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Jackson wins Democratic primary for attorney general

Jackson left Deberry Right
Photo Composite
Jeff Jackson (left) and Satana Deberry.

U.S. Rep. Jeff Jackson wins the Democratic primary for North Carolina attorney general on Tuesday and will take on U.S. Rep. Dan Bishop in the general election this November.

With almost all precincts reporting results statewide, Jackson was leading his opponents with 54.2% of the vote. Satana Deberry had 33.5% while Tim Dunn had 12.3%.

The winner of the general election will succeed Attorney General Josh Stein, a Democrat who is the party's nominee for governor. The attorney general leads the North Carolina Department of Justice.

Bishop, the Republican nominee, is a former state senator from Union County and a Mecklenburg County commissioner before that. He's one of the most conservative members of the U.S. House and a leading member of the Freedom Caucus.

As a first-term congressman from Charlotte, Jackson built a social media following of millions on TikTok with videos of him talking to the camera and explaining policies and votes in Washington. He served one tour in Afghanistan and remains in the Army National Guard. Before going to Congress, he was a prosecutor and state senator.

Deberry is the district attorney in Durham County. She emphasized her law enforcement experience, said she would advocate for women's rights and argued that Democrats need a more diverse slate of candidates for statewide offices, with the leading nominees for those offices all being white.

Deberry's campaign received an unexpected — and slightly mysterious — boost from a Republican-affiliated group called the “And Justice For All PAC.” It ran TV ads and sent text messages urging Democrats to back Deberry.

The primary race spilt some influential Democratic Party leaders and groups. Deberry picked up backing from the Young Democrats of North Carolina, Lillian's List and the party's Progressive Caucus, while Jackson got endorsements from Planned Parenthood, the Black Political Caucus of Charlotte, the AFL-CIO and the state's six other Democrats in Congress.

"The job of Attorney General is to stand between the people of the state and those that mean them harm. It’s not about culture wars — it’s just about doing what’s right. We need an Attorney General that will defend our kids from fentanyl and keep them safe online, go after scammers who target our bank accounts, and corporations who break the rules and pollute our water," Jackson said in a statement after the election.

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Ely Portillo has worked as a journalist in Charlotte for over a decade. Before joining WFAE, he worked at the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute and the Charlotte Observer.