By Sarah Nagem
Republican Jarrod Lowery cruised to a win on Tuesday to represent most of Robeson County in the N.C. House.
Lowery won nearly 61% of the vote against Charles Townsend, a Democrat and former mayor of Fairmont, according to unofficial results from the North Carolina State Board of Elections.
Lowery’s win flips the seat, which has been held for more than a decade by Democrat Charles Graham, to the GOP. But Republicans across the state would have needed to win one more seat for a House supermajority that could override vetoes by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper.
The results in District 47 highlight a political shift in Robeson County, once a Democratic stronghold and home to the Lumbee tribe. Lowery and Graham are both Lumbees, the largest Native American tribe east of the Mississippi River.
Voters here picked Barack Obama for president in 2008 and 2012 and then Donald Trump in 2016 and 2020.
In 2016, Danny Britt became the first Republican to represent Robeson County in the N.C. Senate. Britt won his reelection bid on Tuesday with more than 66% of the vote, according to unofficial reports.
Early this year, the Republican National Committee opened a community center in Pembroke to serve Native American voters.
Lowery, who served in the Marines and now works as the community relations manager for Mountainaire Farms, previously told the Border Belt Independent that the GOP represents the socially and fiscally conservative values of many Robeson County voters.
His brother, John Lowery, serves as chairman of the Lumbee tribe.
On Wednesday, Jarrod Lowery posted a message on Twitter thanking his supporters.
“After more than a year of praying, shaking hands, eating a lot of food and campaigning all across Robeson County, we won!” Lowery said in the post. “I’m so thankful to the people of Robeson County for putting their trust and confidence in me. We have a lot of work to do, but the future is bright!”
Republican Brenden Jones was reelected in District 46 to keep his seat in the N.C. House. The district includes the eastern side of Robeson County and all of Columbus County.