Nov 4, 2020 - Election

Governor Cooper wins reelection. Plus: Results from all 40 contests on your ballot

Election Day line

Election Day line, precinct #22, voters in line

District 99: Russell Rowe (R) v. Nasif Majeed (D)

This story was last updated at 10:35 a.m. on Thursday, November 12.

By the close of Election Day, Charlotte was quiet.

Traffic was light. There were no massive watch parties typical of other election nights. A few businesses Uptown boarded up their windows and doors with plywood.

Voters around the city hunkered down to tune in to what many consider to be the most consequential presidential election in a lifetime. A week after Election Day, the presidential race in North Carolina is still too close to call.

But there were other big races on the ballot this year, including the one for governor. In a race that many saw as a referendum on the handling of the coronavirus pandemic, incumbent Governor Roy Cooper, a Democrat, defeated Dan Forest, a Republican who’d vowed to repeal Cooper’s mask mandate and reopen schools immediately if elected. Cooper’s administration has taken a measured approach to reopening the economy during the pandemic, a strategy that many voters have favored.

In a closely watched race that could have helped tip the balance of the Senate, Republican incumbent Thom Tillis defeated Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham. The race was too close to call for days as the state continued counting absentee ballots, and Cunningham called Tillis to concede on November 10.

The race follows the revelation of Cunningham’s extramarital affair, which Tillis has used as a talking point during the last few weeks on the campaign trail.

Here’s a rundown of all 40 or so contests on the ballots of Mecklenburg County voters.

Remember these are unofficial results. The state is still counting as many as 117,000 mail-in ballots.


Roy Cooper (D) vs. Dan Forest (R)

Winner: Cooper

The takeaway: Incumbent Governor Cooper was projected to win the race against Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest from the start. Cooper faced backlash over his response to the coronavirus pandemic while opponent Dan Forest said he’d repeal a number of Cooper’s Covid restrictions, including the mask mandate.

N.C. Governor Roy Cooper
N.C. Governor Roy Cooper

With Covid numbers on the rise across North Carolina, it’s possible that Cooper tightens restrictions again. “North Carolinians rejected Dan Forest’s campaign of fear and division and dangerous lies and opted instead for steady, decisive, and compassionate leadership,” Cooper’s campaign said in a statement.

U.S. Senate

Cal Cunningham (D) vs. Thom Tillis (R)

Winner: Tillis.

The takeaway: In a contentious race watched all over the country, Tillis beat Cunningham, an Army reservist whose campaign went quiet after reports surfaced of an extramarital affair. Formerly sometimes critical of Donald Trump, Tillis is now considered a trusted ally of the president, defending him fiercely during the impeachment hearings. In October, Tillis tested positive for Covid-19 after attending the Supreme Court nomination ceremony for Amy Coney Barrett in the White House Rose Garden.

U.S. Senator Thom Tillis
North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis (via

Tillis defeated Cunningham despite the fact that he was outspent by his Democratic opponent. “Truth still matters. Character still matters. Keeping your promises still matters,” Tillis said while declaring victory last Tuesday night, per WSOC.

U.S. House

12th District: Alma Adams (D) unopposed

Winner: Adams

The takeaway: Adams will serve a fourth term in Congress.

9th District: Dan Bishop (R) vs. Cynthia Wallace (D)

Winner: Bishop

The takeaway: Bishop, a former state senator, first won the U.S. House seat in the do-over Ninth District election in 2019 when he defeated Dan McCready by a narrow margin — 51 to 49 percent. Just one year later, Bishop defeated the Democrat, Cynthia Wallace, by over 10 points.

The district is a diverse one, home to Pembroke, where the Lumbee Tribe is based. Even with its inclusion of parts of Mecklenburg, the Ninth District has been largely red in the past. That didn’t changed in 2020, despite signs of purple in 2019.

Statewide races

Lieutenant Governor: Yvonne Lewis Holley (D) vs. Mark Robinson (R)

Winner: Mark Robinson

The takeaway: Robinson defeated challenger Lewis Holley 52-48. The lieutenant governor is a bit like the vice president, in that the person assists the governor with executive duties. The lieutenant governor also acts as the president of the State Senate, and has the ability to cast tie-breaking votes.

