Fitch, Newton win NC Senate primaries | The Wilson Times
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Fitch, Newton win NC Senate primaries

Posted on May 18, 2022

Updated on May 20, 2022

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Buck Newton, who won the Republican nomination for state Senate District 4 on Tuesday, chats with a supporter during a Wilson County GOP watch party at the Elks Lodge on Fieldstream Drive.

Brie Handgraaf | Times

Buck Newton, who won the Republican nomination for state Senate District 4 on Tuesday, chats with a supporter during a Wilson County GOP watch party at the Elks Lodge on Fieldstream Drive.

Wilson City Council District 5 candidate Betesha “Bea” Ethridge gets some words of wisdom from state Sen. Toby Fitch during a watch party Tuesday night. While Ethridge lost her bid for office, Fitch won the Democratic nomination for N.C. Senate District 4.

Brie Handgraaf | Times

Wilson City Council District 5 candidate Betesha “Bea” Ethridge gets some words of wisdom from state Sen. Toby Fitch during a watch party Tuesday night. While Ethridge lost her bid for office, Fitch won the Democratic nomination for N.C. Senate District 4.

Buck Newton, who won the Republican nomination for state Senate District 4 on Tuesday, chats with a supporter during a Wilson County GOP watch party at the Elks Lodge on Fieldstream Drive.

Brie Handgraaf | Times

Buck Newton, who won the Republican nomination for state Senate District 4 on Tuesday, chats with a supporter during a Wilson County GOP watch party at the Elks Lodge on Fieldstream Drive.

Buck Newton, who won the Republican nomination for state Senate District 4 on Tuesday, chats with a supporter during a Wilson County GOP watch party at the Elks Lodge on Fieldstream Drive.
Wilson City Council District 5 candidate Betesha “Bea” Ethridge gets some words of wisdom from state Sen. Toby Fitch during a watch party Tuesday night. While Ethridge lost her bid for office, Fitch won the Democratic nomination for N.C. Senate District 4.

olivia@wilsontimes.com | 252-265-7879

N.C. Senate District 4 candidate Joe Democko listens to a question during an April 6 candidate forum at Wilson Community College.

Drew C. Wilson | Times file photo

N.C. Senate District 4 candidate Joe Democko listens to a question during an April 6 candidate forum at Wilson Community College.

Raymond E. Smith Jr.

Raymond E. Smith Jr.

N.C. Senate District 4 candidate Joe Democko listens to a question during an April 6 candidate forum at Wilson Community College.

Drew C. Wilson | Times file photo

N.C. Senate District 4 candidate Joe Democko listens to a question during an April 6 candidate forum at Wilson Community College.

Raymond E. Smith Jr.

Raymond E. Smith Jr.

Two seasoned Wilson County politicians won their N.C. Senate primaries on Tuesday, setting the stage for a November contest between Democratic state Sen. Toby Fitch and Republican nominee Buck Newton, a former three-term senator.

Fitch prevailed over state Rep. Raymond E. Smith Jr., the current House Democratic whip who filed to run in Senate District 4. Newton, meanwhile, handily defeated Joe Democko, a Goldsboro chiropractor and former school board member.

The District 4 seat covers Wilson, Wayne and Greene counties. Fitch captured 6,963 votes (54%), compared to Smith’s 5,836 votes (46%). Smith carried Wayne, his home county, while Fitch won Wilson and Greene counties.

“It feels good,” Fitch said. “I want to thank Raymond for the race that he ran. It was a hard-fought race. The numbers showed that. I think the better person won. I’m looking forward to representing all of the citizens of the fourth district.”

Fitch said he’s grateful to all the voters who supported him.

“We still need jobs,” he said. “We still need broadband. We still need the best educational system. All of those things I believe in and ran on.”

Smith wasn’t available for comment late Tuesday.

‘IT’S SO HUMBLING’

Newton captured 8,697 votes (68%), compared to Democko’s 4,174 votes (32%). Newton carried all three counties.

“It’s very exciting,” Newton said. “It’s so humbling to have so many people help me get there.”

Newton said he looks forward to returning to the Senate to serve the people of eastern North Carolina.

“We’ve got a lot of good work that needs to be done,” he said.

Some of that work, Newton said, includes shoring up the education system and the state’s economy after the bruising COVID-19 pandemic.

“There’s a lot of dark clouds on the horizon with inflation and difficulties in Washington,” he added.

Newton said he’s ready to start campaigning for November’s election.

“We are going to try win every vote we can from Wilson, Wayne and Greene counties from both parties and show folks that we have the answers and their best interest at heart and we care about what’s going on with their lives,” he said.

Newton said he looks forward to serving constituents in District 4.

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