Cook wins District 1 seatPublished 8:59pm Monday, December 3, 2012
Nearly a month after Election Day, Beaufort County resident Republican Bill Cook has won the District 1 seat in the state Senate.
After all but one hand-to-eye recount in the eight-county district was completed Monday, Stan White, the incumbent in District 1 and a Democrat from Dare County, conceded the election to Cook, currently representing District 6 in the state House.
Cook is happy the recount process is over.
“I’m grateful for the win. I am very grateful to my helpers, all the people who worked so hard to make this election happen for me. … I’m eager to start on this adventure, this new session. We’re going to be able to do a lot of really good things for the folks in North Carolina,” Cook said.
Tommy Fulcher, White’s campaign manager, confirmed Monday evening that White had conceded.
“After (Monday’s) hand-eye recount and the numbers didn’t change — we truly pursued every avenue we had and came up short.”
Fulcher said that Perquimans County had scheduled its recount for today, but because that county uses electronic touch-screen voting, there are no paper ballots to hand-to-eye count.
“It’s over with. … We just came up short,” Fulcher concluded.
Boards of elections in Beaufort, Hyde, Dare, Currituck, Camden and Gates counties conducted a second recount Monday. Pasquotank County conducted its recount Friday. Perquimans County had scheduled its second recount for today
The recount in Beaufort County on Monday resulted in no change in the vote count, with Cook having 12,891 votes to White’s 10,204 votes in the county. The ballots used in the hand-to-eye recount in Beaufort County came from 966 ballots marked during one-stop voting in Belhaven. That process to about two and a half hours.
“So, the machines are reading (ballots) correctly,” said Anita Bullock Branch, deputy director of elections in Beaufort County.
In the hand-to-eye recount in Camden County, a one-vote change was the result.
“He (White) picked up the vote he lost in the first recount,” said Camden County Elections Director Elaine Best on Monday afternoon.
If White had not conceded, the completion of the hand-to-eye recount in Perquimans County may not be the end of the recount process. The one-vote change in Camden County could have opened the door for another hand-to-eye recount, according to Kellie Harris Hopkins, elections director in Beaufort County.
“The next step would be a complete county-wide recount,” she said Monday afternoon before White conceded.
That decision would have been made by the N.C. State Board of Elections.
The recounts in Currituck, Dare, Hyde and Pasquotank counties resulted in no change to vote totals. Several telephone calls to the Gates County Board of Elections — to determine the result of its recount — were unanswered Monday.
Cook entered the second round of recounts with a 21-vote lead over White, according to the N.C. State Board of Elections’ website.
On election night, unofficial vote totals had White with a lead of about 400 votes. After the Nov. 16 canvass, the lead switched to Cook. That lead narrowed to 21 votes after the Nov. 25 recount.