How Mecklenburg voted: The county went for Lewis Holley with 65.5 percent of the vote, compared to 34.6 percent going to Robinson.

Attorney General: Jim O’Neill (R) v. Josh Stein (D)

Winner: Too close to call

The takeaway: Stein is ahead of Neill, who has served three terms as district attorney in Forsyth County, by a slim margin of 50.1-49.9. The attorney general handles lawsuits against the state and handles lawsuits against companies and entities that harm the well-being of North Carolinians. The state AG also handles consumer complaints of issues like robocalls and price gouging.

How Mecklenburg voted: Stein carries a wider lead in Mecklenburg, scooping up 66.4 percent of the votes.

State Auditor: Anthony Wayne “Tony” Street (R) v. Beth A. Wood (D)

Winner: Wood

The takeaway: Incumbent Wood, a former CPA and CFO for a furniture company, will serve a fourth term as state auditor. She beat challenger Street by just over 93,400 votes. The AP called this race on November 11.

How Mecklenburg voted: 66.7 percent of Mecklenburg residents went for Wood.

Commissioner of Agriculture: Steve Troxler (R) v. Jenna Wadsworth (D)

Winner: Troxler

The takeaway: Troxler, a Republican tobacco farmer who has been the state’s agriculture commissioner for 15 years, defeated Wadsworth, a millennial farmer who often uses Twitter and TikTok to communicate with her supporters, by 54-46.

Steve Troxler
Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler

How Mecklenburg voted: In millennial-heavy Charlotte, it’s no surprise the county favored Wadsworth 64.2-35.8 over Troxler.

Commissioner of Insurance: Mike Causey (R) v. Wayne Goodwin (D)

Winner: Causey

The takeaway: Causey, the incumbent, defeated Goodwin 52-48. The insurance commissioner is responsible for overseeing the insurance industry, including by investigating instances of insurance fraud.

How Mecklenburg voted: Mecklenburg County voted 64-36 in favor of Goodwin.

Commissioner of Labor: Josh Dobson (R) v. Jessica Holmes (D)

Winner: Dobson

The takeaway: The AP called this race on November 11. Dobson defeated Holmes just just over 89,000 votes. The commissioner of labor is responsible for overseeing workers’ rights. Cherie Berry, the “Elevator Queen” who’d been the labor commissioner for 20 years, didn’t seek reelection.

How Mecklenburg voted: Mecklenburg voted for Holmes over Dobson 66-34.

Secretary of State: Elaine Marshall (D) v. E.C. Sykes (R)

Winner: Marshall

The takeaway: Marshall defeated Sykes 51-49. When Marshall first took office in 1996, she became the first woman ever elected to statewide office in North Carolina by beating NASCAR legend Richard Petty.

How Mecklenburg voted: Mecklenburg voted 67-33 for Marshall over Sykes.

State Treasurer: Ronnie Chatterji (D) v. Dale Folwell (R)

Winner: Folwell

The takeaway: Folwell defeated Chatterji 52.6-47.4 to keep his job as state treasurer, a position that oversees $100 billion in state pension funds. Essentially the state’s chief banker, the state treasurer is responsible for managing the investment of the pension fund, as well as for overseeing the state health plan.

North Carolina State Treasurer Dale Folwell
North Carolina State Treasurer Dale Folwell

How Mecklenburg voted: Mecklenburg favored Chatterji over Folwell 62.4-37.6.

Superintendent of Public Instruction: Jen Mangrum (D) v. Catherine Truitt (R)

Winner: Truitt

The takeaway: Truitt beat Mangrum 51.4-48.6. Truitt, a former high school English teacher, has been critical of Cooper’s schools’ reopening response, arguing that local districts should’ve been given more autonomy to make their own decisions.

How Mecklenburg voted: Voters here favored Mangrum 65-35 over Truitt.


The takeaway: As it stands now, Republican judges won every state Supreme Court and Court of Appeals seat on the ballot. Although, Mecklenburg County favored Democratic judges in every statewide race on the ballot.

Judicial races don’t get much attention but their outcome can have a huge impact. In many instances, judges can have more influence over your life than the president or even senators.

Superior Court

District 26 (south Charlotte, Mint Hill, Matthews): Alicia D. Brooks (D) v. Casey Viser (R)

Winner: Viser

The incumbent is a constitutionalist who was backed by a number of local law enforcement officials.

