There were winners and losers in Tuesday’s runoff elections but the big losers were the taxpayers of our state, who shelled out a reported four million dollars only to have 3.5 percent registered voters bother to cast ballots. North Carolinians spent more than 18 dollars for each vote cast.
Insanity, it is said, is doing the same thing and expecting different results. Tuesday’s election runoff would qualify as insanity since the outcomes were exactly as they were in May, with one exception in statewide contests and in two legislative races.
Dan Forest bested Tony Gurley 33 percent to 25 percent in the May contest for Republican Lieutenant Governor and beat him by a 68 to 32 percent margin Tuesday. The Ed Goodwin vs. Kenn Gardner rematch for Republican Secretary of State saw Goodwin prevail 54 to 45 percent, not much different from the 36 to 30 percent spread in May. For Superintendent of Public Instruction Republican John Tedesco won in a crowded field in May by a 28 to 24 percent margin over Richard Alexander. Tuesday’s margin was 54 to 45 percent. In the only reversal from May, Mike Causey beat Richard Morgan 57 to 42 percent on Tuesday, overcoming Morgan’s slim 37 to 35 percent win in May.
John Brooks won the May primary for Democratic Commissioner of Labor (37 to 33 percent) and once again prevailed in the runoff over Marlowe Foster (54 to 46 percent).
Former State Senator Robert Pittenger spent almost two million dollars beating former Mecklenburg Sheriff Jim Pendergraph (53 to 47 percent) in the 9th Congressional District Republican runoff, with about the same spread as in May (32 to 25 percent). Over in the 8th District former Robin Hayes staffer Richard Hudson beat Scott Keadle (64 to 36 percent), whereas in May it was 32 percent to 22 percent.
In NC Senate District 12 we saw a reversal as Republican Ronald Rabin defeated Don Davis as also happened in Senate District 44, where David Curtis bested Chris Carney. But in Senate District 41 Jeff Tarte once again defeated John Aneralla. Republican Mattie Lawson again best Arthur Williams in House District 6 and in District 109 Dana Bumgardner again won over Wil Neumann.
The takeaway message is we held an election and the voters didn’t care. It wasn’t worth the cost.