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Beasley loses, GOP takes majority on high court; Columbus County Sheriff re-elected


She ran a close race for most of midterm Election night, but by 11:18 p.m. EST, Democrat Cheri Beasley fell short in her effort to become the first African American elected to the U.S. Senate from North Carolina, unofficially losing to Republican Trump-backed Congressman Ted Budd, 51 percent to 47 percent.

Beasley was actually leading Budd substantially after statewide polls closed, at one point as much as four percentage points thanks to early voting and mail-in absentee ballots. But once the Election Day voting began to be counted, Budd was able to slowly by surely eat away at Beasley’s substantial lead, and ultimately unofficially win the race.

Once his victory is confirmed, Budd will take the seat being vacated by outgoing Republican Sen. Richard Burr.

During her concession speech, Beasley told an Election Night crowd in Raleigh, “I’m so proud of the race we have run. I’m proud that all along we stayed true to our mission - that this would be a race about the people, not politics. Even when others didn’t, we believed in North Carolina - and I do still.”

She continued, “This isn’t the outcome we wanted, but we have made history in North Carolina. Tonight, I’m thinking of all those before me who blazed their own trails so that I could reach the end of this one.”

Beasley may go back to the Raleigh law firm she joined after she previously lost her race for N.C, Supreme Court justice. Many political observers have said if the national Democratic Party had given the Beasley campaign more resources, she could have pulled out a victory in this contest.

The other high profile North Carolina Democrat losses from midterm Election Night were for two seats on N.C. Supreme Court.

Republican Richard Dietz defeated Democrat Lucy Inman for an open seat, 53 percent to 47 percent, while GOP’er Trey Allen was able to oust incumbent Associate Justice Sam Ervin III 52 percent to 48 percent in unofficial results. The two Republican victories mean Republicans will now hold a 5 - 2 majority.

In a major irony, former Columbus County Sheriff Jody Greene, with all precincts reporting, was unofficially re-elected to the very office he was forced to resign just a few weeks ago after audio of him calling Black Sheriff Dept. employees “Black bastards” was made public.

Tuesday night, Republican Greene was leading his Democrat opponent Jason Soles unofficially 10,034 to 8, 458.

Columbus County District Attorney Jon David had earlier threatened to file a petition to have Greene removed from office by a judge. He promised that if Greene were to win reelection, he would return to court to file a new petition.

In the races for the N.C. General Assembly, Republicans in the state Senate won a 30-seat supermajority in the 50-member body in unofficial returns, allowing them to override any veto from Gov. Roy Cooper. But the GOP fell one member shy of a supermajority in the state House, meaning they will need to convince a Democrat to join them if they want to override the governor there.

In Democratic congressional races, Democrat incumbents Alma Adams (12th) and Deborah Ross (2) both won their races unofficially. They will be joined by newcomers Don Davis, who will take the 12th District seat now occupied by the outgoing Congressman G.K. Butterfield. Valerie Foushee will replace the outgoing Congressman David Price in the fourth District, and Wiley Nickel, was victorious in the 13th District.

That will make five Democrats out of 13 members total in North Carolina’s Congressional delegation.