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Steinburg defeats Twiddy in Senate District 1

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State Rep. Bob Steinburg

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From staff reports

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

State Rep. Bob Steinburg took a step toward moving on to the state Senate on Tuesday, defeating Clark Twiddy in the Republican primary in Senate District 1.

Steinburg, R-Chowan, finished ahead of Twiddy in nine of the newly drawn district's 11 counties, collecting 6,760 votes, or 58.1 percent, to Twiddy's 4,894 votes, or 41.99 percent.

Steinburg’s victory was sweeping: He quadrupled Twiddy’s vote total in Chowan and Washington counties, tripled it in Hyde and Tyrrell, doubled it in Pasquotank and Camden, and nearly tripled it in Hertford and Perquimans counties. Twiddy won only two counties: Currituck and Dare counties.

Steinburg will now face Cole Phelps, a Washington County commissioner who won Tuesday's Democratic primary in Senate District 1, in the November general election. The State Board of Elections didn't post results for that race since candidate Richard James was disqualified, though his name remained on the ballot.

Steinburg gained a lot of support from voters interviewed outside polling places in Pasquotank, Camden and Chowan. Twiddy gained support from voters in Currituck.

Voting at River Road Middle School in Elizabeth City, Jan Bertaut said she voted for Steinburg because she was more familiar with him. He's also a proven conservative, based on his three House terms, she added.

Another River Road voter who asked her name be withheld said she believed Steinburg was the better person for the job, and, based on coverage of him over the years, she had similar thoughts to him on the issues.

At Pasquotank County High School, Richard Green said he chose Steinburg simply because he didn't like Twiddy as much.

In Shiloh in Camden, a 46-year-old man said he chose Steinburg because he was more experienced. He also expressed dissatisfaction with Cook, commenting “(Cook)]supporting Twiddy also made me want to support Steinburg even more.”

Cook not only endorsed Twiddy in the race, but, in a rare rebuke of a fellow Republican, criticized him as unfit for office in a press release last month.

In Currituck, Wolf Seacrest, a retiree who voted at Moyock Elementary School, said he supported Steinburg because of his record. He also believes Steinburg listens to the people, he added.

Twiddy's background and message won over other voters, however. The businessman's military service meant a great deal to Jack Tidler, who voted for him at Pasquotank High. Tidler said he, like Twiddy, had served in Naval intelligence, and wanted to see a strongly pro-military senator. He said he didn't have anything against Steinburg, however.

Another Pasquotank High voter, Billy Brown, said he voted for Twiddy over Steinburg because he thought Twiddy more strongly supported President Donald Trump.

In Camden, a 37-year-old Shiloh voter said he voted for Twiddy because “he was the one I had seen the most about.”

A Moyock voter similarly said she voted for Twiddy based on his campaign information.

“Something just clicked with me,” she said.

In Chowan, Mimi Reiheld said she voted for Steinburg.

"I think he works hard. I don't agree with him on everything, but he listens," she said.

Staff Writers Reggie Ponder, Rebecca Bunch Bill West and Chowan Herald Editor Miles Layton contributed to this report.

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