NC House 88: Bryan wins re-election

State Rep. Rob Bryan beat challenger Margie Storch to win a second term in the N.C. House on Tuesday, turning back an opponent who challenged both Bryan and the overall direction of the Republican-led legislature.

Bryan, a Republican, won just over 55 percent of votes cast, while his Democratic opponent Margie Storch had almost 45 percent. N.C. House District 88 was considered one of the few truly competitive state legislative races in Mecklenburg County this year.

Bryan had an identical percentage of support as in 2012, when he won his with almost 55 percent of the vote, overcoming longtime Democratic Rep. Martha Alexander.

A commercial real estate attorney, he voted with fellow Republicans for much of his first term, supporting measures that shifted the state onto a more conservative path. Bryan’s campaign centered on his record of tax cuts and what he said were pro-growth, pro-business policies.

Storch presented voters with a stark contrast. Development director for the AIDS-focused House of Mercy, Storch opposed Bryan on issues including taxes, voting laws, abortion and fracking. She joined the “Moral Monday” protests that drew thousands to Raleigh for weekly demonstrations against the Republican-led legislature.

Both have political experience outside the legislative race. In addition to his first term in the legislature, Bryan is a former county GOP chairman. Although Storch hasn’t run for office before, she is a longtime community organizer and has worked in campaigns for more than 30 years.

House District 88 covers parts of south Charlotte, running from Dilworth through Cotswold and Eastover to Interstate 485.