In-person early voting for the May 14 second primary/runoff election began Thursday at 8 am. It will end on Saturday, May 11 at 3 pm. You can keep up with the latest data with John Locke Foundations’s Vote Tracker.

Republican nominations for lieutenant governor, state auditor, and Congressional District 13 are up for grabs. 

The top vote-getters in those races in the March 5 primary failed to secure the required 30% of the vote, the threshold to avoid a runoff election. 

Hal Weatherman received 19.59% (181,818 votes) for lieutenant governor, followed by Jim O’Neill with 15.84% (147,042 votes) among a large primary field of 10 candidates.

Weatherman served as chief of staff for former Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest and former US Rep. Sue Myrick and was also a campaign manager. He told Carolina Journal in March that his campaign is a testament to the power of grassroots campaigning.

“I traveled to all 100 counties (the only candidate to do so), including visiting 35 counties [five] times or more and 10 counties, 10 times or more,” he said.  “On election night, when you take out all the candidates eliminated and match us vs. our runoff opponent, we outperformed him in 80 counties.  We have not let our foot off the gas and instead have doubled our efforts to travel the state and recruit volunteers and will settle for nothing but all out victory in the runoff election.”

Current Lt. Gov. and the Republican candidate for governor, Mark Robinson, endorsed Weatherman Thursday morning.

NC Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson endorses Lt. Gov. candidate Hal Weatherman. Source: Robinson’s X page.

Weatherman’s opponent, Jim O’Neill, is serving his fourth term as district attorney for Forsyth County, previously serving as assistant DA. In 2020, he ran as Republican nominee for state attorney general, challenging Attorney General Josh Stein, the 2024 Democratic nominee for Governor. O’Neill’s campaign did not return a request for comment prior to the March 28 CJ article. 

The winner will face Sen. Rachel Hunt, the democratic nominee.  The general election winner in November will replace  Robinson.

In a much closer race, the race for state auditor, Jack Clark received 23.24% (198,793 votes) compared to Dave Boliek, with 22.10% (189,071 votes), in a Republican primary field of six candidates.

Clark told Carolina Journal last month that his campaign strategy for the runoff would be the same as for the March 5 primary.

“I am continuing to campaign across North Carolina, meeting with voters and laying out a vision for the State Auditor’s office,” Boliek told the Carolina Journal in an email last month. 

He said one of the first things he would do if elected state auditor is establish rapid response teams to tackle financial and problematic emergencies like those at Durham public schools. 

Boliek called for an emergency audit of Durham schools back in February. A payroll error resulted in employees being overpaid from July to December of 2023, as previously reported by the Carolina Journal. 

The winner of the auditor’s runoff will face off against incumbent Democrat Jessica Holmes in the general election. Holmes was appointed when former State Auditor Beth Wood, a Democrat, resigned following controversy. The general election will also feature Libertarian candidate Bob Drach.

In Congressional District 13, Kelly Daughtry faces off against Brad Knott. The winner will face Democratic nominee Frank Pierce in the general election to represent the district in the US House.

Daughtry received 27.39% (22,978 votes), and Knott got 18.67% (15,664 votes) in a primary field that included 10 Republican candidates.

“Kelly won the primary election by nearly double digits because conservatives want a fighter who will stand with President Trump to end the invasion on our border,” Stefan Mychajliw, spokesman for the Daughtry campaign, told Carolina Journal in a March email. “Conservatives have a simple choice in the runoff: stand with Kelly Daughtry, the America First conservative, or Never Trumper and Biden DOJ hack Brad Knott who will do in Congress what he’s done for the last 8 years – pick Joe Biden over President Trump.”

Daughtry’s opponent, Brad Knott, is a former federal prosecutor, who has also been endorsed by former president Donald Trump.

“Brad Knott is a Conservative Fighter who spent the Trump Administration prosecuting and locking up illegal aliens, drug dealers, and hardened criminals,” Johnathan Felts, campaign adviser to Brad Knott told Carolina Journal in an email in March. “Kelly Daughtry is a lifelong RINO who publicly bragged to her friends about voting for Barack Obama and more recently donated money to Democrat Cheri Beasley for US Senate just over a week after President Trump had endorsed Ted Budd! We feel very optimistic that Trump Conservatives who dominate a primary runoff will support conservative prosecutor Brad Knott over squishy divorce lawyer Kelly Daughtry on May 14.”

On the county level, a second primary will also be held for the Republican nomination of the South Point Township District on the Gaston County Board of Commissioners between candidates Jim Bailey and Ronnie Worley. In Orange County, a runoff will take place for a third seat on the Orange County Schools Board of Education with candidates Jennifer Moore and Bonnie Hauser contesting.

County boards of elections began mailing absentee ballots on March 30 to eligible voters who submitted an absentee ballot request form. The deadline to request an absentee ballot is May 7 at 5 pm, with a ballot return deadline of 7:30 pm on election day, May 14. 

Early voting sites and schedules are available at the Early Voting Site Search on the North Carolina State Election Board (NCSBE) website.  Locations and voting hours are also available at Early Voting Sites for the May 14, 2024 Election (PDF).

Keep up with the latest voting trends at John Locke Foundation’s Vote Tracker, here.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated.