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Political newcomer Tamara Barringer, a Republican, was winning broad Election Day margins against Wake County Commissioner Erv Portman in the N.C. Senate District 17 race.
Barringer led with 58 percent of the vote and 40 of 41 precincts reporting as of 8 p.m. Thursday, but early votes had not yet been tabulated
Barringer, 53, says she’s a regulation hawk who will push back onerous limits on business, though she has not named any regulations that she would change. The tax-law attorney from Cary also describes herself as an advocate for education.
“I'm very humbled,” Barringer said as the results rolled in. “My priorities are, as they have always been, education and the economy.”
Portman wasn’t ready to concede the result, saying that early votes could sway the race.
At the end of the campaign, Barringer enjoyed a significant fundraising advantage, by Oct. 20 hauling in a reported $350,558 to Portman's $192,920. She received about a third more money and services from her political party, a value of about $113,716, compared to Portman.
She also received a total of $64,000 from political action committees representing medical professionals’ groups, a lawyers’ group, auto dealers, the housing industry and others. Portman, 57, received about a tenth as much from political groups such as the N.C. Association of Educators and the N.C. Sierra Club.
Barringer isn’t entirely new to the Senate office: She took the oath of office last month to fill the vacant seat that former senator Richard Stevens recently resigned.