© 2024. Randolph Hub. All Rights Reserved.


McDowell loses commissioner seat in primary

ASHEBORO — Nearly a quarter of Randolph County voters cast their votes in the North Carolina primary, held on March 5 after more than two weeks of early voting opportunities. 


The turnout for Randolph County was 23,190 of voters out of 95,800 total registered voters in the county, or 24.21 percent. About 40 percent of that total — 9,245 voters — cast their ballots early.


The biggest local takeaway from the primary was in the lone Randolph County Commissioners primary race, where incumbent Maxton McDowell lost his District 5 seat to challenger Lester Rivenbark. Rivenbark collected 8,479 votes (44.11%), Chris McLeod 6,031 votes (31.37%) and McDowell 4,713 (24.52%). Rivenbark will now be the Republican representative on the November ballot. 


Here are some other election highlights from the primary: In more high profile state and national races, President Biden collected 2,427 votes in the county while 450 voted no preference on the Democratic side. Biden finished with 606,596 votes on the state level, 87.32%.


On the Republican side, former President Donald Trump garnered 17,404 Randolph votes (86.36%), with challenger Nikki Haley getting 2,350 votes (11.66%) and Ron DeSantis 216 votes (1%), just ahead of No Preference (94 votes). Trump pulled in 73.9% of the state vote to easily win. He finished with 790,750 votes while runner-up Haley had just shy of a quarter million votes (249,651) for 23.3%.  


In the race for governor, Mark Robinson led local Republican voting with 15,112 (76.31%), well ahead of Dale Folwell’s 2,617 votes (13.22%) and Bill Graham’s 2,074 votes (10.47%). On the state level, Robinson won the primary with 663,974 votes (64.84%) to runner-up Folwell’s 196,189 (19.16%). 


On the Democratic side, Josh Stein rolled with 69.64% (476,704 votes) statewide and 70.84% (2,014 votes) in Randolph County.


Also statewide, the Lieutenant Governor race winners were Democrat Rachel Hunt with 70% of the vote and Hal Weatherman with just 19.61% (181,251) of the vote in a race where five candidates had at least 10 percent. However, Weatherman will have to win a runoff election to move on. He’ll face Jim O’Neill (146,486, 15.85%) in a May 14 runoff election. In Randolph County, Hunt had 64% of the Democratic vote while Weatherman had 3,867 votes, Sam Page 3,864 votes and O’Neill 3,842 votes among the 11 candidates on the Republican ballot. 


There will also be a May 14 runoff vote for NC Auditor between Republicans Jack Clark and Dave Boliek. Clark won by nearly 10,000 votes but only 23.24 percent of the total statewide in another election in which five candidates received at least 10 percent of the vote. Boliek got 22.12 percent of the vote. In Randolph County, Boliek led with 5,087 votes (29.77%) to Clark’s 3,761 votes (22.01%).