By Peter Vankevich
Results of yesterday’s elections surprised many veteran pollsters and pundits.
Despite some predictions of a national red tide of votes, control of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives is still to be determined, although it appears that in the House, Republicans will take control by a slim margin.
Overall, it was a good night for North Carolina Republicans.
Republicans won key elections state-wide with three-term congressman Ted Budd (R) beating former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley (D) in a close race. Budd replaces retiring Republican Richard Burr.
All state judicial races by candidates identified as Republicans won their elections, regaining control of the state Supreme Court and winning two seats on North Carolina’s highest court thus tilting it to a 5-2 Republican majority.
There was one bright side for the Democrats. North Carolina added a new Congressional district based on population data from the U.S. Census, making a total of 14. Jeff Jackson (D) won the new district, beating Pat Harrigan (R). With one flipped seat to the Democrats, the state will send seven Democrats and seven Republicans to Washington in January. Currently it is eight Republicans and five Democrats.
Republicans retained control of both houses of the N.C. General Assembly, but Democrats appear to have prevented Republicans from winning a supermajority in the state House by just one vote, which would help preserve the strength of Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto. Three-fifths majorities are needed to override vetoes. That’s 30 votes in the 50-member Senate and 72 votes in the 120-member House.
Locally, many of the seats were uncontested, permitting the incumbents to continue.
Based on the redrawn maps, Ocracoke and all of Hyde County is now part of State Senate District 1 and House District 79. The Republican incumbents for these two seats were unopposed and Norman Sanderson will be the representative for the Senate and Keith Kidwell for the House.
For Hyde County Board of Commissioners, all registered voters vote for each open seat.
For the Swan Quarter Township, Jan Moore (R) defeated Eyleen Gibbs Brooks (D), 969 to 833. Moore will replace Goldie Topping (D) who did not run for reelection.
Shannon Swindell (Unaffiliated) will return for a four-year term to represent Currituck Landing Township. In the spring, he missed the filing deadline to be listed on the ballot but was the only one to qualify as a write-in candidate. Although he needed just one vote, 147 voters named him.
The current Hyde County Board of Education members, Angie Todd for Ocracoke and the two at-large seats, Lindsey Mooney and Aleta Cox, will continue. Moony and Cox beat back a challenge by Robert Wayne.
For the Ocracoke Sanitary District which administers the island’s water plant, Flavia Burton, Bill Caswell and John Simpson will continue.
County Sheriff Guire Cahoon (D) was reelected beating back challenger Larry Weston (Unaffiliated).
According to Hyde County Elections Director, Viola Williams, there remain provisional ballots to be counted. Incoming mail-in ballots, postmarked by Nov. 8, must be received by Nov. 11. So these results are unofficial.
She received several calls yesterday from Ocracoke voters who could not get back to the island to vote due to the suspension of ferry services from high winds. For those who voted elsewhere, their ballots are considered provisional and will be reviewed to determine they complied with election rules.
Official results will be posted on the “Day of Canvass,” Nov. 18, when the county board of elections compiles election results from all precincts and makes the official report of the outcome of the election within the county.