The third-place finisher in the May 4 North Carolina Democratic Senate primary endorsed Secretary of State Elaine Marshall this morning, increasing the chances that Marshall will defeat the Democratic establishment choice, Iraq veteran Cal Cunningham, in the June 22 runoff.
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Marshall won the popular vote on May 4, leading the field with 36% of the total votes cast. Cunningham, who is the DSCC choice, came in second with 27%. Third place finisher Ken Lewis -- an attorney who was endorsed by most of the state's African American establishment -- took home 17% of the vote. Since none of the candidates crossed the 40% threshold required by state law, a runoff between Marshall and Cunningham was called.
Who Lewis would endorse in that race was one of the big questions for observers. Lewis brings with him a key component of the Democratic base, and who his voters choose June 22 could be the difference between victory and defeat. Today, Lewis made his choice, standing with Marshall at a press conference in Raleigh, NC.