RALEIGH (WTVD) --Attorney General Roy Cooper and Gov. Pat McCrory have won their gubernatorial primaries, setting up a general election battle for November.
In unofficial returns Cooper led Durham lawyer Ken Spaulding by a comfortable margin. Cooper had about 70 percent of the vote.
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Cooper has been attorney general since 2001. His state political career began when he was elected in 1986 to the state House from Nash County. He's been critical of McCrory and Republicans leading the legislature, saying they have rolled the state backward on education and voting rights and should have expanded Medicaid.
Spaulding announced his bid for governor in 2013 and said Cooper was wrong to defend laws passed by the General Assembly that mandated photo identification to vote and pulled back on early voting.
Partial, unofficial results Tuesday showed McCrory with more than 80 percent of the vote. Former state Rep. Robert Brawley of Mooresville and Charles Kenneth Moss of Randleman received the rest.
McCrory's victory was expected, although Brawley had hoped to capitalize on unhappiness with construction of toll lanes on Interstate 77 by the governor's administration.
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McCrory is a former Charlotte mayor who defeated Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton in the 2012 general election. His campaign anticipated a general election clash with Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper.
The governor highlights the state's improved economic picture, tax reductions and government efficiencies during his three years in office in seeking re-election.
North Carolina's fall U.S. Senate election will pit two-term Republican incumbent Richard Burr of Winston-Salem against Democrat Deborah Ross, a former state House member from Raleigh.
Burr and Ross won their respective primaries Tuesday. Burr received held a 2-to-1 margin over Cary obstetrician Greg Brannon in partial, unofficial results. Larry Holmquist and Paul Wright also ran for the GOP nomination.
Ross had received two-thirds of the votes counted, followed by Spring Lake Mayor Chris Rey, Durham staffing company owner Kevin Griffin and U.S. Army veteran Ernest Reeves of Greenville.
Burr served previously in the U.S. House. He's now chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and highlighted national security issues during the primary. Ross took in the most campaign money among the four Democrats and received high-profile endorsements.
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