Jay Gaither’s hotly contested bid to win a fourth term as District Attorney in three foothills counties highlights a number of races at stake Tuesday in runoff elections across the region.
Gaither, 51, of Hickory, faces former assistant district attorney David Learner, a Morganton lawyer, in the Republican election for DA in a district that covers Burke, Caldwell and Catawba counties.
Allegations against Gaither have turned the race into a major statewide story.
But there also are elections Tuesday in a number of counties across the area, including Anson, Catawba, Cleveland and Union.
As is the case in the Gaither-Learner race, many of Tuesday’s runoff elections will actually decide a winner in the race, with no competition on the ballot in the November general election.
Voting began at 6:30 a.m., and the polls will stay open until 7:30 p.m.
Here is a look at the races on Tuesday’s ballot for the region:
Gaither, meanwhile, has claimed that Learner has not been carrying an active case load recently, and that Learner was involved in a pyramid scheme several years ago.
In the May primary, Learner got 39.39 percent of the votes, narrowly missing victory. Gaither was second with 31.09 percent, with Conover’s Scott Reilly finishing third with 29.52 percent.
In the May primary, Reid got 39.6 percent of the vote, to 33.6 percent for Smith. Two other candidates trailed.
In the May primary, Sigmon led the four-way race with 38.83 percent. West got 29.72 percent.
With no Democratic foe in November, Tuesday’s winner will be elected. The top two finishers in the May primary, Jerry Simpson and Lance Simpson, already have won election.