Note: Corrects N.C. State Senate District 2 results
Scott Dacey seriously underestimated Walter Jones and seriously misread the mood of the congressional district. More
Ginger Garner will go against Norman Sanderson for N.C. State Senate District 2.
Barbara Lee will go against Mike Speciale in N.C. House of Representatives District 3. Speciale held off a spirited challenge in the Republican primary from Eric Queen, winning 57.24 percent of the vote, an underwhelming showing for an incumbent going against a newcomer. He’s going to have to have a better showing in November if he’s going to beat Lee, a well-known former New Bern alderman. In the primary, Speciale was contending with Republican voters divided over his conduct in office. In November, Speciale faces Democrat and independent voters, as well.
Incumbent Sheriff Jerry Monette had more competition from Eric Smith in the Democratic primary than he perhaps expected. Had there not been a third candidate, John Gillyard, Smith may well have won. Now Monette faces Chip Hughes, who won the Republican primary default without a challenger. Hughes has run against Monette in the past unsuccessfully.
E.T. Mitchell has worn a lot of hats during her nine years in New Bern, sitting on boards for the Twin Rivers YMCA, Craven Literacy Volunteers, Craven Community College Foundation, New Bern Housing Authority, and as an appointee to the New Bern Board of Aldermen. Her recipe for success includes experience, time, talent and lots and lots of money. She raised $27,052 and spent $16,866, according to the latest report on file. Billy Joiner, the Trent Woods commissioner who ran against her, launched a half-hearted attempt. The result: 60.6 percent of the vote to Mitchell, 39.4 percent for Joiner. Yes, Mitchell beat Santa Claus. Who says money doesn’t talk?
Meanwhile, elsewhere in Craven County, District 5 Commissioner Theron McCabe won his reelection bid against Rufus Carter Jr., by eight votes.
Candidates who ran unopposed:
Craven County Board of Commissioners District 1 — Jeff O’Neill, Democrat, running against incumbent Tom Mark, who won his Republican primary
Craven County Board of Commissioners District 2 — Jason Jones, unopposed in the Democrat primary, no one ran in the Republican primary. He wins by default.
Craven County Board of Commissioners District 3 — Johnnie Sampson, opposed in the Democrat primary, no candidates in the Republican primary, he wins by default.
Craven County Board of Commissioners District 4 — E.T. Mitchell won the Republican primary, there is no Democrat running, so she takes the office by default. (Incumbent Scott Dacey ran for Congress and lost)
Craven County Board of Commissioners District 5 — Theron McCabe won the Democrat primary, there is no Republican running, so he retains his office by default.
Craven County Board of Commissioners District 6 — George Liner ran in the Republican primary unopposed, and there is no Democrat challenger, so he retains his office by default.
Craven County Board of Commissioners District 7 — Denny Bucher ran unopposed in the Republican primary, Kelli Muse ran opposed in the Democrat primary. They face off in November. (Incumbent Steve Tyson did not run)
Craven County Sheriff — Chip Hughes ran unopposed in the Republican primary, faces incumbent Sheriff Jerry Monette who won the Democrat primary.
Craven County Clerk of Superior Court — Incumbent Terri Sharp unopposed Democrat, Lexanne Huffman unopposed Republican, face off in November.
District Attorney — Scott Thomas, unopposed in the primary, no challenger in November, keeps his office by default.
Craven County Republican Scott Dacey’s gamble didn’t pay off.
Dacey gave up his seat on the Craven County Board of Commissioners in a quest to unseat U.S. House of Representative District 3’s longtime, wacky Walter Jones.
Instead, Dacey came in a distant third in a three-man race. Dacey wasn’t even able to win his home county, losing to Jones by nine votes.
Dacey describes himself as a Trump Republican, so much so that his campaign website is DaceyTrump.com.
Dacey attempted to connect Jones, one of the higher-rated congressional conservatives from a variety of conservative rating systems, with Democrat congresswoman and conservative pariah Nancy Pelosi.
(See Dacey’s somewhat creepy campaign video here and watch him speak without moving his lips at the end.)
“Our President needs a congressman he can count on,” Dacey proclaims on his website, which between it and his campaign was heavily funded by donations from outside the district (list here)
Dacey’s “donate” button is labeled “Donate to Scott’s MAGA fund.” He received numerous donations from the Indian tribes that he serves in his day job as a Washington D.C. lobbyist.
