Cornelius Mayor Jeff Tarte edged Huntersville businessman John Aneralla Tuesday night in a tight Republican primary runoff and will become the first state senator in newly created District 41.
In unofficial results with all 40 precincts reporting, Tarte won by 203 votes. He had 51.24 percent of ballots cast to Aneralla’s 48.76 percent.
At 9:30 p.m., Aneralla’s campaign manager Carter Nies tweeted that his candidate had conceded. “We congratulate Jeff on his hard-fought victory,” Nies wrote.
Tarte will have no opposition in the November election.
State lawmakers created the new District 41 last summer by pulling mostly from District 40. The Republican-leaning district includes the towns of Huntersville, Cornelius, Davidson, Mint Hill and Matthews.
The May primary for Senate District 41 was the most crowded in Mecklenburg, as five Republicans battled to win the seat.
During that election, Tarte came in first with 6,423 votes, or 37.6 percent. Aneralla came in second with 6,193 votes, or 36.3 percent.
Tarte is an executive with the consulting firm Applied Revenue Analytics. He has served as mayor of the town of Cornelius since 2007. He also served as a Mecklenburg Parks & Recreation Department commissioner for the past eight years.
Aneralla has worked in the financial services industry since 1984 in Mecklenburg County. Today, he oversees Bulldog Asset Management, an investment advisory firm, which he founded in 2004.
During his campaign, Tarte said his top three platform issues are tax reform, transportation and infrastructure, and education, in that order.
After casting her ballot at Lake Norman Baptist Church, Ruth Houser said she voted for Tarte because of his stand on gun control laws. She also said she was pleased with the work he’d done as mayor of Cornelius.
“He appears to have a lot of the same beliefs as my family,” said Houser.
Scott Streiner, who voted for Aneralla at Huntersville United Methodist Church, noted that during the runoff campaign, the two candidates seemed to have similar views on many issues.
“I don’t think their political views are a whole lot different,” he said.