Clinton, Cooper, Ross win Democratic primaries

Democratic candidate for governor Roy Cooper waves to supporters at the Democratic Party Headquarters in Raleigh after winning the North Carolina primary on Tuesday, March 15, 2016. Cooper will face current governor Pat McCrory in November. (Madeline Gray/North State Journal)

Democratic candidate for governor Roy Cooper waves to supporters at the Democratic Party Headquarters in Raleigh after winning the North Carolina primary on Tuesday, March 15, 2016. (Madeline Gray/North State Journal)

RALEIGH – Democratic primary candidates and supporters gathered to watch the primary results and give victory speeches at the North Carolina Democratic Headquarters Tuesday night.

North Carolina Democratic Party Chairwoman Patsy Keever told the crowd of candidate’s families, local Democratic Party leaders and campaign members their party will be united going into the general election.

“We know who it is we are supporting,” Keever said. “We will be 100 percent behind them.”

Democratic senate candidate Deborah Ross won the primary with 62.57 percent of the vote, followed by Chris Rey with 16.38 percent, Kevin Griffin with 11.7 percent and Ernest Reeves with 9.35 percent.

Ross spoke first to the crowd, and addressed the unity the Democratic Party has going forward into the Senate race against incumbent Richard Burr.

“We agree on one thing,” Ross said. “We can’t have six more years of Richard Burr. North Carolina needs better representation in D.C.”

N.C. Representative Duane Hall said he was contemplating running for U.S. Senate but decided not to after Ross announced she was going to run. He commended her leadership and her brilliance.

He added he was surprised how definitively Ross won.

Attorney General and Democratic nominee for governor Roy Cooper followed Ross. Cooper won 69.37 percent to Ken Spaulding who had 30.63 percent.

Cooper asked if they were ready for a Donald Trump-Pat McCrory ticket, which the audience answered with a no.

Cooper replied with “Their campaigns have a lot in common.”

February’s Public Policy Poll has Gov. Pat McCrory leading against Cooper. The previous month Cooper was leading. Cooper addressed the closeness of the race.

“There will be a battle in November,” Cooper said. “We know it is coming.”

Eunice Jones of the African American Caucus of the Wake County Democratic Party said she plans to show her support by making phone calls, knocking on doors and campaigning for Democratic candidates.

“I’m going to do whatever it takes to bring a winner in,” Jones said.

Dan Blue, who won the Democratic nominee for N.C. treasurer with 58.38 percent against Ron Elmer, said there are a growing number of contests that will be competitive in the November election. Cooper, though, said he had hope.

“I am optimistic about the next election,” he said. “I’m going to need you.“

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton defeated Bernie Sanders 54.57 percent to 40.76 percent.

Democratic lieutenant governor candidate Linda Coleman won with 50.95 percent of the vote. Holly Jones followed with 28.9 percent, Robert Earl Wilson with 10.51 percent and Ronald Newton with 9.64 percent.