November 3, 2010

Basnight, Shea, and Doughtie are winners in Dare; Spear loses Dare but apparently wins district


Dare County’s 26,758 registered voters came out in good numbers yesterday for a mid-term election that has excited voters across the nation who clamored for change – mostly in Washington, D.C., but also in some state and local races.

Though some commentators had predicted a lackluster turnout, that didn’t happen in North Carolina or in Dare County.

In Dare, 45.25 percent of registered voters showed up at the polls, which reportedly were busy all day across the county. According to the North Carolina Board of Elections, the statewide turnout was 42 percent with 93 out of 100 precincts reporting.

U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, a Republican, won re-election handily against his Democratic challenger Elaine Marshall. According to the state Board of Elections at about 11 p.m. last night with 93 of 100 counties reporting, Burr had 55.23 percent of the vote to Marshall’s 42.62 percent .

In Dare County last night with all 17 precincts and one-stop voters counted, Burr won by a wider margin – 61.41 percent to Marshall’s 35.95.

U.S. Rep. Walter Jones won the N.C. House of Representatives District 2 race by a landslide – both statewide and in Dare. Statewide, Jones had 72 percent of the vote, while his Democratic challenger, Johnny G. Rouse, had 25.62 percent.

In Dare County, Jones won by slightly less -- 67.82 percent to Rouse’s 29.20.

Manteo Democrat Marc Basnight, who has been called the state’s most powerful politician, has apparently won another term in the North Carolina State Senate.

Despite the best efforts of Republican Hood Richardson and the State Republican Party, Basnight was winning statewide, according to the North Carolina Board of Elections, in State Senate District 1 with 55 percent of the vote to Richardson’s 45 percent.  Basnight won in Dare County by about the same margin – 55.54 percent to Richardson’s 44.46.

Basnight won his first election to the Senate in 1984. He has been voted Senate president pro tempore by his peers every session since 1993 and is the longest-serving senate leader in state history.

However, his 18-year run of leadership will come to an end as Republicans took their first majority in the chamber in more than a century. With 93 of 100 counties reporting late Tuesday, the GOP was unchallenged or led in as many as 30 of 50 Senate races.

In Dare County, in somewhat of a surprise, incumbent Democrat Tim Spear lost the North Carolina House of Representatives District 2 race to Republican Bob Steinburg. Steinburg had 53.48 percent of the vote in Dare, while Spear had 46.52 percent.

However, it appears that Spear will win the district, which includes Dare, Chowan, Washington, and Hyde counties, according to the state Board of Elections results last night.  Districtwide, Spear was ahead by 55.05 percent to Steinburg’s 44.95.

Dare County’s only contested race for county commissioner was hotly contested with incumbent Republican Jack Shea being challenged by Democrat Robin Mann for the commissioner-at-large position.

Shea won the race by 890 votes, taking 52.73 percent of the vote to Mann’s 47.27.

Democratic commissioners Virginia Simmons Tillett and Max Dutton were unopposed in District 1 and 2.

In another surprise, incumbent Dare County Sheriff Rodney Midgett, a Democrat who was in his second term in the office, lost to his Republican challenger, Republican J.D. “Doug” Doughtie by 1, 376 votes.  Doughtie took 55.78 percent of the vote to Midgett’s 44.22 percent.


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