Final Results – Cruden vs. Bryant in Runoff, Freeman wins decisively

Jeff Cruden emerged the winner of the Republican Primary this evening with 12,361 votes or 33.68% if the total ballots cast. But, owing to a 60s era law, Cruden will face a runoff with the next highest vote-getter, John Bryant, a candidate backed by the Republican establishment – Burr, Holding, etc. Bryant said he would need to consult with his supporters about whether he would request a runoff.

Cruden told WRAL: “We’re excited. It shows that, if you do things the right way for the right reasons for a long enough period of time, it matters. If [Bryant] wants to have a runoff, we’re ready to run. … We’ve got momentum, and we’re going to keep it going.”

Cruden’s experience won the day, especially encapsulated by this campaign video:

On the Democratic side, Lorrin Freeman, Wake County’s Clerk of Court, won the primary handily beating Benjamin “Boz” Zellinger 57 percent to 42 percent. Zellinger’s money – $105,000 of which he donated to himself – could not buy him the election. The big loser was not just Zellinger, but Dana Cope and SEANC which had come out against Freeman, accusing her of corruption in a mailer sent to SEANC members last month.

Word is that Zellinger is trying to make-nice with Freeman, although it’s an open question about whether this is possible given that Freeman really doesn’t need Zellinger in the general and given that Zellinger had attacked Freeman as incompetent, echoing SEANC ads implying she was corrupt.

Zellinger told WRAL: “I look forward to supporting Lorrin Freeman,” he said Tuesday. “She is a fantastic candidate, and I will do everything I can to help her win in November.”

Attorneys throughout the day approached me horrified at my prediction that Boz would win. One attorney, a lifelong Democrat, recounted in vivid detail his advocacy for Jeff Cruden in the face of a potential Zellinger win. It was the first time that that attorney had ever taken up a Republican’s cause.

Final

DISTRICT ATTORNEY DISTRICT 10 – REP (VOTE FOR 1)
NAME ON BALLOT PARTY BALLOT COUNT PERCENT
Jeff Cruden REP 12,631 33.68 %
John Walter Bryant REP 12,246 32.66 %
Jefferson G. Griffin REP 8,526 22.74 %
Terry A. Swaim REP 4,098 10.93 %
DISTRICT ATTORNEY DISTRICT 10 – DEM (VOTE FOR 1)
NAME ON BALLOT PARTY BALLOT COUNT PERCENT
Nancy (Lorrin) Freeman DEM 26,041 57.83 %
Benjamin (Boz) Zellinger DEM 18,987 42.17 %

Damon Chetson

Damon Chetson is a Board Certified Specialist in State and Federal Criminal Law. He represents people charged with serious and minor offenses in Raleigh, Wake County, and the Eastern District of North Carolina. Call (919) 352-9411.