Five state executive races on tomorrow's primary runoff ballot in North Carolina

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July 16, 2012

By Ballotpedia's state executive team

RALEIGH, North Carolina: Voters in North Carolina will head back to the polls tomorrow to decide, among other things, five state executive primary runoff elections - the Republican primaries for lieutenant governor, secretary of state, superintendent of public instruction and insurance commissioner, and the Democratic primary for labor commissioner.

A new North Carolina election law requires candidates to receive at least 40% of the popular vote in order to secure the party nomination. If the first place candidate does not receive the requisite 40%, the second place candidate typically requests a runoff election.[1] The only eligible candidate to not request a runoff was a Republican candidate for the state auditor, Greg Dority. Dority stated on his Facebook campaign website that his decision was because of an "overwhelming need to bring [the Republican] party together and construct [their] best scenario for victory in November." He also noted that his chances of victory over leading candidate Debra Goldman in the runoff were not strong.[2][3]

In the five races on tomorrow's ballot, no single candidate secured the requisite 40% in the first primary. The closest primary race on May 8th was the Republican nomination for insurance commissioner - Richard Morgan finished with 37% of the vote and Mike Causey captured 35.1% of the vote. The two will go head-to-head tomorrow for the right to take on incumbent Wayne Goodwin in the general election.

In the race for lieutenant governor, Republicans Tony Gurley and Dan Forest are both running clean campaigns - neither candidate has run an attack ad and both views the race as a contest for an office, not against another person.[4] Gurley, a Wake County Commissioner since 2002, finished second to Forest in the May 8th primary by more than 62,000 votes. Since that election, though, he received a huge boost when a new political committee, A True Direction, was formed to support his campaign. Gurley has invested $354,000 of his own money into his campaign - at least $100,000 of which came in the last two weeks. Forest, who lacks political experience, has raised $6,000 this month.[5] The winner of tomorrow's runoff will face Democrat Linda Coleman in November.

In the Republican race for secretary of state between Ed Goodwin and Kenn Gardner, former candidate Mike Beitler endorsed Gardner a month after Beitler was eliminated in the May 8th primary. Beitler explained "Kenn is the clear choice, with a record of creating jobs in Wake County and reducing government spending he is a strong business advocate for our state."[6] Since May 8th, Goodwin has spent more than three times as much money as Gardner and is hoping to win his party's nod to take on incumbent Elaine Marshall in the general election.

Match-ups in the other state executive races:

Superintendent of Public Instruction (Republican)

Labor Commissioner (Democratic)

See also


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