By Peter Vankevich

Lake Landing resident Thomas Midgette won a close election Tuesday night to represent the Democrats in that mainland Hyde County township race for county commissioner.

He will face off in November against incumbent Republican Earl Pugh Jr. Pugh, chairman of the county commissioners, had announced in the December monthly commissioners meeting that he would not seek reelection, but later changed his mind and filed to run. This will be a rematch from the 2016 election which Pugh won with 1,219 votes to Midgette’s 841.

Hyde County Commissioner candidates in the 2016 forum at the Community Center, from left Thomas Midgette, Earl Pugh Jr. and Tom Pahl. Photo: P. Vankevich

Countywide, Midgette defeated Marsha Gibbs 357 to 326. Barbara Gibbs finished third with 83 votes. Midgette carried the Lake Landing precinct with 82 votes, Marsha Gibbs, 44, and Barbara Gibbs with 3. Ocracoke gave Marsha Gibbs 79 votes, Midgette, 58 and Barbara Gibbs, 42. The entire county votes in all county commissioner races.

The other county commissioner seats on the November ballot will be Randal Mathews for Ocracoke and incumbent Benjamin Simmons III for Fairfield Landing. Both were unopposed and thus not on the primary ballot.

Bobby Hanig at the recent Outer Banks Community Foundation annual meeting/luncheon. Photo: P. Vankevich

On the Republican ballot for House District 6, incumbent Bobby Hanig beat back a challenge by Ralph Rollason, 6,122 to 2,527. Hyde county handed Hanig 194 votes and Rollason 97.
Hanig will run against Tommy Fulcher (D) who was unopposed.

For the state District 1 Senate race, incumbent Bob Steinburg (R) and Tess Judge (D) will square off. Neither candidate had a primary challenger.

In yesterday’s primary, Hyde County voter turnout was 1,190 out of 3,048, or 39%. Of the five county precincts, Ocracoke had the highest primary turnout with 269 of its 776 registered voters for 35%.

For U.S. President, Joe Biden carried the state for the Democrats with 43%. Bernie Sanders finished second with 24% and Michael Bloomberg third with 13%. Biden easily won Hyde County with 47%. Distant second was Bernie Sanders with 16%. On Ocracoke, Biden captured 108 votes, Elizabeth Warren 49, Bernie Sanders, 35 and Michael Bloomberg, 24.

Donald Trump easily won the Republican primary.

In other races, incumbent Thom Tillis (R) easily won the primary against three challengers for his U.S. Senate seat. He will face off against Cal Cunningham (D), who garnered 57% of the vote against four challengers. This is expected to be a close and very expensive race.

Incumbent Gov. Roy Cooper will run against Lt. Gov Dan Forest (R) for governor, both having easily won their party’s primaries.

For lieutenant governor, Democrat Yvonne Lewis Holley got the most votes, 306,795 but less than the 30% needed to avoid a runoff if the second place finisher, Terry Van Duyn, wants to press on. Van Duyn finished second with 236,004 votes, or 20% of the total. The winner would run against Republican Mark Robinson.

North Carolina will have a new Superintendent of Public Instruction. Jen Mangrum won the Democrat primary and Catherine Truitt, the Republican. Incumbent superintendent Mark J. Johnson did not run for reelection, opting to run for lieutenant governor. He lost this primary to Robinson, coming in third in a crowded, nine-candidate race.

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