Wednesday News: Good riddance


BOTH JUSTIN BURR AND BEVERLY BOSWELL LOSE GOP PRIMARIES: On Tuesday night, the state lawmaker behind attempts to redraw judicial districts lost his primary election by nearly 1,000 votes. Wayne Sasser, a 67-year-old semi-retired pharmacist, beat Rep. Justin Burr of Stanly County in the House District 67 Republican primary. Rep. Beverly Boswell fell to Bobby Hanig, a Currituck County commissioner, by 411 votes in their Republican primary. Boswell of Dare County recently garnered attention outside of House District 6 and the Outer Banks for her comments about students participating in nationwide school walkouts being "Tide pod eaters" and misidentifying herself as a nurse. Hanig received 53 percent of the vote to Boswell's 47 percent.

ALISON DAHLE BLOWS PAST EMBATTLED DUANE HALL 68%--27%: "Wow," Dahle said with a laugh. "I'm still a little gob-smacked. ... I didn't plan for all this to happen." Dahle had planned to just dip a toe in the political waters this time out, build up a little name recognition in Hall's district, then run again in 2020 when he was expected to run for lieutenant governor. Instead, she's the favorite to take th House District 11 seat outright, given its Democratic lean. Dahle acknowledged that the allegations against Hall and the fact that Gov. Roy Cooper and other top Democrats called for his resignation played a big role in the race. But it wasn't everything, she said. "I think a lot of people are ready for women and minorities in government," she said. "I think people are ready for a change."

ROBERT PITTENGER'S CAREER IN CONGRESS COMES TO AN ABRUPT HALT: Former Charlotte pastor Mark Harris defeated Rep. Robert Pittenger in Tuesday's primary in North Carolina's 9th District, making him the first incumbent in the country to lose this year. Pittenger also became North Carolina's first member of Congress in memory to lose a primary to a nonincumbent opponent. "I've called Mark Harris, I've conceded the race and I wish him the best," Pittenger told supporters at what was expected to be a victory party. Meanwhile, Dan McCready easily beat Christian Cano in the Democratic primary. Though analysts say the district leans Republican, it's expected to be one of the two most competitive in North Carolina this fall with the 13th District, where Democrat Kathy Manning won a primary to face GOP incumbent Ted Budd. Both races could help determine which party controls Congress.

JOHN BURNS AND ERV PORTMAN FALL IN CONTENTIOUS WAKE COMMISSIONERS RACE: Two incumbents in the race for Wake County commissioner lost their bid for re-election Tuesday night after waiting several hours for the votes to be totaled. District 7 Commissioner John Burns lost to challenger Vickie Adamson, 48 to 52 percent, while District 4 Commissioner Erv Portman lost to challenger Susan Evans, 32 percent to 68 percent. The purchase of a former golf course for a county park, claims of misleading campaign ads and a complaint filed with the Wake County Board of Elections alleging illegal activity by Women Awake and another PAC backing the challengers all became part of the rancor surrounding the commissioner races.

THIS AUTHOR IS MUCH RELIEVED BOB RUCHO WILL NOT BE RETURNING TO NC SENATE: Vickie Sawyer of Mooresville easily turned back three rivals -- two of whom moved into the district just before filing –- to win the Republican primary in the newly redrawn N.C. Senate District 34, which covers all of Iredell and Yadkin counties. Sawyer will be the overwhelming favorite to win the November general election in the heavily Republican district. Sawyer captured 44 percent of the vote, easily topping former Matthews N.C. Sen. Bob Rucho, who moved into a Mooresville apartment a day before filing in District 34. Rucho, once one of the most-powerful political figures in the state, got 32 percent of the vote. Finishing a distant third was longtime Republican activist and former N.C. Lottery Commission member A.J. Daoud, who moved into one of his Yadkin County funeral homes to establish residency in the district and collected 14 percent.