The News Reporter
Only 8 percent of Columbus County’s registered voters turned out for Tuesday’s primary election, one of the lowest percentages in recent memory.
However, in the two districts where Columbus County Commission seats were being contested voter turnout was much higher.
You can read the rest of this article in the extended section.
The biggest surprise may have been District 7 County Commissioner David Dutton’s loss for the Democratic nomination to first-time challenger Ronald Gore.
In the District 6 County Commissioner race, Ricky Bullard defeated David McPherson. Bullard, a multi-term member of the Columbus County Board of Education, had 69 percent of the 756 votes cast. McPherson, a former county commissioner, had 31 percent, or 231 votes.
District 13 District Attorney Rex Gore defeated Alexis Jane Prease, capturing 2,719 Columbus County votes to Prease’s 2,179. District-wide, Gore earned 9,620 votes. Prease gathered 4,490.
Locally, Gore won 17 precincts while Prease won seven. Gore and Prease tied in two precincts.
District 8 State Sen. R.C. Soles, unchallenged by another Democrat, will face Republican candidate Bill Fairley in November. Fairley defeated fellow Republican Sheila Babson, 2,778 votes to 1,098.
In Columbus County, Fairley had 335 votes to Babson’s 131.
Superior Court Judge Bill Gore lost his first bid for a seat as a Supreme Court associate justice. With 114,680 votes statewide, he trailed Robin Hudson at 151,555 votes and Ann Marie Calabria with 132,153 votes.
In fourth was candidate Jill Cheek with 66, 654 votes and Gus Gray with 49,905 votes.
Locally, Gore had 4,376 votes or 81 percent of the total.
The top two vote-getters will appear on the November ballot to vie for the single open seat.