N.C. House primaries result in several incumbent losses

Justin Burr (R-Stanly) sits on the floor of the House during the crossover legislative session on April 26, 2017

ALBEMARLE — Rep. Justin Burr will complete his fifth term in office this year, but 2019 will not begin his sixth as pharmacist Wayne Sasser took home the GOP nomination in a hard-fought primary battle that was heavy on negative campaigning. Several other incumbents in the N.C. House of Representatives were not invited back for another term by their local party electorate. On the GOP side, Rep. Beverly Boswell — who currently represents Beaufort, Dare, Hyde and Washington counties — lost her chance for re-election in a new district with a loss to Currituck County Commissioner Bobby Hanig.

On the Democratic side, Rep. Rodney W. Moore — who has spent four terms in the House representing Mecklenburg County — lost to retired Air Force veteran and restaurant franchise owner Nasif Majeed. Embattled Rep. Duane Hall will complete his third and final term representing Wake County after losing the Democratic primary in District 11 to Allison Dahle, a political newcomer.

For Rep. Burr, who won his first election at 22, the loss means the GOP will lose one of its influential budget chairmen. “I am not sad or disappointed for my self personally,” said Burr. “I am going to be ok and enjoy more of life with my beautiful new bride. However, I am disappointed that our district is losing our influential seat at the head of the table and trading it in for a seat in the back of the room.”

Wayne Sasser, who bills himself as “not a politician,” will likely be the new voice of Stanly County in Raleigh in a GOP leaning district. Sasser will face Democrat Karen Webster and Libertarian Michael Finn in the fall general election.

On election night Sasser said, “we are going to move this county forward. We are going to patch the damage that’s been done and get everybody headed in one direction.”

In remarks on Facebook conceding defeat Burr said, “The outcome of this election is not what many of us wanted, but with all of the Democrat interference, low turnout, slanderous attacks and constant wild rumors about me from my opponent and his campaign, the results are not surprising.” As he looked to life beyond Jones Street, Burr said, “I’ve been a proud Republican all of my life and that won’t change now. This loss just means we’ve got to fight a little bit harder in the future to overcome the dirty and underhanded games of our adversaries. For me, the battle for our conservative values will continue regardless of any title or position.”

Rep. Rodney Moore was more specific in his comments on losing in the primary. “Didn’t get the results I wanted tonight,” he said. “Learned some lessons during this campaign. Won’t make the same mistakes again. Thanks to all who supported me. See you all again in 2020.”