John Bradford III, a Cornelius town commissioner, won the Republican primary Tuesday for N.C. House District 98, previously held by House Speaker Thom Tillis.
The seat came open when Tillis ran for the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate. The district spans north Mecklenburg County, including Davidson, Cornelius and half of Huntersville.
Bradford, 39, finished with 59 percent of the vote.
Lynette Rinker, 56, who recently left office as mayor of Cornelius, finished second with 27 percent.
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Conservative activist Sharon Hudson, 55, was third with 14 percent. One of her main campaign issues was opposing the proposed toll lanes on Interstate 77, which is a contentious issue in north Mecklenburg.
Bradford and Rinker were OK with the N.C. Department of Transportation’s plans to build the toll lanes.
Bradford is chief executive of Park Avenue Properties, a residential property management and real estate investment firm. He loaned his campaign $160,000. He moved to the area in 2002 when he was working for IBM.
During the race, he enjoyed the support of elected officials including state Sen. Jeff Tarte and Lt. Gov. Dan Forest.
Bradford will face Democrat Natasha Marcus, a lawyer and political organizer from Davidson, in this fall’s general election. Marcus said she will bring a “moderate, common-sense approach” to the race.
“The reason I’m running is my concern for public education,” Marcus said. “We aren’t respecting teachers enough to pay them a living wage. The economy is coming back, and we still aren’t giving teachers a raise. That’s a problem.”