WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Republicans will have a majority in both chambers of the North Carolina General Assembly, taking control from Democrats for the first time in more than a century. Unofficial results late Tuesday night showed GOP candidates winning at least 27 seats in the Senate and 61 in the House, ensuring they'll have more seats than the Democrats.
Two of those Senate seats going over to the Republican side are right here in Southeastern North Carolina. In the 8th District, which represents Brunswick, Columbus and Pender Counties, Bill Rabon defeated David Redwine with 63 percent of the vote to claim what had been R.C. Soles's seat for 34 years in Raleigh. Soles is retiring after serving in the legislature longer than anyone in history. And in New Hanover County, the 9th District seat which had belonged to Julia Boseman, who is also stepping down, is now Thom Goolsby's. The Wilmington attorney received 57 percent of the vote to defeat former UNCW Chancellor Jim Leutze.
Republicans haven't led both chambers together since their Fusion coalition with farmers got defeated in 1898. That includes a 112-year losing streak in the Senate and only four years of House control in the 1990s.
The flip likely means Senate leader Marc Basnight and House Speaker Joe Hackney won't be banging the gavels in their chambers in January. Basnight has led the Senate for a record 18 years.
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS CONTRIBUTED TO THIS REPORT