Primary Election Yields a Handful of Surprises

The 2012 Primary Election produced a number of predictable outcomes — as well as a few surprises — in Mecklenburg County and across the state, setting up a busy 10-week window ahead of the July 17 Runoffs. Here’s a brief rundown of last night’s key local results:

    Former Charlotte mayor Pat McCrory handily beat his five opponents to take the Republican gubernatorial nomination with 83 percent of the vote. He’ll face Democratic Lt. Governor Walter Dalton in a November race that’s sure to be closely watched by the national media.The vast field of Republican candidates in the District 9 congressional primary has been winnowed down to a runoff between the two expected front-runners, former state senator Robert Pittenger (a real estate investor and onetime REBIC board member), and County Commissioner James Pendergraph, who enjoys the endorsement of retiring incumbent Sue Myrick. Voters should be prepared for another 10 weeks of fierce campaigning between these two, who are battling for the right to face Democrat Jennifer Roberts in November. Former Charlotte City Councilman Edwin Peacock managed to take third in the GOP primary, with State Representative Ric Killian (who will be desperately missed in Raleigh next January) coming in fourth in the 11-person field.The 8th District congressional GOP primary appears to be headed for a runoff between Richard Hudson (the former chief of staff to Congressman Robin Hayes) and Iredell County dentist Scott Keadle. The winner will take on incumbent Democrat Larry Kissell in November.One of the state’s most high-profile Senate races will also be decided in a July 17 runoff between Cornelius Mayor Jeff Tarte and former Mecklenburg County GOP chair John Aneralla. Fewer than 300 votes separated the two Republican candidates for District 41, a newly created seat that has no Democratic candidate on the November ballot.In Senate District 38, Democrat Joel Ford, the chairman of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Authority, defeated retiring incumbent Charlie Dannelly, who withdrew from the race months ago and threw his support to Ford. Joel will now face Republican Richard Rivette in November.One of last night’s surprises happened in State House District 105, where attorney Jacqueline Schaffer defeated former school board member Ken Gjertsen, with 57 percent of the vote. SPPACE had backed Gjertsen for the Ballantyne area seat, which is currently held by the retiring Ric Killian.In State House District 92, Huntersville Town Board member Charles Jeter beat our retired Air Force Lt. Col. Tom Davis, and will now face Democrat Robin Bradford in the general election.Mecklenburg County’s At-Large Commissioner race is set, with Republicans  Michael Hobbs, James Peterson and Wayne Powers vying for three open seats against Democrats Kim Ratliff and Pat Cotham. Attorneys Trevor Fuller and Marc Gustafson appear headed for a runoff for the third and final spot on the Democratic ticket.County Commission District 5 will also see a Republican runoff between Matthew Ridenhour and Sara Cherne, with the winner facing Democrat Paula Harvey for the South Charlotte seat now held by retiring commissioner Neil Cooksey. Finally, County Commissioner Bill James narrowly fended off a challenge from retired businessman Ed Driggs in District 6. SPPACE had supported Driggs, recognizing the need for a new, more effective conservative voice on the BOCC.

Thanks to all our members who got out to the polls yesterday, and during the Early Voting period. We hope you’ll make your voice heard again in the July 17 Runoff, as well as in the critical November 6 General Election!

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