NC House District 106: Cunningham leads over Lowe

Democratic Rep. Carla Cunningham held a convincing lead over Republican candidate Trey Lowe to represent northeast Charlotte’s District 106 based on early returns Tuesday.

With more than half the precincts reporting, Cunningham led Lowe 8,638 to 1,102, according to early results on the North Carolina State Board of Elections website.

“It’s exciting, but I know I did a lot of work,” Cunningham said Tuesday night.

“With straight ticket voting going away, it was an opportunity for me to get out and meet my constituency...It was a very good turnout in my (district).”

A registered nurse and consultant, Cunningham is the widow of longtime Rep. Pete Cunningham, who died in 2010. Many of the bills she sponsored in her first term revolved around social issues, including domestic violence.

In her campaign, she focused on quality-of-life issues, including jobs and public education. Her political experience includes serving on the N.C. Commission for Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services; as precinct chair of Precinct 213 in Charlotte for 10 years; as a delegate to the 2008 Democratic National Convention and as the first vice chair of the Mecklenburg County Democratic Women in 2009. She is serving her second term on the 12th Congressional District Board as the minority affairs chair.

Lowe, who moved to Charlotte two years ago from Savannah, Ga., said he decided to run in part because nobody ran against Cunningham in 2012.

“People should have a choice,” Lowe told the Observer during the campaign. “Even if (candidates) don’t have a chance, (voters) should have a choice. “

An assistant account manager at Great Dane Trailers, Lowe has no political experience. He described himself as a conservative who is a member of both the National Rifle Association and the NAACP.