Nov 9, 2022 - News

Budd wins Senate race, plus 40 other results from Triangle-area midterm races

Photo illustration of the North Carolina State Capitol over a divided red and blue background with elements of ballots.

Yes, we know this is the North Carolina State Capitol, and that the legislature doesn't legislative out of this building any more. Photo illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios. Photo: Rolf Schulten/Getty Images

Republicans prevailed across North Carolina in the U.S. Senate race and key state legislative races but ultimately failed to achieve the party's goal of stripping Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper of his veto power.

U.S. Senate

Republican Rep. Ted Budd beat Democrat Cheri Beasley by racking up votes in rural North Carolina, winning nearly 80 of the state's 100 counties.

Why it matters: Budd’s win in a statewide race is a sign that Democrats couldn't counter this year's expected "red wave," driven in part by rising inflation and President Joe Biden's low approval ratings.

The intrigue: Budd’s success may have also been driven by his attempt to paint Beasley as soft on crime in the final months of the race.

  • Republicans pointed to Beasley’s rulings during her time as chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court.

NC's 13th Congressional District

Democrat Wiley Nickel pulled off one of the most notable victories of the night, defeating Trump-backed Bo Hines. Full story.

Other congressional races in the Triangle area

4th: Democrat Valerie Foushee cruised in the most liberal district in the state.

2nd: Democrat Deborah Ross will serve a second term after a convincing victory in the Wake County district.

1st: Democratic State Sen. Don Davis held off a challenge from Sandy Smith in this battle to replace longtime congressman G.K. Butterfield in this historically significant eastern North Carolina district.

State Supreme Court

Conservative candidates won both state Supreme Court races that were on the ballot, flipping the makeup of the court from a 4-3 Democratic majority to a 5-2 Republican majority.

  • Republican Trey Allen defeated incumbent associate justice Sam Ervin IV, and Republican Richard Dietz beat Democrat Lucy Inman in the race for an open seat.

Why it matters: Republicans now have the power to further the Republican-led General Assembly's agenda and decide the fate of gerrymandering challenges, funding in K-12 education, guns, abortion and other cases that come before it in the coming years.

State legislature

Democrats held their ground in Wake County's most competitive seats that Republicans were hoping to flip, blocking the GOP from winning a supermajority in the state House but failing to do so in the Senate.

County sheriff races

Democratic sheriff candidates in Durham and Wake counties prevailed over their challengers.

Democrat Willie Rowe won the Wake County Sheriff's election, with 53.5% of the vote, over Republican Donne Harrison, who previously served as the county sheriff for 16 years.

  • Rowe, born and raised in Wake County, has 28 years of experience in the sheriff's department here.

Why it matters: Rowe will replace embattled Sheriff Gerald Baker, who has been faced with mounting scrutiny in recent years.

In Durham, incumbent Sheriff Clarence Birkhead won re-election in Durham County with 71.5% of the vote, defeating independent candidate Maria Jocys.

Mayor and Raleigh City Council

Mary-Ann Baldwin secured another term as Raleigh's mayor — but she faces the prospect of a divided City Council for the first time.

What happened: Baldwin got roughly 47% of the vote, while challenger Terrance Ruth received nearly 41% and DaQuanta Copeland nabbed around 10%.

City council results:

  • At-large candidates: Jonathan Melton (incumbent) and Stormie Forte (current city councilor representing District D) won with 19.1% and 23.1% of the vote respectively.
  • District A (north Raleigh): Mary Black (39.1% of the vote) defeated Cat Lawson (31.5%) and Whitney Hill (28.9%).
  • District B (northeast): With 41.6% of the vote, Megan Patton beat Frank Pierce, Jakob Lorberblatt and Minu Lee, plus 266 votes for a write-in candidate.
  • District C (southeast): Incumbent Corey Branch received 44.7% of the vote and defeated Frank Fields and Wanda Hunter.
  • District D (southwest): Jane Harrison got 56.2% of the vote and beat Jennifer Truman, Rob Baumgart and Todd Kennedy.
  • District E (central/west): Christina Jones prevailed with 50.9% of the vote over incumbent David Knight.

Wake County School Board

Board chair Lindsay Mahaffey and vice chair Chris Heagarty prevailed against their fiery challengers in the nonpartisan Wake County School Board races.

Driving the news: These nonpartisan races have been a battleground for political fights over gender and sexuality, COVID's impact on learners, and teaching students history through the lens of race.

Why it matters: Those elected will be tasked with ensuring students in North Carolina's largest school district receive a sound, basic education; allocate state and federal funding; set policy; and remove or elect a superintendent.

Other results:

  • District 1 (northeastern Wake, includes Zebulon, Wendell and Wake Forest): Cheryl Caulfield defeated Ben Clapsaddle.
  • District 2 (south Wake, includes Fuquay Varina and Garner): Incumbent Monika Johnson-Hostler beat Dorian Hamilton and Monica Ruiz.
  • District 3 (northern Wake): Wing Ng defeated Brooks Lowe and Doug Hammack.
  • District 4 (east Raleigh, includes Knightdale): Incumbent Tara Waters prevailed over Becky Lew-Hobb, Daniel Grant-King and Michael Williams.
  • District 5 (south Raleigh): Lynn Edmonds beat Jackie Boegel and Ross Beamon.
  • District 6 (includes downtown Raleigh): Sam Hershey won out over Chad Stall, Dajma Livingston, Mary-Lewis Freeman and Patrice Nealon.
  • District 7 (northwest Raleigh): Chris Heagarty, the incumbent and vice-chair of the school board, defeated Jacob Arthur and Katie Long.
  • District 8 (southwest Wake County, includes Apex and Holly Springs): Lindsay Mahaffey, the incumbent and chair of the board, beat Steve Bergstrom, an airline captain.
  • District 9 (includes Cary): Tyler Swanson prevailed over Michele Morrow and Tara Ann Cartwright.

Wake County Board of Commissioners

  • District 1: Democrat Donald Mial beat Republican Chanel N. Harris (Republican).
  • District 2: Democrat Matt Calabria won over Republican Mark McMains.
  • District 3: Democrat Cheryl Stallings defeated Republican Irina Comer.

Jenna Wadsworth, who ran for North Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture in 2020, won the race for Wake County Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor.

Big money bond asks

Both Durham and Wake counties asked residents this election to approve large bonds to fund services like schools and amenities like parks.

In Wake, voters approved:

  • A bond for Wake County Public Schools valued at $537 million.
  • A bond for expanding Wake Technical Community College valued at $353 million.
  • In Raleigh, voters signed off on a $275 million bond for improvements and expansions of Raleigh Parks and Greenways.

In Durham, voters approved:

  • A $424 million bond to build two new Durham Public Schools and renovate existing ones.
  • A bond to expand Durham Technical Community College for $113 million.
  • And a bond to fund repairs and expansion at the Durham Museum of Life & Science for $14 million.

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