Live Blog: Charlotte & North Carolina LGBT Election Results

Our live blog coverage of election night has ended, but is archived below. CLICK HERE for our comprehensive election recap: N.C. elections return disappointing results for LGBT voters; openly gay candidates defeated as anti-LGBT Thom Tillis wins U.S. Senate race

Join us for rolling updates here on this post tonight as qnotes brings you special election night coverage and results. Reporting live from the Young Democrats of Mecklenburg County’s election watch party in Charlotte’s South End.

We’ll bring you updates on LGBT-related races like John Arrowood’s campaign for the North Carolina Court of Appeals and local races with important LGBT impact.

Polls close in North Carolina at 7:30 p.m., at which point we’ll begin our live updates.

12:44 a.m. — Our live coverage of the 2014 election has ended. Read our full, comprehensive recap of election results and their meaning for LGBT voters in North Carolina out online on Wednesday morning. Take a look through tonight’s live blog below for a simple recap on how the night unfolded, with basic reporting on called races and their winners. Be sure to check back in with us on Wednesday morning for more reaction and analysis.


The updates as reported on Tuesday evening are below in reverse chronological order.


Called races:
No openly LGBT representation for NC General Assembly in 2015
Ellmers wins out over openly gay Aiken
Openly gay John Arrowood loses in Court of Appeals race
Anti-LGBT GOP commissioner wins reelection
Anti-LGBT Puckett wins District 1 Mecklenburg Commission race
AP says Tillis wins Senate race over Hagan
LGBT ally Storch loses bid for NC House


11:43 p.m.

CALLED: Democrat Margie Storch, a strong LGBT ally and longtime House of Mercy staffer, lost her bid to unseat incumbent Republican state House Rep. Rob Bryan on Tuesday, garnering just 45 percent of the vote against Bryan’s 55 percent.


11:28 p.m.

CALLED: At 11:25 p.m., the Associated Press has called the Hagan/Tillis Senate race, naming Republican Thom Tillis the winner. With 97 percent of statewide precincts reporting, Tillis was carrying 49 percent to Hagan’s 47 percent.


11:15 p.m.

CALLED: Anti-LGBT Republican candidate Jim Puckett has won his race to take the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners District 1 seat. With 16 of 21 precincts reporting, Puckett was carrying 56 percent of the vote over Democratic opponent Leonard Richardson’s 44 percent.

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Puckett takes the seat from outgoing Republican Commissioner Karen Bentley. Both have anti-LGBT records.

Puckett served on the County Commission from 2000-2006 and voted against employment protections for gay and lesbian county workers in 2006. Read more about Puckett’s anti-LGBT background.


11:03 p.m.

CALLED: Incumbent Republican Mecklenburg County Commissioner Matthew Ridenhour has easily won reelection to his District 6 seat, carrying 64 percent of the vote of Democratic challenger Art Cardenas’ 36 percent. Ridenhour has an anti-LGBT record, voting against the gender identity protections for county workers last year. 49 of 51 precincts reporting.


10:38 p.m.

CALLED: Openly gay candidate John Arrowood has lost his bid to return to the North Carolina Court of Appeals, with 91 percent of precincts reporting and more than 200,000 votes separating him from the top vote-getter. Arrowood was carrying 15 percent of the vote in the 19-way race, with John M. Tyson carrying 24 percent.

Arrowood had served on the court in 2007-2008 and sought to return this year. He was endorsed by LGBT groups, the North Carolina Democratic Party and other progressive groups. Appearing near the bottom of the ballot, he ran a top-notch campaign placing him second.

Tyson, meanwhile, was endorsed by the North Carolina Republican Party and the North Carolina Values Coalition, an anti-LGBT group which had spearheaded the state’s anti-gay marriage amendment in 2012.


10:30 p.m.

MSNBC is saying the Hagan/Tillis Senate race is too close to call. Here’s where the vote stands right now:

2446 of 2726 precincts reporting
Thom Tillis 1,297,355 48.96 %
Kay Hagan 1,248,459 47.11 %
Sean Haugh 99,273 3.75 %
Write-In (Miscellaneous) 4,730 0.18 %


10:24 p.m.

Openly gay Court of Appeals candidate John Arrowood remains in second place at 15 percent against top vote getter John M. Tyson, who’s leading with nearly 200,000 votes at 24 percent of the vote. 2407 of 2726 precincts reporting.


10:23 p.m.

The lead for Republican Thom Tillis is still 49 percent to Democrat Kay Hagan’s 47 percent in their U.S. Senate race. The percentages have tightened slightly, but Tillis remains in the lead.


10:09 p.m.

CALLED: The Associated Press has called Republican congressional incumbent Renee Ellmer’s race against Democratic openly gay challenger Clay Aiken. Ellmers was pulling 59 percent of the vote to Aiken’s 41 percent with 153 of 157 precincts reporting.


