Politics & Government

In N. Carolina, Dems tighten grip on the executive branch

Democrats tightened their hold on the executive branch of North Carolina's state government Tuesday, capturing the auditor's office and holding onto a wide majority on the Council of State, whose members decide a variety of issues most often related to state assets.

In the race for lieutenant governor, Democratic state Sen. Walter Dalton appeared sure to beat Republican Robert Pittenger.

Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper was defeating Republican Bob Crumley.

Democratic state Sen. Janet Cowell was leading state Rep. Bill Daughtridge for state treasurer.

In the race for insurance commissioner, Democrat Wayne Goodwin, a deputy in the commissioner's office, was defeating Republican challenger John Odom, a former Raleigh city council member and businessman.

In the race for agriculture commissioner, Republican incumbent Steve Troxler held a narrow lead over Democratic challenger Ronnie Ansley, a Raleigh lawyer.

Incumbent Secretary of State Elaine Marshall, a Democrat, was beating Republican real estate lawyer Jack Sawyer.

In the race for commissioner of labor, incumbent Republican Cherie Berry was in a dead heat with Democrat Mary Fant Donnan, a program manager at the Z Smith Reynolds Foundation.

Incumbent Auditor Les Merritt, a Republican, was losing to Democrat Beth Wood, a former director of training in the office.

June Atkinson appeared set to as the state superintendent of public instruction, defeating Republican Richard Morgan, a former speaker of the N.C. House.