Havelock lawyer Clint Rowe won a seat as a district court judge Tuesday night, beating incumbent Cheryl Spencer.
Spencer had been a district court judge since 1994.
Carteret County appeared to make the difference, as Rowe beat Spencer by 4,337 votes.
Overall, Rowe totaled 35,423 votes (53 percent) in Craven, Pamlico and Carteret counties, while Spencer had 31,639 votes (47 percent) in unofficial returns.
Rowe earned his law degree from Campbell University School of Law and has been practicing law in Havelock since 1999.
He said the citizens of the district are entitled to a conservative judge, “one who is fair, impartial.”
Spencer said she wanted to make sure that people are treated fairly in court and get the services they need and are entitled to no matter who they were, where they come from, or how much money they had.
W. David “Dave” McFadyen III took the vacant seat on the district court bench. Kirby Smith was running for the seat, but suspended his campaign in the summer. He had been appointed to the seat vacated by retiring Judge Jerry Waddell.
McFadyen is a native of Craven County and is in private practice. He collected 47,310 votes (71 percent), while Smith did get 19,236 votes (29 percent) in unofficial totals.