District Court

1- Kimberly Best (D) v. Pat Finn (R). Winner: Best
2- Aretha Blake (D) was unopposed
3- Jenna Culler (D) was unopposed
4- Donald Cureton Jr. (D) was unopposed
5- Faith Fickling-Alvarez (D) was unopposed
6- Ty Hands (D) was unopposed
7- Gary Henderson (D) unopposed
8- Christy T. Mann (D) unopposed
9- Rex Marvel (D) vs. Sunny Panyanouvong-Rubeck (R). Winner: Marvel
10- C. Renee Little (D) was unopposed
11- Elizabeth Thornton Trosch (D) was unopposed
12- Roy H. Wiggins (D) was unopposed

State Courts

N.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice: Cheri Beasley (D) v. Paul Newby (R)

Winner: Too close to call. Right now Newby is slightly ahead with 50.04 percent of the vote.

The Chief Justice oversees the entire judicial branch, not just the supreme court. Newby is the longest serving judge of the current N.C. Supreme Court justices.

N.C. Supreme Court Associate Justice: Phil Berger Jr. (R) v. Lucy Inman (R)

Winner: Too close to call. Right now Berger is slightly ahead with 50.7 percent of the vote.

N.C. Supreme Court Associate Justice: Tamara Barringer (R) v. Mark Davis (D)

Winner: Barringer

N.C. Court of Appeals Seat 4: Tricia Shields (D) v. April C. Wood (R)

Winner: Wood

N.C. Court of Appeals Seat 5: Lora Christine Cubbage (D) v. Fred Gore (R)

Winner: Gore

N.C. Court of Appeals Seat 6: Chris Dillon (R) v. Gray Styers (D)

Winner: Dillon

N.C. Court of Appeals Seat 7: Jeff Carpenter (R) v. Reuben F. Young (D)

Winner: Carpenter

N.C. Court of Appeals Seat 13: Chris Brook (D) v. Jefferson G. Griffin (R)

Election Day 2020
The Arellano family decided to distribute coffee and hand warmers for early morning voters at Precinct 22 on Tuesday. [Read more about the vibe of Election Day 2020 here: Election Day in Charlotte brings worries, weapons, and lots and lots of waiting]

Winner: Griffin

State Legislature

The takeaway: Republicans will hold onto the majority in both the state House and Senate, marking over a decade of the party’s control in North Carolina’s legislature.

In the House, Republicans widened their majority with four additional seats for a total of 69. In the Senate, Democrats picked up one seat with DeAndrea Salvador’s win for a total of 22.

State Senate

District 37: Jeff Jackson (D) v. Sonja P. Nichols (R), and Jeff Scott (L)

Winner: Jackson

Well-known, Twitter-famous incumbent Jackson faced his closest race yet against businesswoman Nichols, but came out ahead.

District 38: Jack W. Brosch (R) v. Mujtaba A. Mohammed (D)

Winner: Mohammed

Mohammad, an attorney and UNC Charlotte grad, will go into his second term.

District 39: Joshua Niday (R) v. DeAndrea Salvador (D)

Winner: Salvador

Salvador’s win flipped this red district, which elected Republican Dan Bishop twice in 2018 and 2016.

District 40: Bobbie Shields (R) v. Joyce Waddell (D)

Winner: Waddell

This was a rematch between Waddell and Shields from 2018 with the same outcome: Waddell keeps her seat.

District 41: Christopher Cole (C) v. Natasha Marcus (D)

Winner: Marcus

Marcus, the incumbent, won this district around the edge of Mecklenburg handily.

State House of Representatives

District 88: Mary Belk (D) v. David Tondreau (R)

Winner: Belk

Belk, an outspoken member of the House and a breast cancer survivor, won reelection for her third term in this southeast Mecklenburg seat.

District 92: Terry Brown Jr. (D) v. Jerry Munden (R)

Winner: Brown

Brown lost in the Charlotte City Council District 3 race in 2019, but easily won this race for a House seat.

District 98: John R. Bradford III (R) v. Christy Clark (D)

Winner: Bradford

This very close rematch came down to the last couple precincts on Tuesday night. Incumbent Clark out-raised Bradford, but Bradford took the seat.

Winner: Majeed

Incumbent and Vietnam vet Majeed holds onto his seat.

