06/23/08 — Democrats head to polls Tuesday

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Democrats head to polls Tuesday

By Matthew Whittle
Published in News on June 23, 2008 1:47 PM

Early voting in the state Senate District 5 Democratic runoff primary is over, but polls will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. all across Wayne County Tuesday as Snow Hill Mayor Don Davis and state Board of Education member Kathy Taft of Greenville square off for the final time.

The pair, which first faced off during the May 6 primary amid a field of six candidates, is vying for the Democratic nomination to run against Republican Louis Pate for the seat held by retiring Sen. John Kerr, D-Wayne.

In the first primary, Davis led the district -- Wayne, Greene and Pitt counties -- with 35.81 percent of the vote. Ms. Taft was second with 24.13 percent.

Had Davis reached 40 percent, there would have been no runoff.

In Wayne County, though, he captured 39.78 percent, while Ms. Taft came in fourth with 11.77 percent. Davis also came in first in Greene County, where he won 62.21 percent, compared to Ms. Taft, who again came in fourth with 8.9 percent.

In Pitt County, however, it was Ms. Taft coming out on top with 42.06 percent, and Davis in second with 22.57 percent.

Since then, both candidates have been working to capture those votes that went to the other four challengers, holding rallies and meeting voters throughout Wayne County.

And so far, those efforts seem to be paying off as 898 voters cast early ballots in Wayne County. Early turnout also was high in Pitt and Greene counties, where 685 and 688 voters, respectively, made their selections.

But Davis and Ms. Taft aren't the only candidates who will be on the ballot. Voters also will have the opportunity to select between Mary Fant Donnan and John C. Brooke in the Democratic runoff for state Commissioner of Labor.

Because both races are Democratic primaries, only registered Democrats and unaffiliated voters who cast ballots in the first Democratic primary, or who did not vote, will be eligible.

For precinct information or other questions, call the Wayne County Board of Elections office at 731-1411.

Results will be available at the state Board of Elections Web site, www.sboe.state.nc.us, and at the county's, www.waynegov.com/departments/boe/home-boe.asp.