UPDATE: Thigpen Concedes To McCullough In NC Court Of Appeals Judge Race

Incumbent Judge Cressie Thigpen has conceded to Doug McCullough in their race for a seat on the North Carolina Court of Appeals.

Thigpen congratulated McCullough for the victory after a statewide recount completed Monday showed McCullough ahead by 6,655 votes out of nearly 1.1 million cast. McCullough had led by about 6,000 votes before the recount.

McCullough is a former federal prosecutor who served on the intermediate appeals court through 2008. Gov. Beverly Perdue appointed Thigpen to the court in the summer to fill the vacancy when Judge Jim Wynn joined a federal appeals court.

The winner was chosen using instant runoff voting, in which voters ranked up to three candidates out of 13 who ran on Election Day.

The final outcome for a North Carolina Court of Appeals election using instant runoff voting will take a little longer.

A campaign spokesman for incumbent Cressie Thigpen said Wednesday the judge would ask for a re-count. The complete county canvass shows him trailing Doug McCullough by 6,000 votes. Thigpen could request the mandatory re-count because the margin is less than 10,000 votes.

Spokesman Reid Overcash says Thigpen wants to make sure the count was performed properly because instructions may have been confusing to county officials. This was the first time instant runoff voting has been used statewide, and Overcash says there's nothing to suggest major problems.

State elections director Gary Bartlett has said a re-count would be performed next week.

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