Democratic voters in North Carolina's 2nd Congressional District took to the polls last night to decide who will challenge incumbent Republican Rep. Renee Ellmers in the fall. As of this writing, openly gay musician and American Idol runner-up Clay Aiken holds a razor-thin 369-vote lead over textile entrepreneur Keith Crisco. Even though 100 percent of precincts have reported, the race is still listed as "too close to call."
If Aiken's lead holds, he'll have won 40.83% of the vote -- just enough to avoid a runoff.
ABC News reports:
Aiken spoke to supporters late Tuesday night and got a laugh when he said he "prefer(s) it when they just open the envelope and tell you who won."
"We are comfortable not only with the results we've seen this evening. We are comfortable not only with how we'll feel tomorrow morning, but more than anything we're comfortable with the way this campaign was run," Aiken said.
In other North Carolina primary election news, Steve Wiles (above) -- the anti-gay Republican state senate candidate better known by his former drag name, Mona Sinclair -- decisively lost his election last night in district 31. Of three Republican candidates on the ballot,
Sinclair Wiles came in dead last, garnering just 27% of the vote.
Looks like Miss Mona broke a heel.
UPDATE, 11:30 a.m. EDT: Matt Comer, Bilerico reader and editor of Charlotte-based LGBT newspaper QNotes, reports that with the results of yesterday's primary and a special election last weekend, LGBT North Carolinians will not be represented in the state legislature during the next term. Details, after the jump.
From Comer's report at QNotes:
Come next January -- for the first time in a decade -- no openly LGBT person will be counted among the legislature's 170 members. The state's only openly gay member currently, House Rep. Marcus Brandon, isn't running for reelection.
In Mecklenburg County, openly gay candidate Ty Turner lost his Democratic primary for state Senate District 40. Facing a crowded primary with four other candidates, Turner came in last and carried just 6 percent of the vote with 36 of 48 precincts reporting, according to unofficial results published online by the North Carolina State Board of Elections. The board had experienced computer and reporting glitches earlier in the evening.
The top vote-getter in Turner's race, Joyce Waddell, received 43 percent of the vote and will be unopposed in November, guaranteeing her a seat when the North Carolina Senate's next term convenes in January...
In Wake County, openly gay candidate Derek Kiszely garnered only 23 percent of the vote in his Democratic primary for state House District 49, with nearly all precincts reporting. Kiszely's opponent, Kim Hanchette, carried 77 percent of the vote. She will face Republican Gary Pendleton, who had no Republican opponent on Tuesday, in the general election this November.
Turner's loss means the state's estimated 244,000 LGBT citizens won't have any openly LGBT representation in the North Carolina General Assembly. Even if Kiszley had won his Wake County primary, that district leans Republican with a potential Kiszely general election victory nearly impossible. But, with no November opponent, a Turner primary victory would have guaranteed his seat in the state Senate.
Click here to read Comer's full and very detailed report over at QNotes.