The race that had attracted the most attention in the Tuesday, May 17 statewide primaries turned out to not be much of a race at all.
Thirteenth District Congressman Ted Budd easily won the Republican Senate primary with 445,280 votes for 59 percent. Budd only had to top 30 percent of the vote to avoid a primary runoff.
Former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, who began the race with a significant lead in the polls, finished a distant second with 186,729 votes for 25 percent. McCrory went after Budd on a number of issues including the fact that Budd chose not to participate in candidate debates. It turned out that not participating in debates was not a big issue for the voters.
Former 6th District Congressman Mark Walker finished third with 70,127 votes for 9 percent, which is right where the polls for the past few months had pegged him. Walker did a lot better in Guilford County than he did statewide, but he still didn’t manage to win. Budd won Guilford County with 47 percent while Walker finished second with 31 percent. McCrory finished third in Guilford County with 17 percent.
Marjorie Eastman, who did participate in some of the debates, finished fourth in the statewide primary with 2 percent.
Budd will now face former North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley in the general election on Nov. 8.
Beasley crushed her opponents in the Democratic primary winning with 497,378 votes for 81 percent. The second place finisher was James L. Carr Jr. who had 21,688 votes for 3.5 percent.
The state Democratic leadership had tried to clear out candidates who had a chance to challenge Beasley and it worked.
The North Carolina Senate seat has attracted nationwide attention because it is an open seat. North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr announced that he would not be running for a fourth term. Currently North Carolina is represented by two Republicans, Burr and Sen. Thom Tillis. The Senate is evenly split with 50 Democrats and 50 Republicans, but the Democrats have an edge because Vice President Kamala Harris can vote to break ties.