Incumbents Barry Jacobs and Earl McKee held onto their seats on the Board of County Commissioners, fending off strong challengers by wide margins in Tuesday’s primary election.
In the race for the at-large seat on the Board, Jacobs drew 10,680 votes, 68 percent of all ballots cast. Challenger Bonnie Hauser drew 4,974 votes, or about 32 percent.
The race between Hauser and Jacobs turned highly contentious, with both candidates challenging each other directly at debates and forums. Hauser outraised Jacobs by more than $3,000 and hoped to outpoll the incumbent in Orange County’s northern precincts; in the end, though, Jacobs drew more votes in every precinct but one, Efland.
In the race for the seat representing District 2, incumbent McKee also faced a strong primary challenger, Mark Marcoplos—but McKee too won easily, with 4,041 votes (or 60 percent) to 2,648 for Marcoplos.
In that race, though, there was a clear split between northern and southern Orange County: Marcoplos won all but one of the five precincts located south of Hillsborough, while McKee won all nine of the precincts located north of Hillsborough (as well as the Eno precinct, due east).
While Tuesday’s election was only the Democratic primary, neither Jacobs nor McKee will face a Republican opponent in the November election. The only contested County Commissioner race in November will be for the seat representing District 1, where Democrat Mia Burroughs will face Republican Gary Kahn.