Former Mecklenburg County commissioner Dan Bishop appeared to return to politics triumphantly Tuesday, taking a commanding lead in a race for a vacant state House seat.
Bishop, a Republican, was far ahead of Eric Cable, who was bidding to become one of North Carolina’s first Libertarian legislators. With 24 of 32 precincts reporting, Bishop had taken more than 74 percent of the vote to about 26 percent for Cable.
Democrats did not run a challenger in the district covering south Charlotte, which leans Republican.
Bishop, 50, would succeed Rep. Ruth Samuelson, who opted not to run for a fifth term.
A lawyer specializing in business litigation, Bishop served as a Mecklenburg County commissioner from 2004 to 2008. He took a six-year hiatus from government before running this year.
Bishop campaigned as a problem-solving conservative, saying Republicans in charge of North Carolina’s legislature since 2011 have correctly tried to boost the state’s economy with limited government, lower tax rates and fewer regulations.
Cable, 42, an analyst in financial services, had counted on winning support among independents and Democrats. There are only 235 registered Libertarians in the district.
As a legislator, Cable said, he would not be bound by party politics and could share positions with Democrats and Republicans.