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Hertford County voters ride ‘blue’ wave

WINTON – Like North Carolina, Hertford County turned Democratic “blue” on Tuesday.

With a record 70 percent of Hertford County voters taking part in a historic General Election, local citizens joined with the majority of the state by casting their ballots for Democratic candidates.

Leading that charge was President-elect Barack Obama. The Illinois Senator captured 70 percent of the Hertford County vote (unofficially named on 7,479 ballots) en route to becoming the first black president in American history.

Republican John McCain garnered 3,083 votes in Hertford County while Libertarian candidate Bob Barr collected 24 votes.

The Democratic landslide in Hertford County could be noted in the number of those who chose a “straight blue” ticket (6,484). On the other side of that coin, 1,249 Hertford County voters chose a straight Republican ticket.

In the race for U.S. Senate, Democratic hopeful Kay Hagan turned the seat back to her party for the first time in 36 years by outdistancing Republican incumbent Elizabeth Dole. In Hertford County, Hagan enjoyed a 7,557-2,843 victory.

Incumbent 1st Congressional District Representative G.K. Butterfield earned another term in Washington, DC. He was favored throughout the district over Republican challenger Dean Stephens, including an 8,058-2,218 edge among Hertford County voters.

Current North Carolina Lt. Governor Bev Perdue, who made a late campaign stop in Ahoskie, defeated Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory in the race for Governor. Hertford County voters help Perdue become the state’s first female Governor, favoring her by an 8,074-2,300 count over McCrory. Libertarian candidate Michael Munger collected 84 votes in Hertford County.

Victorious Lt. Governor Walter H. Dalton continued the Democratic landslide as he gained 7,843 votes in Hertford County compared to 2,284 for Republican Robert Pittenger and 113 for Libertarian Phillip Rhodes.

Hertford County voters also favored the Democratic candidates in each of the eight Council of State races. Those county results (unofficial) are as follows:

Attorney General: Roy Cooper – 8,111; Bob Crumley – 2,110

Auditor: Beth Wood – 7,802; Leslie Merritt – 2,290

Agriculture Commissioner: Ronnie Ansley – 7,529; Steve Troxler – 2,638

Insurance Commissioner: Wayne Goodwin – 7,837; John Odom – 2,197

Labor Commissioner: Mary Fant Donnan – 7,649; Cherie Berry – 2,418

Secretary of State: Elaine Marshall – 8,017; Jack Sawyer – 2,136

Superintendent of Public Instruction: June St. Clair Atkinson – 7,811; Richard Morgan – 2,269

Treasurer: Janet Cowell – 7,644; Bill Daughtridge – 2,442

Of the Council of State races, only Troxler and Berry were the statewide winners as Democrats dominated the election results.

Regionally, 4th District State Senator Ed Jones (D) and 5th District House of Representative member Annie Mobley (D) ran unopposed and respectively collected 8,354 and 8,289 votes in Hertford County.

Also running unopposed were Hertford County Democrats: Commissioners Howard Hunter III (8,402 votes), DuPont Davis (7,987) and William “Bill” Mitchell Jr. (8,505) along with Hertford County Register of Deeds Kathleen Wright (8,583).

District 6B Judge Thomas Newbern was named on 5,516 Hertford County ballots in his unopposed bid for reelection.

Pate Pierce earned 4,780 votes as he ran unopposed for Hertford County Soil & Water District Supervisor.

Hertford County voters, by a 4,559-4,049 margin, again defeated a referendum dealing with a 0.25 sales and use tax hike.

Hertford County Board of Elections Director Shelia Privott said 10,708 of the county’s 15,220 registered voters cast ballots during this election cycle. Of that amount, 6,887 citizens took advantage of the early One-Stop voting.

“This is the highest voter turnout (70.35 percent) during my 13 years as Elections Director,” Privott said.

Privott reported 205 provisional ballots need to be checked following Tuesday’s election.

The local board will canvass all voter totals next week after which the election results will be declared official.