Brittney Raby – Staff Writer
With 73.85 percent of the vote, Kevin Corbin defeated Elliott Southworth in the Republican primary for North Carolina House of Representatives District 120. Corbin secured 10,028 votes to Southworth’s 3,550 across the four-county district and 4,763 votes to Southworth’s 1,072 votes in Macon County.
“I am so thankful for the voters in far Western North Carolina,” said Corbin. “I love this area so much and am so grateful for all the support I have received so far during my campaign. We worked extremely hard to win the confidence of voters across District 120, but we never expected this margin. I truly want to thank the voters in Cherokee and Clay County for their overwhelming support. I am shocked with Macon and Graham counties’ victories of over 82 percent. I didn’t think that was possible. We kept a positive message throughout the campaign, even in the face of negative attacks. This proves once again that the folks in Western North Carolina do not approve of negative campaigning. I have never done it and I never will. We will work hard to continue to earn the respect and support we have seen so far.”
Corbin will now shift his campaign focus to the November general election where he will face off against Democrat Randy Darrell Hogsed of Andrews.
“We have a great organization in place heading into November, and everyone in all of the counties in the district have really stepped up,” said Corbin. “We plan to focus on more campaigning this fall and get out and talk to as many people as we can.”
Both commissioner seats up for grabs this November had Republican primaries on Tuesday. The District II race, the seat currently held by Corbin, featured Karl Gillespie and Ron Haven. Gillespie secured a victory with 3,151 votes to Haven’s 2,424. Gillespie will head into the November election to face Democrat and former county commissioner Charlie Leatherman.
“I am so appreciative for all of the support I have received so far during this campaign and I am grateful for everyone who came out and voted in Macon County,” said Gillespie. “In the next day or two the folks helping with my campaign and I are going to have a meeting to start preparing for November. I think you can expect to see the same hard work heading into the general election as you have during the primary.”
The District III race featured Republican incumbent Paul Higdon being challenged by Manny Carrion and Greg Boyer. Higdon secured his place on the November ballot with 2,618 votes. Carrion received 1,719 votes while Boyer received 1,400. Higdon will now appear on the November ballot against former county commissioner and Democrat Bobby Kuppers.
Voters across North Carolina were asked to vote on the Connect NC Public Improvement Bond, a $2 billion bond expected to fund government construction projects throughout the state. North Carolinians voted overwhelming in favor of the bond with 65.56 percent or 1,401,801 votes statewide in favor and 34.44 percent or 736,488 votes against.
The $2 billion will be used to fund projects across the state with The University of North Carolina system receiving $980 million. Community colleges will receive $350 million. The remaining dollars will be spread between water and sewer facilities loans and grants for local governments, agriculture labs and research facilities, state parks and the North Carolina Zoo, and N.C. National Guard and Department of Public Safety facilities.
Macon County voters came out in favor of the bond, with 5,403 votes for it and 3,436 votes against it.
Gov. Pat McCrory overwhelmingly secured the Republican bid for governor with 81.73 percent of the votes cast across North Carolina. On the Democratic side, Roy Cooper, North Carolina’s current Attorney General, received 68.77 percent of the vote. Cooper and McCrory will face off in the November general election.
In the presidential races, like North Carolina, Macon County was a close race for the Republican nomination with Donald Trump securing 2,870 votes (44.89 percent) to Ted Cruz’ 2,004 (31.34 votes. Trump won North Carolina with 458,233 votes to Cruz’ 418,783 votes.
Hillary Clinton won the North Carolina primary for the Democratic Presidential race with 54.59 percent or 616,568 votes. Bernie Sanders secured 40.76 percent of the votes in the state with 460,343 votes cast for Sanders. In Macon County, the race between Clinton and Sanders was closer, with Clinton winning by just 120 votes. Clinton received 1,548 votes to Sanders’ 1,428.
Nearly 40 percent of eligible voters in Macon County cast their ballots on Tuesday, with 9,718 out of the county’s 24,554 registered voters showing up at the polls.