In all, Dacey raised $357,497 for his campaign, compared to $2.77 million raised by Jones and $209,082 raised by Phil Law.
(Fun fact: You can tell a lot about a candidate by who puts skin into the game to get him elected. Here is N.C. Rep. Mike Speciale’s contribution report. Speciale raised $332,481 — almost as much as Dacey but for a much smaller district, and at the state level. Speciale won his primary race against Eric Queen, whose contribution report got lost in the mail or something because it reports he raised zero dollars, which is unlikely.)
Dacey claims on his website that Congress and the Washington establishment are the problem, and that Walter Jones is part of the problem.
Anyone who would think of Representative Walter Jones as part of the Washington establishment is deluded. Jones transcends party politics and remains one of the few members of Congress on either side of the aisle who will vote his conscience and his district’s needs over party politics.
Dacey? Not so much.
Anyway, Jones finished with 20,862 votes, 43 percent of the total. Law and Dacey split the rest, with Law pulling in 14,266 votes and Dacey collecting 13,380.
Dacey’s strongest showings were in Jones and Lenoir counties, where he came in first. Law won his former home county of Onslow (he lives in Raleigh now). Jones took the remaining 14 counties, most significantly Carteret, Pitt and Craven counties, which pulled in the highest numbers.
No Democrat filed to run for the office, so absent a strong write-in campaign, Walter Jones keeps his seat. He has vowed that this will be his last term.
Meanwhile, E.T. Mitchell, a former appointee to the New Bern Board of Aldermen, has won the Republican primary for Dacey’s old seat on the Craven County Board of Commissioners. There is no Democrat in the race, so again, absent a write-in campaign, she will take over for Dacey after the November elections.
N.C. Rep. Mike Speciale of New Bern, who is running for reelection in the Republican primary, posted a long response on Sunday night to opposition from a fellow conservative who is not even on the ballot.
Speciale tore into Tyker Gonzales, a Cove City resident who advocates on behalf of independent farmers and humane treatment of animals.
As Speciale tells it on his Facebook wall, “A lady by the name of Tyker Gonzales is having a hard time grasping the facts about a puppy mill bill from six years ago.
“She has chosen to make my debate on the House floor against this bill an issue in this year’s primary election. She is supporting my opponent who apparently is leading her to believe he would have supported this bill, and together they are trying to paint me as someone who does not like animals.
“That is pure nonsense, and anyone who knows me knows that I love animals. This is one reason I would not support this bill.”
Gonzales, who said she has been blocked from commenting on Speciale’s Facebook wall, was alerted to his posting by a friend.
Here is her response. After that, read the rest of Speciale’s comments.
From Tyker Gonzales:
Tyker Gonzales, from Facebook
WOW…..So tonight I was tagged in this post by a friend, a post by NC House Rep. Michael Speciale…..Wouldn’t you know Mr. Speciale’s post was written concerning yours truly! Oh my word. To make it better, he blocked me from commenting on it.
So let me be clear, I am NOT nor have I ever voted for Michael Speciale and let me explain why.
Years ago, Mr. Speciale used to work at a feed store where I purchased our horse feed. He was always very smug, acting as if he did not want to be there. I tried many times to get a smile out of him, to no avail. The next thing I knew he was running for the NC state house of Representatives……. My family was stunned. We did not vote for him as previously stated.
I have been present when he was a guest speaker at several CCTA meetings after he was elected and was still not comfortable with him representing some of us in NC with his views and overall thought process.
My discernment was confirmed when he made horrible comments on the house floor in 2013 referring to the puppy mill bill. I called him out on those comments on Facebook, and his response was that it was a ridiculous bill and he was pointing out it’s ridiculousness with his comments. ‘Exercise on a daily basis’ – if I kick him across the floor, is that considered daily exercise?” Speciale said. ‘Euthanasia performed humanely’ – so should I choose the ax or the baseball bat?” This was reported in Rolling Stone magazine and covered by WRAL. Even many of his colleagues were disgusted. He replied to WRAL with this statement, “For those of you who were not there and did not understand the context and the moment, reading my printed words could give the wrong impression, so get off your high horses and do your research before you take what you read as gospel. I will debate as I believe to be most effective, and I will not succumb to political correctness.”
