Jr.

The Democratic primary was between Jenny Marshall and D.D. Adams. Adams was leading late in the count.

The district includes parts of all of several counties in northwest North Carolina: Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Catawba, Forsyth, Stokes, Surry, Watauga, Wilkes and Yadkin.

6th District

Incumbent Republican Mark Walker, the chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, faced no opposition.

Democratic candidate Ryan Watts beat Gerald Wong for the chance to take on Walker.

The district includes parts of all of Alamance, Caswell, Chatham, Guilford, Lee, Person, Randolph and Rockingham counties.

7th District

Incumbent Republican David Rouzer faced no opposition.

Kyle Horton won over Grayson Parker on the Democratic side.

The district stretches from Johnston County to Wilmington and includes parts of all of Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus, Johnston, New Hanover, Pender, Sampson and Wayne counties.

8th District

Incumbent Republican Richard Hudson did not have a challenger.

He'll take on former Aberdeen Mayor Frank McNeill, who finished ahead of Indivisible Charlotte founder Scott Huffman and former teacher and firefighter Scott Tiegel for the Democratic nomination.

The district stretches from Concord in the west to Fayetteville in the east and includes parts or all of Cabarrus, Cumberland, Hoke, Montgomery, Moore, Rowan and Stanly counties.

9th District

Harris beat Pittenger in a rematch of the 2016 primary, which was decided by 134 votes. Clarence Goins Jr. was also in the race. Pittenger became the first Republican House member to lose in a primary this cycle.

Democratic challenger Dan McCready had posted strong fundraising totals and grabbed a large majority of the vote to beat Christian Cano.

The suburban Charlotte district includes parts or all of Anson, Bladen, Cumberland, Mecklenberg, Richmond, Robeson, Scotland and Union counties.

10th District

Incumbent Republican Patrick McHenry, the majority deputy whip in the House, easily fended off five Republican challengers — Gina Collias, Jeff Gregory, Ira Roberts, Albert Lee Wiley Jr. and Seth Blankenship.

Democratic challenger David Wilson Brown ran unopposed.

The Western North Carolina district includes parts or all of Buncombe, Catawba, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Polk and Rutherford counties.

11th District

Incumbent Republican Mark Meadows, chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, easily defeated Chuck Archerd for the GOP nomination.

He'll face Phillip Price, who outpolled two other Democrats — D. Scott Donaldson and Steve Woodsmall.

The southwestern North Carolina district includes parts or all of 16 counties: Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Swain, Transylvania and Yancey.

12th District

Incumbent Democrat Alma Adams defeated three challengers — Gabe Ortiz, Patrick Register and Keith Young.

The 71-year-old Adams had not seemed worried about her competition for the seat in Mecklenberg County.

"I’m going to beat them all fair and square and they’re going to know they’ve been beat. And I approve this message,” she said earlier this spring.

Paul Wright will challenge her after defeating two fellow Republicans, Paul Bonham and Carl Persson.

13th District

Incumbent Republican Ted Budd ran unopposed for the nomination.

He could face a tough challenge from Democrat Kathy Manning, a fundraiser and philanthropist who defeated Adam Coker for the Democratic nomination.

The district includes parts or all of Davidson, Davie, Guilford, Iredell and Rowan counties.

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