In North Carolina, if there are more than two candidates in a primary, the winning candidate must carry at least 40% of the vote in a primary election to win outright. Otherwise, the second-place finisher has the right to request a second runoff primary in which the top two vote-getters from the first primary face off against one another. Second primaries may occur for well-known offices, like Senate or Governor, as well as much lesser-known offices like the various Council of State positions, or may occur for a local race which does not have a statewide component.

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