LAURINBURG — With a 930-vote lead in Scotland County in the unofficial results of Tuesday’s Democratic primary, incumbent District Attorney Kristy Newton also scored a narrow victory in Hoke County over her sole challenger.
Newton has been district attorney for District 16A, which includes Scotland and Hoke counties, since 2000 and has faced opposition twice during her tenure. In this week’s primary election, she was challenged by James Allen, an attorney and former juvenile court counselor practicing in Raeford.
Between both counties, Newton received 5,512 votes to Allen’s 4,486.
Among Scotland County voters, 2,520 supported Newton while 1,590 voted for Allen. The incumbent district attorney led the polls at every precinct and in early voting. In Hoke County, Newton took 2,992 votes to Allen’s 2,896. Results in all races will be considered unofficial until next Tuesday’s canvass.
There was no Republican primary.
“I would like to thank all of my supporters and everyone who voted for me and worked so hard in my campaign,” she said. “It was definitely a team effort. I’m very grateful to my team and I look forward to serving the citizens of Scotland and Hoke counties for four more years.”
Newton, a Raeford native graduated from Hoke County High School in 1989, the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in 1992 and Samford University in 1995.
In her campaign, Newton cited her experience, including 20 years as a prosecutor and 15 years as district attorney. Newton has prosecuted cases at every level, including more than 75 homicides.
William Gore Jr., a Whiteville defense attorney, called Newton one of the “most effective prosecutors” in North Carolina.
“The character trait I admire most in Kristy Newton is her passion for justice, and not just convictions,” Gore said.”As a defense attorney, I have dealt with Ms. Newton as an adversary. I have found her to be open minded and willing to objectively consider all the evidence in a case and not just a narrow focus on the evidence supporting guilt. This passion for justice and not just convictions at all cost, coupled with the moral courage to do the right and fair thing in every case, has earned Ms. Newton the respect of many defense attorneys with whom she has crossed swords.”
Allen’s platform included diversifying the district attorney’s office and implementing programs to filter frivolous cases out of the court system. But Newton said that she staffed her office based on qualifications and ran on her hands-on approach to each case and commitment to a fair application of the law.
Allen also is a Raeford native. He graduated from Hoke County High School, Fayetteville State University and N.C. Central University School of Law in Durham. He has a law practice in Raeford.
Allen is a member of the board of directors for the Hoke County Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center and worked with Teen Court in Hoke and Scotland counties.
The Scotland County Board of Elections will meet on Friday at 2 p.m. at the elections office at 231 East Cronly St. to review absentee and provisional ballots in all the 2016 primary races.
Reach Mary Katherine Murphy at 910-276-2311