Reives triumphs in House 54 primary

May. 06, 2014 @ 10:29 PM

Five months after fellow Democrats tapped Robert Reives II to represent N.C. House District 54, the local attorney secured his party's backing Tuesday night in the race to keep his spot.

Reives, who was appointed to the N.C. House in January, won Tuesday's Democratic primary with 5,708 votes, or 64.25 percent by unofficial totals. His opponent, Chatham County resident and retired educator Barry Burns, received 3,176, or 35.75 percent.

In Lee County, Reives received 685 votes to Burns's 60.

Of serving the district, which encompasses all of Chatham County and parts of Lee, Reives has said, “It's going to take a lot of hard work, but that's what I do."

Local Democratic Party leaders picked Reives as an interim replacement for former Rep. Deb. McManus, who was arrested on embezzlement charges and resigned the seat.

Reives has publicly championed issues including a higher minimum wage, women's rights, greater access to health care and increased public education funding.

Reives took office in February, saying as he was sworn in, "I understand this position is a privilege, and I will not take that for granted." He also pledged to be an advocate and a voice for his constituents.   

Reives now will go on to face Republican Andy Wilkie of Goldston in November's general election.

In other election results, N.C. Senate District 12 candidate Joe Langley won over opponent James W. Clark, with 3,533 votes (63.42 percent) to Clark's 2,038 (36.58 percent) with 29 of 30 precincts reporting in the Democratic primary.