Hise ekes out win over Ballard in Senate District 47 primary
State Sen. Ralph Hise of Mitchell County secured reelection in Senate District 47 after narrowly snagging a victory over fellow incumbent state Sen. Deanna Ballard of Boone. Hise secured 50.65% of the vote compared to Ballard’s 49.35%.
The primary was one of the most closely watched in the state because of its unusual matchup — two popular sitting state senators facing off after being “double bunked” in the same district due to redistricting.
Ballard had represented the old Senate District 45 since 2016. As chair of both the Senate Education Committee and the Senate Education Appropriations Committee, Ballard has significant influence on setting policy and spending priorities for the state’s $10.9 billion K-12 budget. Ballard is also seen a rising star in GOP political circles.
Meanwhile, Hise has represented the old Senate District 47 since 2010, when the GOP retook control of the General Assembly for the first time since Reconstruction. Hise is a chief budget writer and chairs the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee.
The redrawn Senate District 47 — now stretching from Alleghany County to Haywood County in western North Carolina — heavily favors Republicans and no other candidates have filed, meaning Hise will go on to victory in the general election.