Voters keep Sutton, Weinstein in Raleigh

First Posted: 1/15/2009

LUMBERTON — Both state Sen. David F. Weinstein and state Rep. Ronnie Sutton breezed to victory in their respective Democratic primaries Tuesday.
Weinstein, whose District 13 includes Hoke and Robeson counties, received 16,972 votes, or 61.26 percent, and challenger Benjamin Clark III, of Raeford, received 10,734 votes, or 38.74 percent. All vote tallies are still unofficial until provisional ballots are counted on Tuesday, but the margin of victory appears safe.
Weinstein, a businessman from Lumberton, has served six terms in the Senate.
“I’ve tried very hard to help Robeson County and I’ve never promised anything, except to do the very best I can,” Weinstein said. “If a project will help all the people and not just a group — like the university and the community college, and water and sewer projects, and things of that nature — I support it.
“I do want to thank all the voters for their confidence in me. I’ll continue to do the very best I can. I’m glad it’s over with. I think Mr. Clark and I had a clean campaign and that’s the way it should be.”
Weinstein said that this isn’t the closest race he’s had during his political career, but the presidential race made it more challenging than some. More blacks than ever before voted in the North Carolina as experts said they seized the opportunity to cast an historical ballot.
“I think with Mr. Clark being African-American, I think the Obama factor entered into it,” he said. “But my relationship with African-Americans, Native Americans and the white population goes back for 50 to 60 years. I’ve disagreed with people, but I’ve never been disrespectful and I think that people know that and respect me for it.”
In the House District 47 race, Ronnie Sutton received 6,683 votes, or 59.49 percent, and Charles Graham, an educator from Lumberton, received 4,551 votes, or 40.51 percent.
Sutton, an attorney from Pembroke, has represented Robeson County in the House for 16 years. He could not be reached early Wednesday for comment for this story.
Neither Weinstein or Sutton face Republican opposition in the fall.
The county’s other two representatives in the state House, Garland Pierce and Douglas Yongue, were both unopposed in Tuesday’s primary.

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