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Statewide Primary Election Results – Executive & Judicial Branches

North Carolina Capitol Building Lit Up At Night

In Part 2 of NC Family’s Primary Election Report, we take a look at statewide races for Governor, Council of State, State Supreme Court and State Court of Appeals. When it comes to statewide races, it is important to understand that North Carolina is a highly competitive political environment. Much of this is driven by voter registration and the willingness of Old North State voters to split their tickets, or to vote for candidates of different parties up and down the ballot. This was clearly demonstrated in 2020, when a majority of N.C. voters cast ballots for a Republican President, Democratic Governor, Republican Lt. Governor, Democratic Attorney General, and so on.

According to the State Board of Elections, of the nearly 7.5 million registered voters in the state, 32.3% are registered Democrat, 30% are registered Republican, and 36.8% (or well over one-third of all voters) are registered Unaffiliated. This means statewide races are extremely competitive, very difficult to predict, and super expensive to compete in.



In the race for Governor, current N.C. Attorney General Josh Stein, captured almost 70% of the vote in a five-person Democratic contest. Former Democratic State Supreme Court Justice Mike Morgan finished a distant second place with 14% support. On the Republican side, current Lt. Governor Mark Robinson bested State Treasurer Dale Folwell and attorney Bill Graham with 65% of the vote in the GOP primary. Stein and Robinson will face off against each other, as well as Libertarian candidate Mike Ross and Green Party candidate Wayne Turner, in the November 5 General Election in what is expected to be a highly competitive race.


In the race for Lt. Governor, current Democratic State Senator Rachel Hunt was the victor, capturing 70% of the vote in a three-way Democratic primary. Eleven GOP candidates tossed their hats in the ring in pursuit of their party’s nomination, but none was able to garner the 30% necessary to avoid a runoff election. Hal Weatherman and Jim O’Neill were the top two vote-getters with approximately 20% and 16% of the vote respectively. Assuming O’Neill requests a runoff, he and Weatherman will compete in a second primary election in May, and the winner will face off against Democrat Rachel Hunt and Libertarian Dee Watson in the fall.


Former State Representative and Senator, and current Republican Congressman Dan Bishop faced no primary opposition in the race for N.C. Attorney General. He will face former State Senator and current Democratic Congressman Jeff Jackson in November. Jackson won 55% of the vote in a three-way Democratic primary.


Republicans fielded six candidates in the GOP primary for State Auditor, but none surpassed the threshold to win outright. CPA Jack Clark was the top-vote-getter with just over 23% of the vote, while attorney Dave Boliek trailed slightly with 22%. Assuming Boliek requests a runoff, he and Clark will face each other in a May 5 second primary. The winner of that contest will meet Democrat Jessica Holmes and Libertarian Bob Drach in the General Election for this open seat.


Incumbent Republican Commissioner of Agriculture Steve Troxler handily won a primary against Colby (Bear) Hammonds and faces Democrat Sarah Taber and Libertarian Sean Haugh on the November General Election ballot.


Incumbent Republican Commissioner of Insurance Mike Causey was victorious in a three-way GOP primary, and he faces current State Senator Natasha Marcus in the fall. Marcus won a primary against fellow Democrat David Wheeler.


Republican Luke Farley won a four-way GOP primary in an open seat contest for Commissioner of Labor with 37% of the vote. He will face Democrat Braxton Winston II in the General Election.


Incumbent Democratic Secretary of State Elaine Marshall had no primary opposition and will face Republican Chad Brown on the November ballot. Brown won a three-way GOP primary capturing 43% of the vote.


In the only Council of State race where an incumbent was defeated, GOP challenger Michele Morrow bested incumbent Republican Superintendent of Public Instruction Catherine Truitt with 52% of the vote. On the Democratic side, Maurice (Mo) Green won a three-way primary with 66% of the vote. Morrow and Green will meet on the November ballot.


Both major parties had primary elections in the race for State Treasurer. Republican Brad Briner was victorious in a three-way GOP primary, and he will face current State House member Wesley Harris, who won the Democratic primary.

JUDICIAL BRANCH (Appellate Courts)

This year, one seat on the State Supreme Court and three seats on the State Court of Appeals are up for election.


Democrat Allison Riggs was appointed to the N.C. Supreme Court last September and is running to retain her seat on the state’s highest court. She bested challenger Lora Christine Cubbage in the Democratic primary and faces current State Court of Appeals Judge Jefferson Griffin in the November General Election.


There were no primary elections in this open seat created by the departure of Judge Jefferson Griffin, who is running for State Supreme Court. Republican Tom Murry faces Democrat Carolyn Jennings Thompson for this seat in November.


There were no primary elections in this race, so incumbent Republican Court of Appeals Judge Valerie Zachary will face Democratic challenger Ed Eldred on the General Election ballot.


In this race, incumbent GOP Court of Appeals Judge Hunter Murphy was handily defeated by Republican challenger Chris Freeman in the primary. Freeman faces Democrat Martin E. Moore in the General Election.

As mentioned in our previous report, second primary runoff elections will take place on May 14, and the 2024 General Election will take place on Tuesday, November 5.


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