NC House, Senate races: Mayfield, Ager, Prather, Rudow, Daniel take wins

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ASHEVILLE — Democrats have won in all but one of local North Carolina Senate and House races in the Nov. 8 general election.

In the North Carolina Senate, Democratic incumbent state Sen. Julie Mayfield has beaten Republican John Anderson in the District 49 race. The district covers Asheville and the rest of western Buncombe County. Mayfield had 65.53% percent of the vote with a 55,630 ballot count at press time. All precincts have been reported.

She beat out Republican John Anderson, a career environmental scientist who advocated for infrastructure improvements, greater broadband access and “measured spending,” among other things.

Results won’t be official until after the canvasing period ends on Nov. 18.

One of Mayfield’s two priorities going into the next session will be bringing a Wilmington program to Asheville that trains citizens to respond to crashes rather than police officers, she said. She also is working on a bill that would give the attorney general more authority over hospital mergers and consolidations.

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Mayfield was first elected to the state senate in 2020, and before that she served as a member of Asheville’s city council. This election, she touted her role in the adoption of House Bill 951, an energy solutions bill; a wide ranging support for greater health and equity; and the introduction of multiple bills to lessen the General Assembly’s power over local government.

Incumbent Republican state Sen. Warren Daniel beat Democrat Billy Martin, a longtime Marion City Council Member, in the race for District 46. As of press time, Daniel had a ballot count of 47,520, or 60.40%.

“I thank God, my wife and my family for their support throughout this election,” as well as volunteers, Daniel said.

“We’re going to have to meet as a caucus and decide what our priorities are,” Daniel said of his next term. “So, I don’t want to speak for the group of us before we even know what the election results are. But I’d like to see our caucus continue to go in the direction we have, to make North Carolina among the top states to do business. I want to continue to improve our university and K-12 education systems, as well as the community college (system), and just look for the needs we have. We’ve got some challenges in our prison systems that need to be fixed, and also probably in our mental health systems, so I think there’s some big things we need to address, and just need to collaborate and see what the best way to work on those is.”

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After recent redistricting, District 46 covers eastern Buncombe County, excluding Asheville, as well as McDowell and Burke counties.

Daniel has served in the state senate since 2011. During the 2022 campaign, he touted his conservative credentials by voicing his support for cutting taxes and regulations on businesses, implementing voter ID law, anti-abortion policy and referencing his “A” rating from the National Rifle Association, among other things.

Martin told the News & Observer in an October voting guide that, if elected, some of his priorities would be higher teacher pay and retention, Medicaid expansion and providing broadband and internet service throughout the state.

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Democrat Eric Ager, a a former naval aviator and foreign area officer, has beaten Republican Everett Pittillo, a heating and air conditioning mechanic from the Broad River community, in the race for District 114 in the North Carolina House of Representatives. Ager has 68.62% with a ballot count of 28,631. The district covers East Buncombe County, including central and East Asheville.

In addition to thanking volunteers and voters, Ager said he was grateful to the organizing network that had been built by Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, the Democratic candidate for the United States House.

His priorities now will be “accessible and affordable mental healthcare for veterans and others,” spreading high-speed internet to rural areas and bringing farmers and environmentalists together to “help us have a better, cleaner place to live.”

Democrat Lindsey Prather, a former teacher who went on to work at UNC Asheville, has beaten Republican Pratik Bhakta, a South Asheville hotelier, in the race for District 115. The district covers south and southwest Buncombe County, including West and South Asheville. Prather has a ballot count of 20,719, or 57.36%.

“I’m incredibly grateful for all the support that I’ve gotten,” Prather said. “I’ve worked really hard to build a reputation in the community of someone who cares and wants to listen, and I think people heard that.”

“I have spent my entire adult life in our public schools, and so I’m going to continue working for them,” she said.

In the race for District 116, Democratic state Rep. Caleb Rudow unofficially to have beaten Mollie Rose. Rudow, who was first appointed to represent District 114 in February, has 62.22% of the vote with a ballot count of 24,884. The district covers north and northwest Buncombe County, including West Asheville.

“This is before we really know what the party leaning is going to be in Raleigh, but I really think we can make some real progress on affordable housing. We’re really focused on trying to get some funding and help for the French Broad River, and trying to increase funding for public education.”

Finding shared goals across the political aisle will be a priority for him, he said.

Rudow was appointed to the District 114 seat in February after former state Rep. Susan Fisher announced her resignation.

Ryan Oehrli covers public safety for the Citizen Times. Send tips to coehrli@citizentimes.com or 828-232-5907.

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