This post contains my predicted winners for primaries in Cumberland County, including state, local, and congressional races. But first, a few motivational words about voting from Willie Stark:
All of these races are closed partisan primaries so I’ve reached across the aisle for some insight. Remember, my predictions are not endorsements. With that said, here are the picks:
NC Senate 19 (D): Kirk deViere
We’ve blogged about this one multiple times. It’s been the most controversial race in Cumberland County this spring. Despite all the noise, deViere will win for three basic reasons:
- DeViere has relevant name recognition with Democratic voters due to his history in city government and his recent run for mayor.
- DeViere won key endorsements from Democratic power players and used these endorsements to brand himself as the party favorite.
- DeViere out-worked Donaldson who ran a limited campaign based entirely around mailers.
On top of these fundamentals, rumors of Donaldson being backed by Republican interests have stuck. DeViere will win the honor of an all out brawl against Wesley Meredith in November. It will make this primary seem like child’s play (and it was, complete with a Pinocchio nose).
NC House 44 (R): Linda Devore
Either Linda Devore or Patrick Petsche will take on my old man in November.
Devore is a bit of a lightening rod in the local Republican party, and Petsche has run a good campaign for a first-timer. Petsche is being supported by Republican business leaders, and he’s certainly been effective at putting up yard signs and getting his name out in inner Fayetteville.
However, District 44 encompasses much more than the Morganton Road corridor. Devore has been involved in local politics for years and is a past chair of the county party. I don’t believe Petsche has had the time or the resources to get his name or his platform out to the entire district. This one will be very close, but I give the edge to Devore due to her history.
Petsche is only 24, so expect more from him after this race. He’s got serious ambition.
NC Senate 21 (D) – Ben Clark
Despite all the drama surrounding Ben Clark’s residency, I think he will beat Naveed Aziz again in 2018. Sadly, I think this race comes down to race. The district is gerrymandered heavily on racial lines with a significant African American population. Clark also has the power of incumbency which will add to his advantage in another close race.
NC House 43 (D) – Elmer Floyd
This one has stayed off the radar and for good reason. Floyd will win easily.
Cumberland County Sheriff (D): Ennis Wright
Incumbency (albeit brief) is powerful and the spoils of the Sheriff’s office are plenty. Too many people have a vested interest in keeping Wright in the seat. Wright will cruise.
Cumberland County Sheriff (R): Carlton Sallie
This is the toughest race to call on the list with a very crowded Republican field. The cluster of candidates will make an already tight race even tighter. Charlie Baxley (the presumed favorite) has the name recognition from having run before, but I think Sallie’s outworked him with both online and in-person campaigning. Primaries are about gaining momentum and getting your people to the polls. I think Sallie’s done enough of both to get him over the top.
Cumberland County Clerk of Court (D): Lisa Scales
Unlike her predecessor, Scales has been a present, smiling face in her corner of the courthouse since being appointed in August 2017. She will win this primary easily, setting up an interesting race in the fall against Republican Cindy Blackwell.
US House – District 8 (D): Frank McNeill
A strange thing will happen on Tuesday: a life-long oil industry man will win a congressional democratic primary. I previously wrote about McNeill here. He has the best shot at beating Richard Hudson in the red-leaning 8th District.
US House – District 9 (D): Dan McCready
McCready has run a textbook campaign for this seat. He has military ties, and he’s already raised over one million dollars. His victory Tuesday will set up an important race in the fall.
US House – District 9 (R): Mark Harris
I’m going against the polls and insider opinion with this pick. Although the lines of the district have changed, Harris lost to incumbent Robert Pittenger by a mere 134 votes two years ago. In an ordinary year, Pittenger’s incumbency would keep him in office. However, we’re living in a time when being a sitting member of Congress is a bad thing in a Republican primary. Harris will do better with Trump supporters and evangelicals, and Pittenger will get drained with the rest of the swamp.
Feel free to comment. We’ll know more on Tuesday night, and I’ll follow up with post-election analysis.
NAIL EM’ UP!!!