Durham County Election Results: Chitlik Wins in NC Senate District 22, Joy Harrell Wins At-Large School Board Race

Durham County Election Results: Chitlik Wins in NC Senate District 22, Joy Harrell Wins At-Large School Board Race

In the recent primary elections in Durham County, a total of 63,479 votes were cast, reflecting the active participation of residents in shaping the future of their community.

In the race for the Durham County Board of County Commissioners, incumbents Wendy Jacobs and Nida Allam emerged as the frontrunners, securing 15 percent and 14 percent of the total votes, respectively. Michelle Burton, a newcomer and former president of the Durham Association of Educators, garnered significant support, clinching the third-highest number of votes. Former Durham Public Schools board member Mike Lee followed closely in fourth place, while Stephen J. Valentine, a military veteran and current member of the Durham planning commission, secured the fifth position. Notably, Brenda Howerton, a longstanding member of the county commissioners, trailed behind Valentine by just 1,004 votes. While within the margin of error for a recount, Howerton has not yet indicated her future plans.

Looking ahead, the newly elected board of county commissioners faces formidable challenges, particularly in addressing funding for public schools and affordable housing, which are pressing concerns for Durham residents. Creativity and strategic thinking will be essential in tackling these critical issues.

In the North Carolina State Senate District 22 Democratic primary race, political newcomer Sophia Chitlik emerged victorious, securing an impressive 57.55 percent of the vote to unseat longtime incumbent Mike Woodard. With no Republican challenger in the upcoming general election, Chitlik is poised to assume Woodard’s position in the General Assembly. Despite facing skepticism regarding her connection to the Durham community and the sources of her campaign contributions, Chitlik expressed gratitude for the voters’ trust and vowed to continue advocating for progressive policies.

In the Durham County Board of Education race, Joy Harrell emerged victorious over embattled candidate Atrayus Goode, securing an at-large seat with an overwhelming 88 percent of the vote. Incumbent school board members Millicent Rogers and Jessica Carda-Auten, alongside former Durham Public Schools drama teacher Wendell Tabb, secured their positions on the board uncontested.

With approximately 27 percent of the electorate turning out to cast their ballots, the primary election in Durham County witnessed robust civic engagement and active participation in shaping the future leadership and direction of the community.