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Republicans vie for General Assembly, court seats

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Erik Hersman
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Creative Commons https://bit.ly/1ezRl1S

Redistricting in rural or slow-growth areas meant four pairs of Republicans are competing against each other in General Assembly primaries.

Unofficial results show Sens. Ralph Hise of Mitchell County narrowly leading Sens. Deanna Ballard of Watauga County. Both chair important chamber committees.

In the northeast, Sen. Norm Sanderson of Pamlico County defeated Sen. Bill Steinburg of Chowan County. They were seeking the same 1st District seat.

In the House, first-term Rep. Ben Moss defeated seven-term Rep. Jamie Boles in a Sandhills-area district. And Rep. Jake Johnson of Polk County won over Rep. David Rogers of Rutherford County for a seat.

In Cumberland County, Democratic Sen. Kirk DeViere lost in a three-way race to Fayetteville City Council member Val Applewhite, who had been endorsed by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper. DeViere had been accused of getting too comfortable with the GOP, especially during last year's budget negotiations.

Appeals court

There were three Republican appellate court primaries — one for a Supreme Court seat and two for the Court of Appeals.

Court of Appeals Chief Judge Donna Stroud defeated District Court Judge Elizabeth Freshwater Smith. Current and former GOP appellate judges had lined up on opposite sides of the race. Stroud takes on Democrat Brad Salmon in November.

In another Court of Appeals primary, Mecklenburg County District Court Judge Michael Stading defeated former Industrial Commission Chairman Charlton Allen. The winner will face Democratic incumbent Darren Jackson.

And voters chose Trey Allen to compete in the fall against Associate Justice Sam Ervin IV, a Democrat. Allen, the general counsel at the Administrative Office of the Courts, defeated sitting Court of Appeals Judge April Wood and Greensboro attorney Victoria Prince.

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