Back in 2016, when Dare County Board of Education campaigns were non-partisan events, Bea Basnight cruised to victory, running unopposed. In 2020 — following state legislation that turned those elections into partisan races — Basnight, a well-respected Democrat who currently chairs the board, was beaten by about 900 votes by Republican challenger Carl Woody II.
In a sign of the potency of the Republican brand here, Basnight, even in losing, performed better than any other Democrat of note in Dare County in this election.
In one race that a number of observers thought could be very close, NC District 1 incumbent Republican Senator Bob Steinburg defeated Democratic challenger Tess Judge with relative ease. In the entire district, which encompasses 11 counties, he defeated her by a solid 55%-45% margin, slightly more comfortable than his 53%-47% margin over Democrat D. Cole Phelps in 2018. And in her home county of Dare, Judge lost to Steinburg, an Edenton resident, by a 54%-46% margin.