North Carolina gubernatorial election, 1984

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North Carolina gubernatorial election, 1984

← 1980 November 6, 1984 1988 →
  James G. Martin (cropped).jpg EdmistenRL.jpg
Nominee James G. Martin Rufus L. Edmisten
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 1,208,167 1,011,209
Percentage 54.26% 45.41%

Nc 84.jpg
County Results

Governor before election

Jim Hunt

Elected Governor

James G. Martin

The North Carolina gubernatorial election of 1984 was held on November 6, 1984. Popular Democratic incumbent Jim Hunt was unable to run for another consecutive term under the North Carolina Constitution. Hunt ran instead for the U.S. Senate against Jesse Helms and lost. Popular 9th District Congressman James G. Martin ran as the Republican nominee against Democratic Attorney General Rufus L. Edmisten, who defeated Hunt's Lt. Governor, James Green, among other candidates, in a hotly contested primary.

Martin won by a comfortable margin on Election Day thanks to the surprise endorsement of Green, and to President Ronald Reagan's coattails (see also United States presidential election, 1984). Martin became just the second Republican elected to the state's highest office in the 20th century.

An offhand remark by Edmisten during the 1984 campaign became part of the state's political lore. He was quoted as complaining about all the barbecue pork he had to eat on the campaign trail, saying he could not eat anymore of "that damnable stuff", which is widely popular. [1] Edmisten later said he was joking.[2]

Primary election results[edit]

Democratic primary[edit]

1984 NC Governor Democratic primary election results[3]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Rufus L. Edmisten 295,051 30.87%
Democratic H. Edward Knox 249,286 26.08%
Democratic Lauch Faircloth 153,210 16.03%
Democratic Thomas O. Gilmore 82,299 8.61%
Democratic James C. Green 80,775 8.45%
Democratic John R. Ingram 75,248 7.87%
Democratic Robert L. Hannon 9,476 0.99%
Democratic Frazier Glenn Miller 5,790 0.61%
Democratic J. Andrew Barker 3,148 0.33%
Democratic J. D. Whaley 1,516 0.16%
1984 NC Governor Democratic primary runoff election results[4]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Rufus L. Edmisten 352,351 51.91%
Democratic H. Edward Knox 326,278 48.08% -3.83%

Republican primary[edit]

1984 NC Governor Republican primary election results[5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Jim Martin 128,714 91.71%
Republican Ruby T. Hooper 11,640 8.29%

General election results[edit]

1984 NC Governor election results[6]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican James G. Martin 1,208,167 54.26%
Democratic Rufus L. Edmisten 1,011,209 45.41% -9.49%
Libertarian H. Fritz Prochnaw 4,610 0.21%
Socialist Workers Gregory McCartan 2,740 0.12%
Turnout 2,226,743 100%