Now, Mr. Speciale has not tried to correct the bill, reintroduce the bill, nor did he vote for it when it did pass the house in 2015 (two years later). This shows to me he has no interest in this bill other than making a mockery of it.
Furthermore, there was another post on Facebook in the last month asking if kids should be taught how to grow plants and vegetables while at school. Mr. Speciale responded no, they should concentrate on reading, writing and arithmetic. I responded in disagreement- pointing out how kids think their milk comes from Walmart and burgers from McDonald’s. It was important for them to learn where their food comes from and how to learn to raise it.
Those of you that know me, know farmers and animals are in my heart. You know how I feel about personal responsibility, and irresponsibility.The Bible clearly speaks about farmers and animals also, “The righteous man regards the life of his animal, but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel” Prov. 12:10 “Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains.”James 5:7 “It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops”.2 Tim. 2:6…. Regarding life, teaching patience and hard work…….animals and farming are life lessons.
Mr. Speciale, I am sorry you feel you had to lash out to me personally seeing I am not on the ballot. I am also sorry you think Mr. Queen is “leading me to believe he would have voted for it” as we have never even discussed it honestly. I am supporting Mr. Eric Queen because of his integrity, his service, his experience in protecting others in pinpoint circumstances while in the Marines, his honesty, the fact that he visited and showed interest in our animal shelter asking questions to see what is needed, what is lacking and how the state is involved, the solutions he proposes for the opioid epidemic are solid, school safety is one of his specialties (you should hear his testimonies of protecting Afghanistan schools).
So for those of you watching this race, I ask you again to vote for Eric Queen. It is crystal clear to me now more than ever that while Mr. Speciale is also a child of God and loved by God and me, we are given the choice of who best represents us- and I believe that man is Eric Queen.
Here is the rest from Speciale’s post:
The facts are that the bill was pure nonsense, and this bill has been presented every session for years, and every session it has not passed. In 2013 Governor McCrory’s wife made it her pet bill and Speaker Tillis, as well as several members of the House, were determined to pass this bill in order to please her.
In order to get the bill to pass the individual committees, it was successively watered down with each committee, so that by the time it came to the House floor, it was so generic and watered down as to be useless to law enforcement and unenforceable in a court of law. My objection to the bill was its ambiguous wording and its unenforceability.
The American Kennel Society was against the bill, as were many other organizations and individuals. The bill exempts breeders of hunting dogs, breeders of less than 10 dogs, breeders of show dogs, breeders of sporting dogs, breeders of dogs kept for purposes other than pets, and field trials. So who does this bill apply to? What is the purpose of the bill?
When new laws are written, they must be specific enough to be easily recognized, charged, and adjudicated in court.
Nothing in this bill is specific enough to prevent opinions of what is or what isn’t being done. The bill states that dogs must: Have access to exercise on a daily basis. Access?
Who determines what access is? That is not specific enough, and leaves it up to an officer to determine if a violation has occurred. Must have access to food and water. Again, access is not defined. Must be humanely euthanized. What exactly does that mean in a legal sense? Some folks have use axes to euthanize their dogs, and they thought that was humane because it was quick. What does humanely mean when there is no apt description. This and others like this are why I fought to defeat this bill. I used strong verbage like the reference to the axe to get my point across to my fellow Legislators, whose votes I was trying to turn against the bill. I did succeed in turning some to vote no, but not enough to stop passage. The bill died from neglect in the Senate. It was brought up again in the 2015-2016 session and did not pass, and again last year, where it did not pass the Senate.
Tyker Gonzales is taking my words on the floor of the House in this debate to mean that I hate animals, and that is nonsense and the idea is absurd! Instead of worrying about how I chose to debate, she should be happy that this watered down bill did not pass and make everyone feel all good inside as if they accomplished something. You, the citizens of this District, did not send me to Raleigh to pass useless bills for the Governor’s wife at your expense. My words are not the problem here, the bill was the problem but my opponent apparently would vote yes for this bill if given the chance. Please vote for someone who reads the bills and can discern their meaning and their effect and vote accordingly. Don’t be fooled by my opponent, Vote Michael Speciale.