With 100 percent of precincts reporting in Wayne County, Republican incumbents have largely come out ahead among Wayne County voters.
Incumbent Republican Sen. Louis Pate led in the NC Senate District 7 race against Democratic challenger David Brantley by some 3,000 votes, with 54.76 percent of the vote compared to Brantley's 45.24 percent.
In the race for U.S. House of Representatives District 7, Republican incumbent David Rouzer led Democratic challenger Dr. Kyle Horton by nearly 2,000 votes. Rouzer held 55.46 percent of the vote, compared to Horton's 42.88 percent. Libertarian candidate David Fallin took the remaining 1.65 percent of the vote.
Incumbent Republican John Bell overcame Democratic newcomer Tracey Blackmon in the House District 10 race with 72.34 percent of the vote to Blackmon's 27.66 percent.
Raymond Smith was the only local Democrat to come out ahead among the partisan races, leading Republican Robert Freeman by nearly 2,000 votes in the race for the vacant House District 21 seat. Smith garnered 56.30 percent of the vote, to Freeman's 43.70 percent.
The tightest race on the ballot came between Wayne County Board of Education District 6 incumbent Rick Pridgen and challenger Wade Leatham. With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Pridgen was ahead by a hair — of the 5,745 ballots cast, only 12 separated the two men. With around 1,500 provisional and absentee ballots left to count by the canvass on Nov. 16, the race could still swing either way.
Write-ins were a feature in the other three school board races, although none were close to catching the incumbents. Chris West, Jennifer Strickland and newcomer Joe Democko all had comfortable leads over their respective write-in opponents –– West had around 73 percent of the vote, Strickland near 95 percent and Democko near 91 percent.
Wayne County voters seem to be against a proposed quarter-cent sales tax increase, with around 57 percent voting in opposition.