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Primary Election 2020: Manning marches on!

By Yasmine Regester / March 6, 2020

Kathy Manning is all smiles as she wins the Democratic Primary for the 6th U.S. Congressional District seat. Photo by Ivan S. Cutler/Carolina Peacemaker

On the primary election day dubbed Super Tuesday, each 2020 race was narrowed down by party, where some incumbents kept their elected positions, while others were voted out.

Data from the Guilford County Board of Elections reveal that early voting increased 21 percent from the 2016 presidential primary election. A total of 39,751 county residents cast ballots during the 15 days of early voting, which began February 13 and ended February 29. Another 72,977 residents cast ballots on primary election day (March 3).

This year, Guilford County switched from electronic voting machines to hand-marked paper ballots, as required by state law.

In one of the county’s biggest races of the night, Democrat Kathy Manning took the top spot in the U.S. House of Representatives District 6 Democratic Primary with 48.35 percent of the vote. The District 6 race saw five Democrats and two Republicans compete for the top spot to represent their respective party in November. Democrat Rhonda Foxx finished with 19.89 percent of the votes followed by Bruce Davis with 15.05 percent, Derwin Montgomery with 12.44 percent and Ed Hanes with 4.27 percent.

An elated Bettye Jenkins wins the District 7 Guilford Co. School Board seat. Photo by Ivan S. Cutler/Carolina Peacemaker

In Manning’s second run for Congress, she credits the hard work she put in over the last two years as a testament to her win. “In the next six months I want to continue to spend as much time as I can meeting with people all across the district so that I can have an even deeper understanding of the issues that concern people. So by the time I win this election in November, I will have a solid plan of action for our district,” said Manning.

The Republican ticket for the U.S. House of Representatives District 6 saw Lee Haywood take 73.25 percent of the vote over Laura Pichardo, with 26.75 percent. Haywood will face Manning in the General Election on November 3. The winner will succeed Republican U.S. Rep. Mark Walker, who did not run for reelection.

State House

N.C. House of Representatives District 59 incumbent Jon Hardister (R) defeated Allen Chappell. Democratic candidate Nicole Quick, former chair of the Guilford County Democratic Party, will challenge Hardister in the General Election. The N.C. House of Representatives District 60 Republican race saw Ryan Blankenship defeat Frank Ragsdale. Blakenship will face incumbent Democrat Cecil Brockman this fall.

Guilford County Judicial Elections

Melvin “Skip” Alston handily defeats his opponent. Photo by Ivan S. Cutler/Carolina Peacemaker.

Four seats up for election in the N.C. District Court Judge District 18 primary race had only Democrat candidates. N.C. District Court 18 saw Democrat Caroline Tomlinson-Pemberton win seat 4 with 53.14 percent of the vote over opponent Tomakio Gause with 47.86 percent of the vote. Pemberton prevailed and her campaigned continued as she faced multiple injuries after being hit by a car in January. She credits her win to the dedication of her campaign team. “I put everything in God’s hands after my accident and I had a team that took the ball and ran with it. I am very grateful for them. I couldn’t have done it without them,” said Pemberton. “I am so excited to get on the bench and back to the judicial system that I am so passionate about and to make it even better.” Pemberton said her top issues are fair and equal justice, swift disposition of cases, and second chance programs for non-violent offenders. N.C. District Court Judge seat 7 incumbent Angela Foster retained her seat with 55.56 percent of the vote versus Michele Lee, who garnered 44.44 percent. The N.C. District Court Judge seat 12 race saw Gavin Reardon lose with 42.73 percent of the vote to Kelvin Smith, who won with 52.27 percent of the votes. The N.C. District Court Judge seat 13 candidate Brian Tomlin won with 54.73 percent over Moshera Mills, who finished with 45.27 percent.

Guilford Board of Commissioners

Guilford County Board of Commissioners District 8 Democratic candidate Fahiym Hanna collected 33.28 percent of the vote in a loss to incumbent Melvin “Skip” Alston, who finished with 66.72 percent of the vote. This was Hanna’s second bid for the seat.

“We ran an aggressive campaign. We didn’t take anybody’s support for granted. I wish my opponent well and hope he stays active in the community and hope we can work together going forward,” said Alston. Alston said he plans to continue his 2020 focus on schools and getting a bond referendum passed to address teacher pay and school facility renovations. He also has a plan to work on creative ways to bring more jobs to the county. In the Guilford County Board of Commissioners District 6 Republican race, Jim Davis won with 61.02 percent of the vote over Jason Ewing, who won 38.98 percent of the vote. Davis will face Democrat James Upchurch on the November ballot. Guilford County Board of Commissioners District 5 Democratic race saw Carly Cooke win 88.55 percent over Macon Sullivan, who won 11.65 percent. Troy Lawson, former chairman of the Guilford County Republican Party won the Republican contest with 50.59 percent of the vote to Cyndy Hayworth’s 49.41 percent. Cooke and Lawson will face each other on the November ballot.

Board of Education

In the Guilford County Board of Education District 1 Democratic race, incumbent T. Dianne Bellamy Small was reelected to serve as the District 1 representative garnering 56.11 percent of the vote. She was first elected to the District 1 seat in 2016. Jeff Golden followed with 36.53 percent and Ron Tuck won 7.36 percent. There are no Republican candidates, therefore Bellamy Small has officially won the seat for the next four years.

Voters also elected Democrat Bettye Taylor Jenkins as the new Guilford County Board of Education District 7 representative. Jenkins took 61.42 percent of the vote, beating out opponents Jayvon Johnson at 24.66 percent and incumbent Byron Gladden, who finished with 13.92 percent of the vote. The District 7 race had no Republican candidates, which puts Jenkins officially in the seat. Jenkins also ran for the District 7 BOE seat in 2016 as an unaffiliated candidate, where she lost to Gladden.


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Since 1967, the Carolina Peacemaker has served as North Carolina’s leading news weekly with a national reputation. Founded by Dr. John Kilimanjaro, the newspaper is published by Carolina Newspaper, Inc.

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