Nov. 9, 2016. 9:44 a.m.
By Connie Leinbach and Peter Vankevich
While the United States presidency and many other contests nationwide went Republican in last night’s historic general election, Ocracoke voted for Democrats.
In the presidential race, Hillary Clinton received 318 votes to 158 for Donald J Trump, although Hyde County went for Trump with 1,275 votes to 956 for Clinton.
In the highly watched governor’s race, Democrat challenger Roy Cooper was narrowly leading Pat McCrory in the morning. With 100 percent of precincts reporting as of this morning, according to the N.C. State Board of Elections website, Cooper captured 2,281,851 votes to 2,276,850 for McCrory. Cooper declared victory and McCrory had not conceded as of this morning.
Islanders cast 373 votes for Cooper and 123 for McCrory, although county-wide, McCrory garnered 1,246 votes to Cooper’s 999.
In the much-watched U.S. Senate seat, incumbent Richard Burr of Winston-Salem, won a third term over Democratic challenger Deborah Ross. On Ocracoke, Ross tallied 320 votes to 159 for Burr.
While Democratic challenger for the District 3 seat to the U.S. House of Representatives, Ernest T. Reeves narrowly beat incumbent Walter Jones 255 to 240 on Ocracoke, Jones easily won re-election with 67 percent of the vote.
County-wide, there were few bright spots for the Democrats in the contested elections as voters followed a pattern of rural areas voting for Donald Trump and other Republicans on the ballot. In Hyde County, Libertarian Gary Johnson got 42 votes and there were nine write-ins.
Earl Pugh Jr,-R, beat his Democratic challenger Thomas Midgette in the Lake Landing Township, 1,208 to 831. Two county commissioners, Tom Pahl (Ocracoke) and Benjamin Simmons III (Fairfield) were unopposed, garnering 1,540 and 1,618 votes respectively. While the commissioners represent certain townships, the races are county-wide.
As of this morning, incumbent Bill Cook-R surpassed challenger Brownie Futrell-D with 59 percent of the vote for N.C. state Senate District 1.
Beverly Boswell will represent Ocracoke having won N.C. House District 6, which comprises Dare, Hyde, Washington and Beaufort counties. Her opponent on the ballot, Warren Judge-D, passed away on Saturday. It was announced on Sunday that his wife, Tess, would replace him should he have won. With all 44 precincts reporting, the final result 21,805 to 20,246.
Democrat Charles Meeker was unable to defeat incumbent Republican Cherie Berry for Commissioner of Labor getting only 45 percent of the statewide votes. The vote tally on Ocracoke, where Meeker’s step mother and late father have a home, was 372 to 117 for Berry.
In another close contest, Michael R. Morgan of Raleigh defeated incumbent Robert H. Edmunds of Greensboro for the state supreme court associate justice seat. As of this morning, Morgan captured 54.45 percent of the votes and Edmunds got 45.55 percent of the votes cast.