10:06 p.m.

Democrats Pat Cotham, Ella Scarborough and Trevor Fuller are leading in the Mecklenburg County Commission At-Large races over Republicans Emily Zuyus and Scott Carlisle.


10:05 p.m.

The first few precincts are finally starting to report in the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners District 1 race. Democrat Leonard Richardson has dropped to 49 percent to anti-LGBT Republican Jim Puckett’s 51 percent. Puckett will likely when the GOP-leaning district, whose current representative, Karen Bentley, has also held anti-LGBT positions.


9:58 p.m.

Republican Thom Tillis’ lead continues to grow over Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan in their U.S. Senate race. Tillis up to 49 percent over Hagan’s 47 percent.


9:56 p.m.

We’re back to dealing with errors and loading problems with the NC State Board of Elections website. Updates coming — whenever state officials decide to get their website problems sorted out.


9:25 p.m.

Fox News has called the congressional race pitting incumbent Republican Renee Ellmers against openly gay Democratic challenger Clay Aiken. With 125 of 157 precincts reporting, Ellmers leads 58 to 42 percent.


9:22 p.m.

With 1580 of 2726 precincts reporting statewide, openly gay Court of Appeals candidate John Arrowood is still pulling second place. He stands at 15.54 percent to frontrunner John M. Tyson’s 24.68 percent.

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9:18 p.m.

It’s become a neck-and-neck race between Senate candidates Kay Hagan (D) and Thom Tillis (R). Tillis stands at 48.22 percent. Hagan at 48.08 percent.


9:10 p.m.

With more than half of precincts reporting, openly gay Democratic congressional candidate Clay Aiken is pulling only 42 percent to incumbent Republican Renee Ellmers’ 53 percent. More than 25,000 votes separate the two candidates.


9:01 p.m.

Early results in Mecklenburg County show Democrat Leonard Richardson slightly ahead of anti-LGBT Republican Jim Puckett for the County Commission’s District 1 seat. Richardson stands at 51 percent and Puckett at 49 percent. The seat is being vacated by incumbent Republican Karen Bentley, who has shared anti-LGBT views and positions with Puckett. Read our report last week on Puckett’s anti-LGBT stances the last time he served on the County Commission.


8:43 p.m.

CALLED: Only one openly gay candidate was on the ballot for North Carolina’s state legislature, Democrat Bryan Fulghum, a candidate for state Senate District 17 in Wake County. With all but three precincts reporting, the Republican incumbent, state Sen. Tamara Barringer has carried the race with 58 percent percent to Fulghum’s 42 percent.

Fulghum’s loss seals the deal for LGBT North Carolinians, who will have no openly LGBT representation in the General Assembly when the House and Senate open their next session in January. It is the first time in a decade that no openly gay or lesbian officials will have a seat in the legislature.


8:37 p.m.

Republican Congressional incumbent Renee Ellmers and openly gay Democrat Clay Aiken’s positions have switched. Ellmers now at 53 percent, Aiken at 47 percent.


8:35 p.m.

Annnddd, results are back up at NC State Board of Elections website — Senate Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan at 52 percent. Republican Thom Tillis at 45 percent.

Not holding our breaths that NC State Board of Elections website is accurate.


8:32 p.m.

A friendly reminder to the NC State Board of Elections — you had website problems in May. The media jumped all over you for it. And, yet, the problem persists.


8:24 p.m.

Early results — again, if they are to be believed with a malfunctioning election returns website — show Democrat, LGBT ally and longtime House of Mercy staffer Margie Storch in close second to incumbent Republican Rob Bryan. 50.92 to 49.48 percent.


8:17 p.m.

Early results — if they are to be believed with a malfunctioning election returns website — show openly gay Congressional candidate Clay Aiken at 51.32% over incumbent Renee Ellmers’ 48.68%. Only 14 precincts reporting.


8:10 p.m.

Results for the Court of Appeals race featuring openly gay candidate John Arrowood have also been knocked out back to zero on the NC State Board of Elections website. Arrowood was running second in early returns.


8:06 p.m.

The NC State Board of Elections website continues to experience major problems. Slow to load, if it loads at all. Numbers for Hagan/Tillis Senate race knocked out to zero across the board.


7:51 p.m.

Early results for the 19-way Court of Appeals race shows openly gay John Arrowood second at 16.95% to John M. Tyson’s 24.7%.


7:47 p.m.

Results showing Tillis and Hagan neck-and-neck, both at 48%


7:40 p.m.

Earliest results on state board of election’s website show Senate candidates Republican Thom Tillis at 51% and Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan at 45%.


7:33 p.m.

Polls in North Carolina have closed and already, there’s a repeat on technological difficulties at the North Carolina State Board of Election’s website. Our attempts to refresh election results on the board’s website are coming up empty. Site is stalling.

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Posted by Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.