Dems lead Columbus, GOP in Horry

Voter turnout was reported at 64.22 percent in Columbus County on Tuesday, 63.09 percent in Horry. Early voting in North Carolina kept lines smaller in Columbus, while a 90-minute wait for voters in this line at the Bayboro precinct Tuesday morning was reflected at some other voting places in Horry. (Joyce Graham photo)

By DEUCE NIVEN

    Democrats cruised to re-election in some locally contested races in Columbus County on Tuesday, while Republicans did the same in Horry, as Presidential politics brought big numbers to the polls just about everywhere in America.
    While Barrack Obama, the incumbent Democrat president won re-election on Monday, voters in both Horry and Columbus counties preferred Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
    Columbus has picked the GOP in national elections in the past, while at the same time leaning solidly Democratic in local races. That was evident in Tuesday’s voting.
    Horry’s politics is decidedly Republican.
    At least two regional races that include Columbus County appeared too close to call early today, with razor thin margins in North Carolina’s 7th District Congressional Race, and in the battle to replace Napoleon Barefoot as a Superior Court Judge in the 13th Judicial District that also includes Bladen and Brunswick counties.
    All of the numbers reported Tuesday and early today are unofficial, and won’t be official at least until next week’s canvass of the vote. In some close races, provisional ballots that won’t be counted until the canvas could change the outcome.

Too close to call
    In a newly drawn congressional district that tilts to the GOP, Democratic incumbent Mike McIntyre held a 507-vote lead with 334,541 votes tallied on Tuesday, and neither he nor Republican challenger David Rouzer were calling the race over early today.
    Pauline Hankins held a bigger lead over W. Richard Cox in the non-partisan District 13 Superior Court Judge race on Tuesday, a 967-vote margin with 77,575 votes counted. Hankins 39,271 unofficial vote total represented 50.62 percent of those counted as of Tuesday, with Cox scoring 38,304 votes.
    Bladen County proved the key to Hankins’ win. Cox won by about 100 votes in Columbus, by about 1,000 votes in Brunswick, but lost by nearly 2,000 votes in Bladen County.

Clear winners: Columbus
    Though contested, there were no real contests in these Columbus County races:
•    NC Senate District 13: Democrat Michael Walters of Robeson County took 62 percent of the vote, topping challenger W. Bernard White Jr. Walters, an incumbent, formerly represented Robeson and Hoke counties, and will now represent Robeson and Columbus as a result of redistricting followed the 2010 Census.
•    NC House District 46: Chadbourn Mayor and Democrat Ken Waddell topped Republican incumbent Gaston (G.L.) Pridgen with 60 percent of the vote in a newly drawn district that includes all of Columbus County, a portion of Bladen, and a section of Robeson that encompasses Pridgen’s home.
•    County commissioner: None of the Columbus commissioner’s seeking re-election this year were challenged. Neither was Trent Burroughs, now a Tabor City Council member who will take the seat filled by the retiring 30-year veteran Lynwood Norris. Burroughs won 2,242 votes.

Clear winners: Horry
•    Congressional District 7 – Republican Tom Rice took 64 percent of the vote over Democrat Gloria Bromell Tinubu.
•    Senate District 28 – Republican Greg Hembree took 64.8 percent of the vote over Democrat Butch Johnson, winning the seat being vacated by Dick Elliott, who is retiring after 15 years in office.
•    House District 104 – Incumbent Republican Tracy r. Edge took 61.4 percent of the vote over Democrat Charles Randall.
•    County Council District 9 – Incumbent Republican Paul Prince took 76.2 percent of the vote over petition candidate Patrick Boulter.
•    County Council District 10 – Incumbent Republican Jody Prince 70.1 percent of the vote over Democrat Kenneth Robinson.
•    Board of Education District 9 – Incumbent Republican David E. Cox won in a tighter race, taking 51.5 percent of the vote over Democrat Ronald Bessant.

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