Sen. Bob Rucho defeated challenger Matt Arnold in his Republican primary race for a ninth term representing southern Mecklenburg County.
Rucho had 55 percent of the vote with all of District 39’s precincts reporting.
The winner will face no Democratic opposition in November. The Republican-dominated district runs from the Myers Park and Eastover neighborhoods to Ballantyne.
Arnold, a Charlotte attorney, made Rucho’s positions and comments last year a focus of his campaign. Arnold suggested voters were ready for a fresh face to represent the district.
Rucho pushed legislation to place Charlotte’s airport under a regional authority. He likened the Affordable Care Act, in a tweet, to Nazis and terrorists. He complained that GOP leaders lacked “backbone” when they ditched his tax overhaul plan.
The veteran lawmaker was unapologetic, noting that Republican leaders continued to endorse him.
The arrest in March of former Mayor Patrick Cannon on federal corruption charges, Rucho said, showed that “the airport is too important an asset for any type of that activity to go on.”
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