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With All Votes Counted, Rachel Hunt Declares Victory in NC House Race

Rachel Hunt campaign
After provisional ballots were counted Thursday night, Democrat Rachel Hunt still leads Republican Bill Brawley for the N.C. House 103 seat.

Democrat Rachel Hunt's lead over Republican incumbent Bill Brawley has grown to 68 votes after the Mecklenburg Board of Elections reviewed roughly 2,600 provisional ballots late Thursday night.

With election officials having finished reviewing the provisional ballots, all votes in the North Carolina House District 103 race have been counted. Hunt has 19,127 votes to Brawley's 19,059. She declared victory Thursday night.

“I am truly honored and humbled that the people of House District 103 have entrusted me to be their voice in the state House," Hunt said in a prepared statement. "I am ready to get to work on reinvesting in our public schools and raising teacher pay. This victory is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our countless volunteers and supporters, and I will forever be grateful to them for their support. I also want to thank everyone who participated in this election. Regardless of how you voted, I look forward to being your Representative. Finally, I would like to thank Representative Brawley for his service to the state and to our community. Public service is a challenging calling that demands many sacrifices from those in office." 

But Brawley has already asked for a recount, and Mecklenburg elections director Michael Dickerson said will probably happen early next week.

The Mecklenburg Board of Elections reviewed about 2,600 provisional ballots Thursday night.

The four-member board counted absentee ballots last week. Those votes allowed Hunt to erase a 52-vote deficit and pull ahead with a 64-vote lead over Brawley.

Thursday's provisional ballots increased her lead by four votes. Provisional ballots are cast when people arrive at their polling place and find there is a problem with their registration.

It's unlikely a recount would change much. Mecklenburg votes electronically, so the Board of Elections will use the same software to read the votes from cartridges and flash drives that contain copies of the votes.

If the recount doesn't change the race, Democrats will have defeated five of six Republican incumbents in the legislature. State Sen. Dan Bishop of Charlotte will be Mecklenburg's only Republican in Raleigh.

Steve Harrison is WFAE's politics and government reporter. Prior to joining WFAE, Steve worked at the Charlotte Observer, where he started on the business desk, then covered politics extensively as the Observer’s lead city government reporter. Steve also spent 10 years with the Miami Herald. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, the Sporting News and Sports Illustrated.