In the rematch race for lieutenant governor, incumbent Republican Dan Forest has widened his lead Tuesday over Democrat Linda Coleman.
In unofficial totals, Forest had 52.46 percent of the vote and Coleman had 44.77 percent, with 84 percent of precincts reporting. Libertarian Jacki Cole was running a distant third, with 2.77 percent.
Four years ago, the race between Forest and Coleman was the state’s closest. Forest won by less than 7,000 of the 4.3 million votes cast, an outcome that wasn’t known until two weeks after the election ended.
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Forest is also considering a 2020 run for governor.
Forest is seeking his second term as lieutenant governor. He is an architect and the son of former U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick.
Coleman is retired, and had served as director of the Office of State Personnel. She also served on the Wake County board of commissioners and in the state House.
About the office
The lieutenant governor, the second-highest elected office in North Carolina, presides over the state Senate.
What shaped the race
▪ HB2: Forest strongly supported the law, which overrode a Charlotte ordinance extending anti-discrimination protection to the LGBT community. Coleman has called HB2 “state-sponsored discrimination.”
▪ Taxes: Forest would eliminate income taxes and replace them with a consumption tax. He also supported GOP tax cuts in the legislature of more than $4 billion. Coleman said they disproportionately helped wealthier residents at the expense of working families.