Beaufort County Councilman Gerald Dawson narrowly defeated fellow Councilman Herbert Glaze in Tuesday's Democratic primary in redrawn District 1.
With all nine precincts reporting results, Dawson captured 54 percent of the vote -- defeating Glaze by 90 votes -- in a district redrawn after the 2010 Census.
Dawson received 514 votes to Glaze's 424, according to unofficial results that will be confirmed and certified later this week.
"I just thank God for the victory," Dawson, 59, said in a telephone interview. "I thank all the campaign workers who worked diligently to make this election a success for us, and I commend Councilman Glaze for his efforts to run a civil campaign. My hat is off to him."
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No Republican ran for the seat, so barring a challenge from a petition candidate, Dawson will win a third four-year term in November's general election.
Glaze and Dawson have represented neighboring parts of northern Beaufort County for the past eight years, but the two were forced to run against each other after their districts were consolidated following the 2010 Census. The new district includes portions of Seabrook, Sheldon, Dale, Lobeco and parts of Burton.
By sheer numbers alone, the new district favored Dawson, who has represented much of it since he was elected in 2004.
Glaze, who has served on County Council since 1993, congratulated Dawson on his victory but said he was disappointed in the low turnout.
"There were less than 1,000 people who voted in a district that's supposed to have 14,000, so turnout was extremely low," said Glaze, 61. "But that's spilled milk there. If the people didn't get out to vote, they didn't get out to vote."
"I wish him the best of luck and I wish District 1 the best of luck," Glaze added.
According to unofficial results, 938 people cast ballots Tuesday. The number should rise after absentee ballots are counted, but there won't be enough of those to change the outcome, according to Beaufort County elections chief Scott Marshall."In fact, it will probably make the difference between the two even greater," said the executive director of the county's Board of Elections and Registration.
Turnout for all of Beaufort County was estimated at about 6 percent Tuesday -- a figure Marshall said was low because most of the county had no Democratic contests.
Official turnout figures for District 1 were not immediately available.