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Moffitt, Balkcom win NC Senate, House seats

Republicans Tim Moffitt and Jennifer Capps Balkcom won seats in the North Carolina Legislature in a big night for their party on Tuesday.

With 53 percent of precincts reporting, Moffitt held a commanding 65 to 35 percent lead over Democrat Jay Carey for the seat that Chuck Edwards vacated to run for Congress. Balkcom, a political newcomer who serves on the Henderson County Planning Board, held a similar lead, 57.8 to 42.2, over Democrat Michael O'Shea.

In a Lightning Voter Guide Q&A, Moffitt, who is moving up from the state House, said he hoped to advance a farmland preservation initiative next year when he serves in the Senate.

"Over the last quarter century, North Carolina has seen an average of 500 farms per year lost to residential and commercial development," he said. "I am currently working on legislation to develop a self-sustaining, non-taxpayer funded program that will help protect North Carolina’s family farms. By offering fair market value for a farm’s development rights to compete with commercial developers through a 'development rights acquisition fund' we can limit non-agricultural uses in perpetuity while protecting private ownership and saving the land necessary for food production and security."

Balkcom said the most common topic she heard on the campaign trail was parents' concerns about critical race theory being taught in schools.

"The biggest thing I heard was CRT, our child's education, here in Henderson County,” she said. “That was the main one. I think that’s something I’d want to work on with our School Board as a legislator and it’s something we could do with parents’ rights and school choice.”

She benefited in a Republican primary against two other candidates from the farm community and by her family's long history in Henderson County.

"That’s my heart, that's where I grew up, that's where I'm from," she said. "Those are people that helped raise who I am, so those are special to me, and I was blessed to have their support and honored."