05/23/12 — Bell defeats LaRoque

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Bell defeats LaRoque

By Steve Herring
Published in News on May 23, 2012 1:46 PM

John Bell IV

After almost two days of recounting ballots, Rep. Stephen LaRoque of Kinston did not pick up the votes necessary to erase his loss to political newcomer John Bell IV of Goldsboro for the Republican nomination for House District 10, although the margin remained extremely slim.

Bell will face Democrat Jim Hardison of Kinston in November.

The recount started Monday at 9:30 a.m. in Wayne, Lenoir, Greene and Craven counties, which make up District 10, and lasted into Tuesday in Craven and Lenoir counties. Wayne finished up about 6:30 p.m. Monday, Board of Elections Director Vickie Reed said.

In the recount, LaRoque lost a vote in Wayne County, while Bell picked up two in the Lenoir County recount.

Districtwide, the recounted totals were 3,910 votes for Bell and 3,871 for LaRoque.

Bell had picked up six ballots in the Wayne County canvass last week to finish with 1,691 votes in the county, while LaRoque added three to finish with 926.

The Wayne County totals after the recount were 1,691 for Bell and 925 for LaRoque.

LaRoque said on election night he would not seek the recount, but filed for one just hours before the deadline last week. He did not ask for a second primary.

Unofficial election night results had Bell winning by 54 votes . The margin shrunk to 37 after the vote canvass last week -- 3,908 votes (50.23 percent) for Bell to 3,872 (49.77 percent) for LaRoque.

LaRoque had said he said he did not think the recount would change the outcome, but that his supporters asked him to request one.