Jones wins Senate Primary; faces GOP foe

Published 10:28 am Thursday, May 6, 2010

North Carolina State Senator Ed Jones cleared one hurdle in his bid for reelection.

Tuesday night, Jones (D-4tH) defeated challenger Tee Ferguson in the Democratic primary after receiving more than 82 percent of the vote. He will likely meet the challenge of Rich Halbert who holds a slight lead over Warren Scott Nail in the Republican primary after unofficial returns.

The North Carolina State Senate District 4 covers Bertie, Chowan, Gates, Halifax, Hertford, Northampton and Perquimans counties.

On the Democratic side, Senator Jones received 13,906 votes compared to 2,967 for Ferguson. The senator said he believed his win in the primary was due to his record.

“I was very happy and elated about what took place Tuesday night,” Senator Jones said. “I think people looked at my record and how hard I worked for them. I am going to continue to work for them and I think they know that.”

Sen. Jones also said he was pleased that people took time to research his opponent and then chose to vote for him.

“I think sometimes we don’t properly research people who are running for office,” he said. “I think people here researched my opponent and found out what he is about. We need to know who we are voting for.”

People in all seven counties supported Jones. He won all four local counties of the Roanoke-Chowan region. He won Bertie County by a vote of 2,360 to 674, Gates County 1,243 to 288, Hertford County 1,692 to 563 and Northampton County 3,280 to 433.

He won in his home Halifax County 3,897 to 688 as well as in Chowan (854-170) and Perquimans (580 to 151).

“I really want to thank the voters,” Sen. Jones said. “A vote is a very personal thing and for someone to be willing to give you theirs is an incredible trust.”

On the Republican side, only 115 votes separate Halbert and Nail. Halbert received 981 votes in unofficial tallies compared to 866 for Nail.

“I am certainly humbled by the win Tuesday night,” Halbert said. “I was excited to know the people of the Fourth Senatorial District agree with me that jobs are the number one priority.”

Halbert thanked his opponent, Nail, for calling to concede the election Tuesday night.

“I want to publicly thank Mr. Nail for calling to concede the election and offering me his support for the November election,” Halbert said. “It was a very gentlemanly thing to do.”

Halbert said there were vast differences between his beliefs and those of Senator Jones and that he hoped to help return the North Carolina General Assembly to the hands of Republicans.

“I want to be a part of a change of direction and hopefully we’ll see Republicans take control of Senate and House so we can help the good people of the Fourth Senatorial District,” he said.

Halbert also said he hoped to debate Senator Jones face-to-face in each of the seven counties.

“I want the people to hear where I stand on issues and where Senator Jones stands so they can make an informed decision,” he said.

It was Nail who won three of the four counties in the Roanoke-Chowan region. Bertie County voters supported Nail 126 to 82, Gates County voted 66-57 for Nail and Northampton chose Nail 113-93.

Hertford County Republicans supported Halbert by a count of 91-85.

The rest of the district was split as well. Chowan County, where Halbert resides, voted for him by a count of 253 to 99 while Perquimans went for him 265 to 182.

Halifax County Republicans backed Nail by a count of 195-140.