Tuesday’s turnout is historic

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 3, 2004

With as close a race as anyone can remember, the 2004 General Election has come to an end.

Out of the three-county area, the only local contested races were that of the Register of Deeds in Northampton County and, more regionally, the N.C. State House seat in the newly revised District 5 and the U.S. Congress seat in District 1.

In the Register of Deeds race, incumbent Pauline Deloatch (D) received a total of 6,037 votes, taking 74 percent of the total votes over write-in candidate Hazel Hobbs (UA) who received 2,109 votes.

In the District 5 race (Bertie, Hertford, Gates and Perquimans) of the N.C. House, Incumbent Howard Hunter Jr. (D) received a total of 17,611 votes to the 3,536 votes received by Larry Cooke Jr. (L).

G.K. Butterfield (D) received a total of 16,431 in the three-county area while Greg Dority (R) received a total of 6,541 votes. Throughout the 1st Congressional District, Butterfield won by a landslide – capturing 134,664 votes compared to 77,442 for Dority.

In what has turned out to be one of the largest vote casting elections in history, President George Bush (R) received enough of the Electoral votes necessary to take office for another four years.

However, the push did not come from the Hertford, Northampton or Bertie counties. Here, 15,231 votes (61%) were cast for Sen. John Kerry (D) while Bush received a total of 9,008 (39%).

North Carolina did carry Bush with a total of 1,517,649 votes to Kerry’s 1,104,775.

Breaking down the presidential votes county-by-county, Hertford voters cast 4,903 votes for Kerry and 2,827 votes for Bush.

In Northampton, voters cast 5,558 votes for Kerry and 3,163 votes for Bush.

Bertie voters cast a total of 5,059 votes for Kerry and a total of 2,604 for Bush.

In the U.S. Senate race, 16,079 people in the three-county area cast their votes for Erskine Bowles (D) while only 7,790 votes were cast for Richard Burr (R).

Statewide, Burr won the election with a total of 1,382,001 to Bowles’ 1,186,704 total votes.

In the Governor’s race, Hertford County voters cast 5,723 votes for Mike Easley (D) and 1,939 votes for Patrick Ballantine (R).

Northampton voters cast 6,576 votes for Easley and 2,080 for Ballantine while Bertie voters cast a total of 5,556 for Easley and 2,031 for Ballantine.

Statewide, Easley won with a total of 1,427,720 over the 1,162,847 cast for Ballantine.

Other statewide winners were Democratic incumbents Lt. Governor Bev Perdue (1,402,756 votes), Attorney General Roy Cooper (1,377,342), Insurance Commissioner Jim Long (1,447,644), Secretary of State Elaine Marshall (1,430,289) and Treasurer Richard Moore (1,354,837).

Incumbent Commissioner of Labor Cherie Berry, a Republican, also won reelection with 1,338,826 unofficial votes.

Three State Council races were still too close to call by early afternoon on Wednesday. Incumbent Commissioner of Agriculture Britt Cobb trailed Republican challenger Steve Troxler by less than 35,000 votes with a few precincts still unreported. State Auditor Ralph Campbell was running slightly behind Leslie Merritt. In the race for State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Bill Fletcher (R) had a slim lead over June Atkinson (D).

Sarah Parker and Paul Martin Newby were the top vote-getters for the two Associate Justice Supreme Court seats.

In the race for Court of Appeals, Linda McGee, Wanda Bryant and Barbara Jackson are the unofficial winners.

All three of the North Carolina Constitutional Amendments passed.

Locally, Superior Court Judge Cy Grant (17,129 votes) and District Court Judge Thomas Newbern (14,010) were unopposed for reelection.

Local State Senator Robert Holloman was voted in for another two-year term. Across his District 4 Senate seat, Holloman garnered 42,768 votes. He ran unopposed.

In Bertie County, three incumbents ran unopposed – Register of Deeds Belinda White (6,504 votes) and Commissioners L.C. Hoggard (5,718) and Norman Cherry Sr. (5,861).

Hertford County’s local portion of the ballot also saw candidates running without opposition. Earning wins were J. Wendell Hall (4,446 votes) and David Shields (3,556) on the Board of Education; Register of Deeds Kathleen Wright (6,247); and County Commissioners Howard Hunter III (5,945), DuPont Davis (5,220) and John Pierce (5,960).

In Northampton County, Commissioners Virginia Spruill (6,779 votes) and James Hester (7,169) won with no opposition. Another Northampton native, Michael Wray of Gaston, garnered 20,953 votes as he ran unopposed for the House District 27 seat.