LUMBERTON — A retired realtor from Lumberton making her first bid for public office won Tuesday’s four-way race for the Democratic Party’s nomination for Senate District 13, which encompasses Robeson and Columbus counties.
Jane Smith will face Bernard White, a Republican from Columbus County, in the General Election in November.
Smith received 9,448, or 47.38 percent of the total votes cast in Robeson and Columbus counties. The other candidates and votes they received include: Marcus W. Williams, 5,445, or 27.3 percent of the votes; David Ayers, 2,710, or 13.59 percent of the votes; and Beverly Collins Hall, with 2,336, or 11.72 percent of total votes cast.
Smith was able to surpass the 40 percent threshold to avoid a runoff.
Vote totals are unofficial until Tuesday when canvassing and election certification takes place.
“I am honored and humbled that people have put their confidence in me,” Smith said. “I will do my very best to represent the people of Robeson and Columbus counties if I should win in November.”
Smith campaigned on a platform that called for increased support of public education and teachers; more state emphasis on economic development and job creation; and a need for more attention by the state on issues of importance to North Carolina’s rural areas.
The District 13 seat became open in January following the announcement by Sen. Michael Walters that he will not seek re-election. Walters, a Democrat, will have served in the Senate for five years when his current term expires at the end of the year.
Walters was appointed to the Senate by former Gov. Bev Perdue to fill the unexpired term of Sen. David Weinstein. Weinstein gave up his seat in the Senate so he could head the governor’s Highway Safety Program.