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With recounts done, Pierce can prepare to join General Assembly

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(The Center Square) – Rodney Pierce, the schoolteacher from Roanoke Rapids, is headed to the North Carolina General Assembly.

Pierce won the Democratic primary for District 27, first finishing atop the unofficial results on Primary Election Day and then again following the third of three counties finishing recounts on Monday. Rep. Michael Wray, D-Northampton, was seeking an 11th term in office and in a statement said he wasn’t sure his next role but it would be to fight for the people of the state.

There is no Republican challenger in the Nov. 5 general election.

At close of business on Monday evening, the published total on the state Board of Elections website showed Pierce ahead by 34 of 11,938 votes counted.

Pierce has taught school for less than 10 years. He ran on a platform of “fully funded public education,” affordable health care, affordable housing, and class mobility. His supporters included the state Sierra Club, Communication Workers of America political action committee, AFL-CIO, and the Progressive Caucus of the North Carolina Democratic Party.

Gaston’s Wray was first elected in the 2004 election. Before asking for the recounts, he filed protests with respective election boards in Northampton, Halifax and Warren counties.

Other House members to lose in primaries were Rep. George Cleveland, R-Onslow, and Rep. Kevin Crutchfield, R-Cabarrus. Sen. Mike Woodard, D-Durham, was the lone victim in his chamber.

Wray, who turns 57 next week, will finish the short session as vice chairman of the Agriculture Committee. He’s chairman of the Ethics Committee and senior chairman of the House Finance Committee. He’s a member of committees for alcoholic beverage control, health, insurance, rules and calendar, and wildlife resources.

The Barton College alumnus was a town commissioner in Gaston prior to winning election to the Statehouse.

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