Sean Haugh of Durham won the Libertarian nomination for U.S. Senate in the second primary in the party's history. Unofficial results (as of 8:42 a.m. May 7) have Haugh winning with 1,215 votes (60.7 percent) to 787 (39.3 percent) for Tim D'Annunzio of Raeford.
The 15.9 percent voter turnout was higher than the 14 percent turnout in the last non-presidential year primary in 2010.
Haugh ended a four-year “retirement” from politics to enter the contest. At a victory party at Satisfactions Restaurant in Durham, he promised supporters he would run a vigorous general election effort focused on his campaign theme to “stop all wars.”
About 10 p.m., D'Annunzio called to congratulate Haugh on his victory and pledged his support for the fall campaign.
“I'm in this race to give anyone who is tired of sending the same old lying politicians to Washington for God-knows-how-long a viable alternative,” he said. “We just keep ending up with more wars, and more debt, and it just keeps getting worse.”
Haugh said his campaign would reflect his objective to end “not just literal war but metaphorical war.”
“If there is one thing I could change about public discourse, it would be for people to start thinking in terms of ‘right and wrong’ instead of ‘good versus evil,’” he said.
He acknowledged that the Democratic and Republican nominees would have far more money to spend on their respective campaigns, but asserted he could level the playing field to some degree through his campaign YouTube channel to get focused issue-specific messages out.
Haugh also vowed to coordinate with other Libertarian candidates on the November ballot to mount cooperative joint events.
“We will also aggressively pursue inclusion in any debates or forums that are scheduled,” added LPNC Political Director Bjorn Pedersen.
Pedersen cited a recent Civitas Institute poll that showed the Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate had the support of eight percent of likely voters.
“That level of support not only is enough to materially effect the outcome of the race, but demonstrates that many people in the state are looking for a third alternative,” he said. “It is manifestly in the public interest that voters get an opportunity to compare and contrast all the choices on the ballot in November.”