Under the Dome

The House Class of 2008

The watchword for the House class of 2008 is scandal.

At least four representatives-elect won seats formerly held by legislators who were either retired or defeated because of scandals involving speeding tickets, drunk driving, sexual harassment or campaign donations.

Depending on your definition, the House has 15 or 20 new members. Some of the five who were appointed prior to the election also took the seats of troubled legislators, including disgraced former Speaker Jim Black and Rep. Thomas Wright, the first member expelled since 1880.

Here's a quick look at the representatives-elect:

Hugh Blackwell (R): The Valdese lawyer defeated longtime Rep. Walt Church Sr. after the legislator got a speeding ticket dismissed by the district attorney.

Elmer Floyd (D): The longtime city of Fayetteville human relations director won the former seat of Rep. Mary McAllister, who got in trouble over campaign finance reports.

Nick Mackey (D): A controversial figure in Charlotte, Mackey resigned from the police department while under investigation, then ran for sheriff, but had his election thrown out.

Shirley Randleman (R): The retired longtime Wilkes County clerk of court won the seat being vacated by retiring Rep. Tracy Walker.

Sarah Stevens (R): The Mount Airy lawyer defeated three-term Democrat Rep. Jim Harrell III after a campaign that ridiculed his support of a teapot museum.

James Boles (R): The Southern Pines resident won the seat of retiring Republican Rep. Joe Boylan, who admitted to an alcohol problem after a drunk driving arrest.

Pearl Burris Floyd (R): The Gaston County commissioner will be the first elected black Republican woman in the legislature.

Darrell McCormick (R): The Yadkinville owner of a real estate company fended off a Democratic challenger for the seat of Rep. George Holmes.

Johnathan Rhyne (R): The Lincolnton lawyer had no Democratic opposition in his race for the seat of retiring Republican Rep. Joe Kiser.

Randy Stewart (D): The Rocky Mount resident won a much-contested race for the seat of Republican Rep. Bill Daughtridge, who ran unsuccessfully for state treasurer.

Justin Burr (R): Albemarle defeated Rep. Ken Furr in the primary, who had been appointed to the seat after Rep. David Almond resigned over a personnel complaint.

W. David Guice (R): The Transylvania County commissioner was outspent by a Democratic opponent in the race for the seat of retiring Rep. Trudi Walend.

Grey Mills (R): The Iredell County business owner handily beat a Libertarian opponent for the seat after narrowly edging Republican Rep. Karen Ray in the primary.

Efton Sager (R): The Wayne County commissioner and retired Air Force member won the seat of retiring Republican Rep. Louis Pate.

Jane Whilden (D): The former director of Gov. Mike Easley's Western office, an Asheville resident, won with the help of the state Democratic Party.

In addition, previously appointed Reps. Kelly Alexander Jr. of Charlotte, Angela Bryant of Rocky Mount, Annie Mobley of Ahoskie, Tricia Cotham of Charlotte and Sandra Spaulding Hughes of Wilmington were also elected for the first time in November.

Related: The Senate Class of 2008

Correction: An earlier version of this post misstated details of Mills' win.


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Re: The House Class of 2008

Fixed. Thanks!

— RTB 

Re: The House Class of 2008

Again, poor journalism from the liberal N&O.

Grey Mills beat incumbent Karen Ray in a close primary. She was forced to retire because she lost.

Re: The House Class of 2008

Fixed the Harrell item. These bios were supposed to be quick and dirty, but I appreciate the extra detail on Mackey.

— RTB 

Re: The House Class of 2008

Jim Harrell actually served 3 terms, not 2.

And let's be clear about Mackey, who "ran for" and was "elected" sheriff. This was not an election in the traditional sense, but rather an internal Democratic Party selection to fill the office after the sheriff resigned (as provided by law).

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