In-person early voting closes, 46-day second primary window ends Tuesday



(The Center Square) – Forty-six days to mark ballots in the second primary comes to an end on Tuesday for North Carolina voters.

In-person early voting ended Saturday afternoon. The ninth-most populous state needed five runoff races because requests were made by second-place finishers in elections where the winner did not get more than 30%.

The Second Primary Election Day is Tuesday, with all absentee ballots due in election offices by 7:30 p.m. when polls close. Absentee ballots started going out by request on March 30 for this runoff.

There are five races and two have had unusual quirks removing suspense.

There are Republican primaries for lieutenant governor between Hal Weatherman and Jim O’Neill, and for auditor between Jack Clark and Dave Boliek. In Gaston County, the Republican primary for the South Point Township District is between Jim Bailey and Ronnie Worley.

Then there are the quirks.

The 13th Congressional District’s Republican primary matches Kelly Daughtry and Brad Knott, though Daughtry has suspended her campaign. That doesn’t make Knott the winner automatically. Should Daughtry get more votes than Knott, she has the option to decline the nomination and allow an executive committee from the party in the district to appoint a candidate to the fall ballot.

Knott said, despite the suspension, the race isn’t over and encouraged his supporters to vote.

The Orange County Schools Board of Education race between Jennifer Moore and Bonnie Hauser took a turn after early voting began. Both were board members trying to stay on until Moore resigned last month. She had claimed a doctorate in business administration from Bellevue University; the school has no such record.

Ballots were already in the mail and returned and will be in front of voters through the process.

Former President Donald Trump’s impact after the Super Tuesday primary was felt in two congressional races.

The first was immediate, with his call to Mark Walker asking him to be part of his campaign for president. Walker was runner-up to Addison McDowell in the 6th Congressional District 26.1%-24.1%. Walker didn’t file for a runoff, and the BlueCross BlueShield lobbyist endorsed by the nation’s 45th president will proceed to Congress following the formality of the general election. McDowell does not have a Democratic opponent Nov. 5.

And Trump’s second play was endorsing Knott, which prompted Daughtry to stop her quest. In 2022, she lost a primary race against Trump-endorsed Bo Hines, who subsequently lost to now-U.S. Rep. Wiley Nickel, D-N.C.

On March 5, Daughtry led a 14-candidate field with 27.4% of the votes. Knott was second with 18.7% and Fred Von Canon third with 17.1%. Von Canon has also endorsed Knott.

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