Garner’s Cruden appears headed to a runoff

jwhitfield@newsobserver.comMay 7, 2014 

Garner resident Jeff Cruden, a front-runner for the Republican nomination to succeed Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby, won the most votes in Tuesday’s primary election, but his vote total wasn’t enough to avoid a primary runoff.

Cruden garnered 33.68 percent of the vote, nearly 400 votes more than John Walter Bryant. When no candidate collects more than 40 percent of the vote in a primary, the second place challenger can call for a runoff.

If Bryant calls for that runoff – and it’s unclear yet if he will – the election would take place July 15.

Whoever wins that race will face a November election against Lorrin Freeman, who won the Democratic primary handily over Boz Zellinger.

Cruden, 51, is an assistant district attorney. He enjoyed the support of the area’s law enforcement community, including the Raleigh Police Protective Association, whose members include sworn law enforcement officers.

In Johnston County elections, two incumbent county commissioners won re-election to their seats after fending off primary challenges. Chad Stewart defeated Keith Brinson by a 57.5-42.5 percent margin. Cookie Pope’s win over Patrick Harris was considerably closer as she took the race by a 52.5-47.5 percent margin of victory.

Michele Ball claimed 51 percent of the vote in the Republican race for Johnston County Clerk of Court to win a three-way battle for that nomination. She will face Democrat Michelle Denning, who was unopposed, in the general election to replace longtime Clerk of Court Will Crocker, who is retiring.

Staff writers Josh Shaffer and Nash Dunn contributed to this report

Whitfield: 919-829-4823; Twitter: @easternwakenews

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