By Susan Dickson
Orange County Commissioner Valerie Foushee soundly defeated Travis Phelps in the N.C. House of Representatives District 50 Democratic primary on Tuesday and will face Republican Rod Chaney, who also won by a wide margin, in November.
Foushee won nearly 85 percent of the vote (7,886), while Phelps had 15 percent (1,426). Chaney carried 55.4 percent of the vote (1,897) and defeated Jason Chambers (18.8 percent), Thomas Samuel Wright (16.2 percent) and W. Lewis Hannah, Jr. (9.6 percent).
Redistricting plans call for District 50 to include portions of Orange and Durham counties.
For the House District 56 seat, which includes Carrboro and Chapel Hill, Rep. Verla Insko was unchallenged in the Democratic primary in her bid to win reelection. She will face Republican Karrie Mead in November. Mead was likewise unchallenged in her primary bid.
In state Senate District 23, which includes Orange County, Democrat Sen. Ellie Kinnaird ran unopposed in the primary for a ninth term. Republican Dave Carter will challenge her in November.
For the Orange County Schools Board of education, incumbents Steve Halkiotis and Tony McKnight and newcomer Lawrence Sanders won election with 27.8 percent (8,181), 27.4 percent (8,072) and 24.1 percent (7,095), respectively. Challenger Tommy McNeill carried 16.2 percent of the vote, or 4,777 votes.
In the state House District 54 Democratic primary, Deb McManus defeated Jeff Starkweather with nearly 59 percent, or 6,786, to 41 percent, or 4,738. She will face Republican Cathy Wright, who ran unopposed in the primary, in November.
The District 54 seat, which under redistricting represents all of Chatham County and a portion of Lee County, is now held by Joe Hackney, who will not run for reelection.
Democrat incumbent Sally Kost will face Republican Sam Shriver in November for the District 1 seat on the Chatham County Board of Commissioners. Both ran unopposed in their primaries.
Democrat incumbent Mike Cross will seek reelection to his District 2 seat, unchallenged in the primary. He will face Republican Bill Crawford in November.
David Hamm ran unopposed for the District 2 seat in the nonpartisan Chatham County Board of Education race. Karen Howard also ran unopposed for the District 1 seat.
Chatham County Register of Deeds Treva Seagroves, a Democrat, received no challengers in her bid for reelection.