Perdue to be first woman governor for N.C.
By Kathy Chaffin
Though North Carolina voters elected Lt. Gov. Bev Perdue the state’s first woman governor Tuesday, Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory led Rowan County ballots by almost 15,000 votes.
McCrory, a Republican, received 37,145 votes in Rowan, 60.92 percent of the 61,659 votes cast, followed by Perdue, a Democrat, with 22,357 or 36.67 percent of the votes. Libertarian Michael C. Munger received 1,467 votes, 2.41 percent.
Republican lieutenant governor candidate Robert Pittenger also led Rowan County, but lost the state election to Democrat Walter H. Dalton. Pittenger received 34,283 votes, 57.55 percent of the total, while Dalton received 23,325 votes, 39.16 percent.
Libertarian Phillip Rhodes received 1,962 votes, 3.29 percent.
In other state offices, five incumbents were re-elected, but two lost to their challengers in Rowan County.
In the attorney general’s race, Democrat Roy Cooper, who was re-elected, led Rowan County in a close race with Republican challenger Bob Crumley. Cooper received 30,179 votes, 50.92 percent, followed by Crumley with 29,093 or 49.08 percent of the votes.
Republican incumbent Leslie Merritt lost the state auditor’s race to Democratic challenger Beth A. Wood, but led the ballot in Rowan County. Merritt received 32,266 votes, 55.77 percent, followed by Wood with 25,589 or 44.23 percent of the votes.
In the state agriculture commissioner’s race, Republican Steve Troxler was re-elected and also led the ballot in Rowan. Troxler received 37,147 votes, 63.39 percent, trailed by Democrat challenger Ronnie Ansley with 21,458 or 36.61 percent of the votes.
Democrat Wayne Goodwin was elected North Carolina’s insurance commissioner, but lost to Republican challenger John Odom in Rowan County. Odom led the ballot with 31,890 votes, 54.64 percent, followed by Goodwin with 23,753 or 40.70 percent of the votes.
Libertarian Mark McMains received 2,676 votes, 4.59 percent of the total.
Cherie Berry was re-elected state labor commissioner, also leading in Rowan County with 36,026 votes, 61.57 percent. Democratic challenger Mary Fant Donnan received 22,489 or 38.43 percent of the votes.
Elaine F. Marshall was re-elected North Carolina secretary of state, but lost in Rowan to Republican challenger Jack Sawyer. He received 30,816 votes, 53.01 percent, followed by Marshall with 27,319 or 46.99 percent of the votes.
June St. Clair Atkinson was re-elected state superintendent of public instruction, but lost to Republican challenger Richard Morgan in Rowan County. Morgan received 33,275 votes, 57.56 percent, followed by Atkinson with 24,532 or 42.44 percent of the votes.
In the state treasurer’s race, Democrat Janet Cowell was elected, but trailed Republican Bill Daughtridge in Rowan County. Daughtridge received 32,082 votes, 55.38 percent, followed by Cowell with 25,853 or 44.62 percent of the votes.
A total of 61,659 people voted in Rowan County, 68.29 percent of the 90,288 registered voters. This does not include provisional ballots, which will be opened and totaled at the Rowan County Board of Elections canvass on Nov. 14.
Though this is not a county record when it comes to the percentage of registered voters, Rowan County elections director Nancy Evans said it is a record when it comes to the total number of votes cast. In the 1980 election, when Ronald Reagan defeated Jimmy Carter, she said 74 percent of the county’s registered voters cast ballots.
Precincts began reporting in shortly after the polls closed at 7:30 p.m., with the Salisbury North Ward reporting first at 8:10 p.m. and Blackwelder Park last at 10:15.
With close to 38.7 percent of the county’s registered voters casting early votes through one-stop and mail-in absentee balloting, precinct chief judges said Tuesday’s voters didn’t face long waits like in previous elections.
Linda White, chief judge of the East Kannapolis precinct, said there were 126 people in line to vote at 6:30 p.m., but “we got them through fast.” All 126 had voted within 45 minutes, she said.
White said voters seemed excited about the election and willing to stand in line.