An appeals court seat winner this week set a milestone as the first openly gay person elected to a statewide office in North Carolina.
Unofficial results Tuesday show Court of Appeals Judge John Arrowood defeated challenger Andrew Heath by 49,000 votes from over 3.6 million cast.
Arrowood is a Charlotte Democrat who has served two stints on the intermediate-level Court of Appeals. Then-Gov. Mike Easley appointed him in 2007, but he lost a bid for a full term the next year. Current Gov. Roy Cooper appointed Arrowood to the court last year to fill another vacancy.
Arrowood previously served on the board of gay-rights group Equality North Carolina, which also identified him as first openly LGBTQ person elected to a statewide office in the South.