Congressional races: Sandy Smith defeats Sandy Roberson; Don Davis, Greg Murphy, Barbara Gaskins win big
State Sen. Don Davis easily won the Democratic primary for 1st District congressional seat Tuesday, while Sandy Smith won a tight race over and Sandy Roberson and the GOP field.
Davis of Snow Hill won with 63 percent of the vote over three other hopefuls in complete but unofficial totals. State Sen. Erica Smith was his closest rival with 31 percent of the vote for the seat vacated by Democrat G.K. Butterfield in complete but unofficial totals.
Republican Sandy Smith, who lost to Butterfield in 2020, won the GOP primary with 31 percent of the vote over Rocky Mount Mayor Roberson, who had 27 percent in a field with six other candidates. Roberson late in the campaign levied a personal attack against Smith that she was unfit for office.
"Nearly $2 million in smear ads against us and we still came out on top. No run-off," Smith said in a tweet late Tuesday night. "I will fight for border security, jobs, cutting the gas tax and fixing our broken Biden economy."
In the race for the 3rd District on Tuesday, Incumbent U.S. Rep. Greg Murphy won over a field of four challengers with 78 percent of the vote.
In the two-way Democratic race for the District 3 nomination, Greenville's Barbara Gaskins earned 81 percent of the vote over Joe Swartz of Swansboro.
Davis, who currently represents Pitt and Greene counties in the state Senate, last month won the endorsement of Rep. Butterfield, 75, who did not seek re-election to the office he has held since 2004. A former Air Force officer and mayor of Snow Hill, Davis said in a statement Tuesday that the election “has been about making sure eastern North Carolina gets our fair share.”
“In the State Senate, I have introduced over 90 pieces of legislation, working with Democrats and Republicans to support our veterans, seniors, and small businesses,” he said. “I have always put eastern North Carolina first.”
In a statement on social media, Rep. Murphy, a physician elected in 2019 to replace longtime Rep. Walter Jones Jr., said he is humbled and thankful for the support in the primary.
“As we advance to the general, I look forward to unifying Republicans to defeat the far-left socialist agenda and take back the House,” Murphy wrote. “One down, one to go.”
Gaskins said in a telephone interview Tuesday that she is preparing to launch her “People Over Policies” tour of the district.
“What we’re planning on doing is putting the red and blue technically aside and actually talking to the people, finding out what our issues are so that I can truly represent eastern North Carolina,” she said, criticizing Murphy for his attention to problems at the U.S.-Mexico border. “There are so many people in eastern North Carolina hurting and so many issues right here that we have to focus on.”