06/24/08 — Polls open until 7:30 pm in race for Democrats' District 5 slot

View Archive

Polls open until 7:30 pm in race for Democrats' District 5 slot

By Dennis Hill
Published in News on June 24, 2008 1:46 PM

From staff reports

Voters took to the polls today across much of Wayne County to determine a handful of runoff races, with Wayne County voters helping to decide the Democratic nominee for the District 5 seat in the North Carolina Senate.

Snow Hill Mayor Don Davis and state Board of Education member Kathy Taft of Greenville are vying for the right to battle Republican state Rep. Louis Pate in November. At stake is the seat long held by retiring Democrat Sen. John Kerr.

The district includes the eastern half of Wayne, all of Greene County and about half of Pitt County.

The number of voters who participate in a runoff is often small since there are usually only a few names on the ballot, with no "big" races to draw the majority of people's attention.

Election officials in all three counties hesitated to comment on turnout early today. But a relatively large number of early votes were cast in all three counties and early reports were of fairly steady traffic at the polls.

Voters had cast ballots at all of Wayne's 30 polling places by 10 a.m.

In Duplin County, voters in the northernmost district -- District I -- were picking between Frances Parks and Jimmy Dixon. The winner faces no announced opposition in the fall.

The only statewide race on the ballot is between two Democrats who want to challenge state Labor Comm-issioner Cherie Berry, a Republican, in November. Mary Fant Donnan finished first in the four-candidate primary but failed to win the 40 percent of the vote required to avoid a runoff. She faces John Brooks in the runoff.

In another legislative race, state Rep. Ken Furr and Justin Burr are squaring off in the Republican runoff for the 67th District, which includes parts of Montgomery, Stanly and Union counties.