Parmon prevails in state Senate contest

by Jordan Green

NC Rep. Earline Parmon trounced opponent James Taylor Jr. in the Democratic contest for the open state Senate District 32 to represent Winston-Salem.

Parmon won her race by a margin of 24.4 percent, polling heavily in predominantly African-American precincts that she has represented in the House over the past decade, along with a southeast Winston-Salem precincts in the Southeast Ward that Taylor represents on city council.

Election results also brought victories for Elisabeth Motsinger in the 5th Congressional District Democratic primary, Evelyn Terry in the NC House District 71 primary and Ed Hanes Jr. in the NC House District 72 primary, with turnout across the county at 34.4 percent. Republican Debra Conrad and Democrat David W. Moore won their respective primaries, propelling them into a general election contest for NC House District 74. And Richard Linville, Dave Plyler and Gloria Whisenhunt, the three Republican incumbents in Forsyth County Commission District B, cleared their primary.

“I think my message resonated with the voters that recognized that experience and a proven record is what is needed in Raleigh,” said Parmon, who celebrated the results at her campaign headquarters on West 4th Street. “My record and the issues I have fought for — education, sterilization and racial justice — people know my record and supported me because of that.”

Parmon acknowledged that the primary contest included rough passages, including questions that arose about her involvement with a political action committee whose poll workers sometimes used deceptive and illegal tactics.

“It was a legal PAC,” she said. “I was very disappointed that the media said I knew about the PAC before it endorsed me, and I think people saw through that. I didn’t have anything to do with the PAC. I didn’t have a hand in developing the PAC. I think the voters saw through that. As far as the flier, I think maybe I’m the only one that won, so fliers have different effects. I think my record is what made the difference.”

Hanes, who avoided a runoff by carrying 43.6 percent of the vote in the three-way contest for the Democratic nomination in House District 72, also acknowledged that the primary left the party bruised.

“We have to come together in the last few weeks,” he said. “We have to get excited about being dynamic. If we don’t we’re going to be doomed to be overtaken by negative things. We have things to focus on: We’re the No. 1 urban country for kids who have food concerns.

“We have to put some of these issues behind us,” he added, “and clean up what we need to clean up.”

Hanes ran on a platform of unity in the district, which is roughly divided between black and white. He carried a swath of precincts west of Reynolda Road, while opponent S. Wayne Patterson swept the central and eastern portions of the district but garnered only 35.9 percent of the vote. Jimmie Lee Bonham, the third candidate won 20.6 percent of the vote and carried only one precinct.

Motsinger dominated her race in the 5th Congressional District, winning almost 70 percent of the vote to opponent Bruce Peller’s 30 percent across the district, which stretches from Winston-Salem west to Boone. Motsinger carried all the counties in the district except for Alexander, and her win allows her to challenge arch-conservative Republican incumbent Virginia Foxx in November.

“My campaign is based on building relationships, and that is what we’ll continue,” Motsinger said. “I think the voters have said they trust me to carry the banner with them.”

In other races, former Winston-Salem City Councilwoman Evelyn Terry eked out a 167-vote win over Forsyth County Commissioner Everette Witherspoon in a spirited contest that pitted youth against life experience.

In House District 74, County Commissioner Debra Conrad defeated two opponents by pulling 42.8 percent of the vote in the Republican primary. Larry R. Brown, a sitting House representative lost, with 29.2 percent, along with a third candidate, Glenn L. Cobb. Brown, said the Republican-led redistricting process resulted in him losing 60 percent of the constituency in his former district.

In the Democratic primary for the House District 74 seat, David W. Moore prevailed over John Gladman by an 8.3 percent margin. Moore’s campaign committee received a notice last month from the state Board of Elections that his campaign committee was being terminated because of failure to file campaign finance reports. As such, Moore was told he was not allowed to receive contributions or make expenditures. He said Tuesday that it would not hinder him from advancing to the general election, and that he would straighten it out.

In the Republican primary for Forsyth County Commission District B, Chairman Richard Linville led balloting with 18.8 percent of the vote. Dave Plyler, a moderate incumbent who took fire from fellow Republicans, placed second with 18.1 percent, while Gloria Whisenhunt, the third incumbent, trailed slightly.