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Political notebook: In loss, Levy vastly outraises opponents in commissioners race

By Josh Bergeron

josh.bergeron@salisburypost.com

Fundraising matters in political contests, but it doesn’t always mean victory.

Despite outraising her opponents by a significant margin for a local contest, county commissioner candidate Veleria Levy, a Democrat, fell short of winning a four-year term by more than 10,000 votes. Stimulated by out-of-county and out-of-state donations, Levy’s campaign raised $10,140.16, according to campaign finance reports. The next-highest fundraiser was Libertarian Mark Lyerly, who raised $3,188 over the entire election.

Commissioner Craig Pierce ran his campaign with his own money. Commissioner Mike Caskey’s campaign had a total of $1,840 in receipts.

In election results, Caskey and Pierce received 38,277 and 31,033 votes, respectively. Levy received 20,079 votes. Lyerly received 11,564 votes.

In contributions of $50 or less, Levy raised more than any of her opponents, according to finance reports.  Contributions to her campaign of $50 or less totaled $2,690.16. She raised $7,450 in contributions of more than $50.

The largest single contribution to Levy’s campaign came from City Councilman David Post, who gave her campaign $500 on Aug. 25, according to finance reports. Levy’s finance reports show local attorney Ed Norvell as contributing the highest total amount to Levy’s campaign — $750.

The latest campaign finance report for Levy shows a majority of her campaign contributions came from outside of Rowan County. She raised significant sums of money in Virginia, where she’s originally from.

Levy’s campaign had $1,488.51 left on Oct. 22 — the final date of the most recent reporting period.

Miller receives most votes of any candidate in Rowan

Judging by the number of votes received, Bruce Miller is the most popular candidate in Rowan County.

In the 2016 election, Miller, a retired agriculture teacher, won another term as a supervisor for the Rowan County Soil and Water conservation District. He’s served a number of years as a supervisor. This year, he was the only candidate on the ballot. He received a total of 49,347 votes, which is more than any other candidate in any race.

Even in other races with only one candidate, the number of votes couldn’t top Miller’s total. For example, State Sen. Andrew Brock, R-34, didn’t have an opponent and received 35,572 votes in Rowan.

Polls close to final results in North Carolina

Regardless of the nationwide shock about Donald Trump being elected president, his victory in North Carolina occurred almost exactly as polls predicted.

En route to his victory, Trump won North Carolina with 49.9 percent of the vote, according to preliminary results from the NC Board of Elections. Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton received 46.13 percent of the vote in North Carolina. The difference between the two equals 3.77 percentage points.

The Real Clear Politics polling average pegged Trump at a 1 percent advantage. Generally, polling averages are considered more reliable than individual polls.

Polls released in the final week of the election varied from Trump with a 7 percent lead to Clinton with a 2 percent lead.

So, the polling average wasn’t spot on, but it got the winner correct.

Like the presidential race, the polling average in North Carolina’s U.S. Senate race was lower than the final results but the winner was correct. The Real Clear Politics polling average just before the race gave Sen. Richard Burr, a Republican, a 2 percent advantage. He ended up winning by 5.78 percentage points.

In the governor’s race, polling averages favored Democrat Roy Cooper. With many provisional ballots still to be counted, Cooper leads Republican Gov. Pat McCrory by several thousand votes.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.

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