District 100: John Autry (D) v. Kalle Thompson (R)

Winner: Autry

Former Charlotte City Council member and House incumbent, Autry beat Thompson 72 to 28 percent.

District 101: Carolyn Logan (D) v. Steve Mauney (R)

Winner: Logan

Logan, the first Black woman in Asheville’s police force in 1977, keeps her seat.

District 102: Becky Carney (D) v. Kyle Kirby (R)

Winner: Carney

This marks Carney’s 10th win in the state house. Before serving statewide, she was a three-term Mecklenburg county commissioner.

District 103: Bill Brawley (R) v. Rachel Hunt (D)

Winner: Hunt

Michael called this one of the most interesting races in the state, and that proved true in this rematch. Incumbent Hunt won by a larger margin this time around.

District 104: Brandon Lofton (D) v. Don Pomeroy (R)

Winner: Lofton

The SouthPark and Quail Hollow district stayed with Lofton. Both candidates raised over $100,000, a substantial amount in a state house race.

District 105: Amy Bynum (R) v. Wesley Harris (D)

Winner: Harris

Incumbent and economic consultant Harris keeps his seat.

District 106: Carla Cunningham (D) was unopposed

Winner: Cunningham

District 107: Kelly Alexander (D) v. Richard Rivette (R)

Winner: Alexander

First Ward Elementary, Election Day 2020 polling site

Alexander, the daughter of civil rights legend and former NAACP president Kelly Alexander Sr., keeps her seat by a large margin: 81.4 to 18.6 percent.

County Commissioners

The takeaway: Democrats held onto all nine seats on the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners, which became all Democrat in the blue wave of 2018. Two candidates defeated challengers who were also former county commissioners. Commissioners are responsible for issues that affect our day-to-day lives directly, including decisions on parks and property taxes.

At-large (select three): Ella Scarborough (D), Leigh Altman (D), Pat Cotham (D)

Winners: Scarborough, Altman, Cotham. There were no Republicans in the running for at-large seats.

District 1: Elaine Powell (D) vs. Jim Puckett (R)

Winner: Powell

Powell defeated former commissioner Puckett 56-44. This win for Powell comes two years after she previously beat Puckett, in 2018, in a race that many saw as symbolic of a dramatic shift in the Mecklenburg suburbs.

District 2: Vilma Leake (D) was unopposed

Winner: Leake

Leake, who is currently in her fifth term, was first elected to the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners in 2008. She represents a district that includes a large swath of the southwestern part of the county.

District 3: George Dunlap (D) vs. Friday Paul Okure (R)

Winner: Dunlap

Dunlap defeated Okure 84-16. Dunlap, the commission chairman, is currently in his fourth term on the board.

District 4: Mark Jerrell (D) was unopposed

Winner: Jerrell

Jerrell is currently serving his first term as commissioner for east Charlotte.

District 5: Laura Meier (D) vs. Matt Ridenhour (R)

Winner: Meier

Meier defeated Ridenhour, a former Marine who was first elected to Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners in 2012, 51-49 in the south Charlotte race.

District 6: Joel Levy (R) vs. Susan Rodriguez-McDowell

Winner: Rodriguez-McDowell

Rodriguez-McDowell defeated Levy 51-49. Rodriguez-McDowell is in her first term as commissioner for southeast Charlotte.

Register of Deeds: Fred Smith (D) was unopposed

Winner: Smith

Soil and Water Conservation District (nonpartisan): David Michael Rice, Duncan St. Clair, Gregory Denlea, Rich George

Winner: George


Transportation Bond – $102 million


The takeaway: Voters approved similar bonds in 2014, 2016, and 2018. The funds will go toward new and widened streets, improving streetscapes and sidewalks, and acquiring land for transit.

Housing Bond – $50 million


The takeaway: The housing trust fund is on the ballot every two years. The funds go toward increasing affordable housing.

Neighborhood Improvement Bond – $44.5 million


The Norfolk Southern rail yard in North End
(Photo by Logan Cyrus)

The takeaway: The funds go toward infrastructure improvement projects from gutters to landscaping.

Those were the results. Get a better feel for the day itself with Michael’s account of Election Day 2020 here: Election Day in Charlotte brings worries, weapons, and lots and lots of waiting


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