Senate 18 results


Mary Easley got a bit of a scare. She should have won handily in her son's old district, but she won by only 350 votes over Jeff Johnson, a political novice. Congratulations to Jeff on running a strong race against big odds.

So the Republicans have not gained any ground in the State Senate, but the vacancy in Mary Easley's House seat presents an opportunity to Republicans. The GOP's Frank Pitezel held the seat for many years. Pitezel was beaten by Bruce Niemi in 1990. The district was redrawn in 1991, and Flint Breckenridge beat Niemi to take back the seat for the GOP in 1992. In '96, Mary Easley outworked and outhustled Breckenridge to win by only 2% (300 votes). No one has come close to beating her since then, even though Republicans and Democrats are nearly even in registration and turnout.

Because the vacancy in House 78 comes so late in the year, the vacancy will not be filled with a special election -- it will be decided through the normal election process. I'll be following this one with interest, since I live in the district. With the right candidate, this could be one of the seats that puts the Republicans in the majority in one house of the legislature, for the first time since the election of 1920.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on April 7, 2004 12:20 AM.

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