Donnan wins runoff

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 25, 2008

As expected, turnout for Tuesday’s Second Primary (runoff election) was extremely light throughout the Roanoke-Chowan area and statewide.

Of the 74,758 Tar Heel voters (1.89 percent turnout) that went to the polls on Tuesday, they saw limited choices on the ballot. The major race was for the Democratic nomination for the North Carolina Commissioner of Labor.

In that race, Mary Fant Donnan handily defeated former Labor Commissioner John C. Brooks. The unofficial results saw Donnan with 43,217 votes (67.9 percent) compared to 20,445 (32.1 percent) for Brooks.

They were the top vote-getters during the May Primary n Donnan (330,581 votes; 27.54 percent); Brooks (292,391; 24.36 percent) n but neither gained the mandatory 40 percent of the total vote. Ty Richardson (290,299 votes; 24.18 percent) and Robin Anderson (287,136 votes; 23.92 percent) also made bids for Labor Commissioner in the May Primary, but were not part of Tuesday’s runoff.

Donnan swept three of the four Roanoke-Chowan area counties.

She won by an 80-63 margin in Bertie County, where only 1.19 percent (143) of that county’s registered voters bothered to go to the polls.

In Hertford County, 174 voters (1.44 percent) went to the polls. There, the majority (103-68) favored Donnan.

Northampton County saw a 1.97 percent voter turnout. Of the 280 voters that cast ballots, 202 selected Donnan.

The largest turnout in the local area was in Gates County where 965 of the county’s 7,485 registered voters (12.89 percent) went to the polls. That turnout was attributed to a local race on the ballot where Graham Twine (505 votes; 52.5 percent) edged Paulette Quinn Britt (457 votes; 47.5 percent) in a runoff for the District 5 County Commissioners seat.

Twine won the seat, despite losing three of the county’s six precincts and forging a tie in another. However, his decisive edge in two precincts – Eure (104-11) and Hobbsville (148-51) – was enough to carry him over the top.

Britt’s trio of precinct wins came in the Gatesville (76-68), Gates (105-60) and Sunbury (93-35) districts. She also had a winning edge in One-Stop voting (75-48) and mail ballots (13-9).

The two candidates finished in a dead heat (33-33) in the Corapeake precinct.

Britt was named on the most ballots (897) during the May Primary with Twine collecting 815 votes. Neither candidate garnered the mandated 40 percent (plus one) of the vote necessary to avoid a runoff.

Mickey Lee (794 votes) finished third in the May Primary for the District 5 seat.

If Twine’s runoff victory is made official, he will be seated as a commissioner, possibly as early as July 7, due to the recent death of long-time District 5 Commissioner L. Frank Rountree, who had earlier this year chose not to seek reelection.

Meanwhile, Gates County voters favored Brooks over Donnan in the Labor Commissioner runoff. Brooks was named on 391 ballots for 52.4 percent of the total vote. Donnan collected 355 votes (47.6 percent).

None of the local or statewide ballots will be made official until a canvass of all polling places, one which will take place on July 1.