Incumbent County Commissioner Bill James won Tuesday night in the District 6 Republican primary, but runoff elections appear likely in two other races.
Meanwhile, Pat Cotham and Kim Ratliff appeared to be winners in the crowded Democratic at-large commissioner primary. The third spot on the ballot apparently will have to be settled by a runoff election July 17.
Another runoff seems likely in the Republican primary in District 5.
A dozen people campaigned for three at-large spots on the Democratic ballot.
With several incumbent commissioners not seeking re-election, the board will have a different look this fall. The wide-open feel of the race was especially apparent in the Democratic at-large primary, which drew 12 candidates.
The top three finishers will face three Republicans and a Libertarian in November's general election.
With results from 184 of 195 precincts, Kim Ratliff led with 15.8 percent, and Pat Cotham was second with 14.9 percent. Each candidate received more than the needed 40 percent of votes to avoid a runoff.
But third-place Trevor Fuller, with 11.5 percent, was short of the 40 percent. He could face a runoff against fourth-place Marc Gustafson, who had 11.2 percent.
Trailing were Gregory Hunt, 8.6 percent; Harry Taylor, 6.8 percent; Robert Hillman, 7.2 percent; Jyotti Friedland, 6.8 percent; Craig Madans, 6.3 percent; Paul Brown Sr., 4.5 percent; Oronde McLean, 3.8 percent; and Adam Geremia, 2.5 percent.
On the Republican side, James Peterson, Michael Hobbs and Wayne Powers finished 1-2-3 in the at-large race.
But perhaps the most attention was focused on the District 6 GOP primary, where James faced opposition from Ed Driggs in the southeast Mecklenburg district. James has been a major figure on the political scene, with his often-controversial remarks about racial matters and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.
Driggs worked to convince voters that he too was conservative but could work more effectively than James by creating less divisiveness.
With returns from 21 of 29 precincts, James had 53.1 percent, compared to 46.7 percent for Driggs.
The winner faces Democratic Connie Green-Johnson, in a district that is heavily Republican.
Here is a look at the other contested commissioner races:
District 1: Democrats Keith Bradford and Leonard Richardson battled for the right to face incumbent Republican Karen Bentley in November. This district covers north Mecklenburg.
With returns counted from 20 of 21 precincts, the race was very tight. Bradford led with 50.9 percent of the vote, compared to 49.1 percent for Richardson.
District 5: Both parties had contested primaries. Paula Harvey and Lisa Rudisill battled for the Democratic nomination, while Sarah Cherne, Bill Griffin, Ken Lindholm and Matthew Ridenhour battled for the GOP spot in the November general election.
With returns from 50 of 51 precincts, Harvey had a 54.1 to 45.8 percent lead over Rudisill. In the GOP primary, Ridenhour and Cherne were locked in a tight race. Ridenhour had 34.4 percent, to 32.6 percent for Cherne. Trailing were Griffin (21.2 percent) and Lindholm (11.7 percent).
If the results hold, there could be a runoff election in July between Ridenhour and Cherne.