Political notebook: Rep. Pittman wins district moved out of Rowan

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 9, 2020

By Liz Moomey

After redistricting altered N.C. House District 83, the district will no longer be in Rowan County, but the at-times controversial Rep. Larry Pittman will continue serving the district after winning his election last week.

State Rep. Larry Pittman is currently serving the district that has 19 precincts in Cabarrus County and seven precincts in Rowan County, which includes Landis, China Grove and East Kannapolis. Pittman faced a challenger, former Cabarrus County Commissioner Jay White, and won.

“Thanks to everyone who helped me in any way, and all who voted for me,” Pittman said in a Facebook post. “Tammy and I are grateful for your support, and my commitment is still the same as always, to defend the rights of our citizens, uphold our state and U.S. constitutions, and put what is best for our people over any special interests.”

White thanked those who supported him in his campaign.

“While we are disappointed in the results, we are proud of the campaign we ran,” White said. “Please continue to exercise your right to vote for the issues that matter most.”

In both 2020 and 2018 primary election, Pittman received 60.7% of the vote in Cabarrus County. In 2018, Pittman faced Michael Anderson as a primary challenger.

Pittman won in 14 precincts Tuesday.

Of the 20 precincts in the new District 83, 11 are new. Pittman kept support in six of the districts. He lost two precincts to White, which were 12-06 (American Legion Post 51) and 12-10 (St. James Catholic Church). White in 2020 and Anderson in 2018 both won at 1-05, or Cabarrus Senior Center.

In the 2018 primary, Rowan County voters of District 83 favored Pittman by 77.4%, or 560 votes. More than 2,000 voters cast a ballot for Pittman in Rowan County.

Pittman and White faced each other once before in 2012, when they ran as Republican candidates for House District 82. Then, Pittman won with 51.5% of the vote.

“Looks like I won, 61% to 39%,” Pittman stated in a Facebook post Tuesday night. “That’s a lot better than the 2% I beat him by in 2012.”

Pittman won again in 2014 to Republican challenger Leigh Thomas Brown, with 62.2%. In 2016, he faced Michael Fischer and won with 52.8% of the vote.

Pittman will face Democrat Gail Young in November. Pittman and Young went head to head in in 2018 and Pittman won the district with 52.8%, though Young won Cabarrus County with 51.5%.

Day following primary win, Democrat U.S. Senate candidate stops in Salisbury

After clinching 57% of the vote statewide and 64% of the vote in Rowan County in the U.S. Senate Democratic primary, Cal Cunningham stopped in Salisbury Wednesday afternoon.

He began what he’s calling the “Carolina Conversation tour” in his hometown of Lexington, traveling to Mean Mug Coffee Shop, in downtown Salisbury, for a Rowan County conversation. Then he went to Concord for a Cabarrus County conversation.

Cunningham answered questions on economic development, affordable healthcare, support for educators, voting rights and his strategy for November.

“The discussions I’ve had all over the state are further reminders of how lucky I am to be the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate,” Cunningham stated. “I would be honored to take your stories to Washington.”

Cunningham faces incumbent U.S. Sen Thom Tillis, a Republican, in the general election. Tillis won in 2014 with 48.8% of the vote.

Cunningham served as a state senator for District 23, which represented parts of Davidson, Rowan and Iredell Counties, in 2000.

Cunningham ran for U.S. Senate in 2010, but lost in the primary.

The Cook Political Report called the North Carolina race a toss-up Friday. FiveThirtyEight said the race a toss-up last November.

Public Opinion Strategies, a polling firm used by Thom Tillis for Senate, shows Tillis polling better than Cunningham in the state — 48% to 44% of likely voters, with a margin of error at 3.46%. That’s compared to an East Carolina University poll released March 1 that had Tillis leading, with 44% of registered voters compared to Cunningham’s 42%. The margin of error was 3.2%.

According to Tillis’ campaign, it has $5.3 million cash on hand, compared to Cunningham’s $1.5 million cash on hand.

“Our lack of a serious primary challenge allowed us to amass a substantial cash on hand figure, while we built out a robust ground game, and solidified Senator Tillis’ position as commonsense-conservative who will continue working with President Trump to deliver wins for North Carolinians,” stated Tillis’ campaign.