Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton has edged former U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge in the Democratic primary for North Carolina governor, setting up a general election race with Republican Pat McCrory.
Dalton had 46 percent of the vote compared to 38 percent for Etheridge with about two-thirds of the precincts reporting unofficial results in the six-candidate primary. Dalton had enough to avoid a runoff ? the threshold is above 40 percent. State Rep. Bill Faison was a distant third at 6 percent.
Dalton is a Rutherfordton attorney and former state senator who was elected lieutenant governor in 2008. He got in the governor's race when incumbent Beverly Perdue decided not to seek re-election.
McCrory lapped the field of five other candidates in Tuesday's Republican primary, receiving 84 percent in incomplete returns.