By Peter Vankevich
Ocracoke will have new representation in next year’s North Carolina General Assembly as incumbent Senator Bob Steinburg lost his reelection bid in the May 17 primary and House Rep Bobby Hanig is now in another district.
Norman Sanderson (R-Pamlico) beat Steinburg (R-Currituck) in Senate District 1. Sanderson, a state senator representing District 2, had his residence placed into District 1 in the redrawn district maps. He received 12,665 votes to Steinburg’s 10,150. Senate District 1 now includes large portions of coastal North Carolina, including Dare, Hyde, Pamlico and Carteret counties.
In the N.C House of Representatives, Ocracoke, along with the rest of Hyde County, is now in House District 79. Keith Kidwell (R-Chocowinity), the incumbent, easily beat back challenger Ed Hege (New Bern), 8,688 to 1,746. House District 79 comprises Beaufort, Hyde, Pamlico and the southern part of Dare counties.
Bobby Hanig (R-Powells Point) will continue to represent Ocracoke as the District 6 House member in the General Assembly until the end of the year. He is now a candidate for Senate District 3 and is running unopposed.
No Democrats will be on the ballot for the Senate District 1 or House District 79 races since none chose to run. So, the choices for local representation in the General Assembly on the Nov. 8 general election ballot will be all Republicans.
For the U.S. Senate seat, Cheri Beasley (D-Raleigh) will run against Ted Budd (R-Forsyth County) to replace retiring Richard Burr.
Statewide, Beasley garnered 497,408 votes (81%). All 10 of her primary opponents received less than 4% of the vote.
Budd beat back former governor Pat McCrory in the Republican primary 445,343 to 186,760. All 12 other Republican candidates on the ballot received less than 10% of the votes.
For U.S. House District 3, incumbent Greg Murphy easily won the Republican primary with 48,701 votes. All four of his challengers received fewer than 10,000 votes. Murphy will face off with Barbara Gaskins who easily won the Democrat primary with 22,023 votes against Joe Swartz, 5,359. Both candidates are from Greenville.
On Ocracoke, Beasley received 85 of 90 votes casts for the Democrat primary. A total of 35 votes were cast for the Republican primary with Budd getting 18 votes and McCrory, 13. Gaskins received 80 votes to Swartz’s 11.
Republican primary voters picked Trey Allen for the N.C. Supreme Court and Donna Stroud and Michael Stading to represent the party on the November ballot for the N.C. Court of Appeals.
In North Carolina, unaffiliated voters for a primary can opt to vote using the Democrat or the Republican ballot.