Coble Holds Off Challengers in GOP Primary
Click here, then click on "View All Data" to see Moore County precinct results in the 6th Congressional District.
Howard Coble isn’t going anywhere just yet.
According to unofficial results for Tuesday’s primary election, the 13-term incumbent congressman overwhelmed his four challengers to win the Republican Party’s nomination for North Carolina’s 6th Congressional District. It was the first time he has faced opposition within his own party since he first ran for the seat in 1984.
Coble swept all six of the district’s counties, winning over 32,000 votes or nearly 64 percent. In Moore County, he captured over 3,800 votes, or 53 percent.
In the Democratic Primary for U.S. Senate, no candidate managed to garner the required 40 percent of the vote to avoid a run-off. As of 10:30 p.m., Secretary of State Elaine Marshall was in the lead with around 36 percent. Former State Sen. Cal Cunningham was second with just over 27 percent. They will face off on June 22 to decide the party’s nominee to take on incumbent Sen. Richard Burr in November.
Burr faced only token opposition on the Republican side and cruised to victory. He won over 80 percent of the vote.
It was a sweet win for Coble, who said the race was the most difficult he’s had to endure in his congressional career. He said it was even harder than his first two races against Democrat Robin Britt in the 1984 and 1986 general elections.
“I think this is probably the most challenging race in which I have been involved,” he said. “I believe this campaign required more diligence and more hard work and more concentration than [the 1984 and 1986 campaigns].”
Coble said because the field was so crowded, he thought that it could have been “mathematically improbable” to reach the 40 percent threshold to avoid a run-off. He said he figured the race could have gone either way, especially with the anti-incumbent mood that has swept across the country.
Despite those growing sentiments, Coble’s challengers couldn’t muster enough votes to unseat him. The field included Guilford County Commissioner Billy Yow, Cathy Hinson, Jeff Phillips and James Taylor, an anesthesiologist who lives in Southern Pines.
Taylor performed well in Moore County, winning three precincts and over 2,200 votes, or 31 percent. But he didn’t have as much support elsewhere, finishing third just behind Yow.
Yow finished with just over 8,100 votes or 16 percent, while Taylor finished with just over 7,600 votes, nearly 15 percent.
Taylor called his run a "wonderful and humbling experience."
"This was a shot across the bow to say the people are waking up," he said. "I am proud that we gave the people of District 6 somebody to vote for who is not politics as usual."
Taylor said he was pleased with what he and his supporters did in the race, and that he learned some valuable lessons that he thinks could help himself or another candidate. He didn't, however, commit to possibly making another run for political office.
"I am sure that we will consider that (running again)," Taylor said.
Coble praised his opponents for their hard work and civility. He said he hoped their supporters would feel comfortable with voting for him in November.
“I think there’s little doubt about my conservative credentials,” he said. “All of the conservative think tanks have given me consistently high marks.”
He will face Democrat Sam Turner, an airline pilot from Salisbury, in the general election.
Cunningham enjoyed strong support locally, winning 53 percent of the vote here. Marshall finished second with almost 31 percent. Attorney Ken Lewis finished a distant third.
Like the rest of the state, Burr easily dominated Moore County with 85 percent of the vote.
Contact John Krahnert III by e-mail at email@example.com. Staff Writer Tom Embrey contributed to this story.
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