The Super Tuesday election results streamed into the State Board of Elections online tracking system on Tuesday night, solidifying party candidates in significant legislative primary races that could shape the future makeup of the General Assembly.

In a highly scrutinized Senate race, Democrat incumbent Sen. Mike Woodard lost to Sophia Chitlik in Senate District 22. Woodard was known for his moderate left views and sometimes sided with Republicans in key votes. Chitlik was endorsed by the state Democratic Party’s progressive caucus. Both candidates spent over $150,000 on their primary campaigns.

in the nc house

In North Carolina’s most crowded legislative race, five Republican candidates competed for the House seat in District 62 to replace retiring Representative John Faircloth, who has served for seven terms. Candidate John Blust won the race with 35% of the vote currently and averted a potential runoff election. With a 14-point margin between Blust and the second-place candidate, he maintained a strong lead over four opponents, state election data shows. Blust previously served in the state House from 2000-2018. 

In House District 105, Democrat candidate Nicole Sidman won with a 20-point lead in her primary race. The Democrat candidate will face Republican candidate Tricia Cotham in the general election. Cotham sent shockwaves through the party when she switched to the GOP last year, giving Republicans a supermajority in the House. The Democrat Party called the move a ‘betrayal,’ while Cotham accused the party of bullying. In Charlotte, Cotham’s mother, Pat Cotham, lost her seat Tuesday night on the Mecklenburg County Commissioners to a Democrat primary challenger. She’d held the seat for more than a decade.

Another standout race was in House District 82, where Republican incumbent Kevin Crutchfield was unable to fend off GOP challenger Brian Echevarria. Long-time GOP incumbent George Cleveland, R-Onlsow, lost his primary to 21-year-old Wyatt Gable.

On the Democrats’ side, Rep. Michael Wray, D-Northampton, also known for working across the aisle, appears to be trailing in his primary as of Tuesday morning.

in the nc senate

On the Senate side, Republican Scott Lassiter won District 13 against Vicki Harry in a tightly contested race. A former Apex Town Council member, Lassiter sued House Speaker Tim Moore last year for ‘alienation of affection’ accusing him of having an affair with Lassiter’s wife, Jamie Liles Lassiter, who says she was separated for years at the time.

During presidential years, local elections can be drowned out by national politics, which makes incumbency, name ID, and funding all vital factors for state legislative candidates. In North Carolina’s 3rd Senate District, GOP candidate Michael Speciale holds strong name recognition, but opponent Bob Brinson has enjoyed plenty of financial support from outside political committees that aided his over $98,000 in campaign funding. In the end, Brinson claimed the victory. Notable donors from the candidate side include retiring Sen. Jim Perry with a max contribution to Brinson, and Senate rules chairman Bill Rabon with an additional max contribution.

headed to a runoff

With a total of 170 seats in the North Carolina General Assembly, several races could be headed to a runoff election. Under state law, the top candidate for a single office who receives more than 30% of the vote in a primary wins their party’s nomination and moves on to the general election. However, if no candidate wins 30% of the vote, a second primary will take place on May 14, 2024. 

Republicans currently hold supermajorities in both the North Carolina House and Senate, which has enabled the General Assembly to advance many priorities without the support of the Democrat governor. However, the chambers’ supermajorities are at risk this year in the general election, particularly the Senate. 

It’s an ‘uphill battle’ for Republicans to hold on to the supermajority this fall, said research fellow at the John Locke Foundation’s Center for Public Integrity, Jim Stirling. With 24 Republican seats considered likely or safe seats, they will need to pick up lean Republican and toss-up seats in order to sustain the Senate supermajority with 30 seats.

About 2,600 polling places were open across the state on Tuesday, and hundreds of thousands of voters cast their ballots. Election officials expected voting to run smoothly across the state with new voter ID laws in place. No major disruptions were reported

The State Board will randomly select precincts, early voting sites, and absentee-by-mail ballots to be counted by hand on Wednesday as part of a statutorily required post-election audit.