BREAKING: GOP challenger Ray Pickett defeats incumbent Ray Russell

Mickey Hutchings, Reporter

Ray Pickett, candidate running for North Carolina House of Representatives for District 93, outside of Ransom Pub during a private GOP Election Day viewing party Tuesday. Pickett won his race. (Jesse Barber)

Ray Pickett, Republican newcomer, defeated incumbent Ray Russell in the race for District 93’s seat in the North Carolina House of Representatives.

Russell – known in the High Country as Ray of Ray’s Weather Center – did not predict his election night forecast accurately.

Russell, a Democrat, was elected to the state house in 2018 after beating long-time Republican incumbent Jonathan Jordan.

Pickett defeated Russell in the “battle of the Rays” by almost 3,000 votes in Watauga and Ashe counties Tuesday night.

Before running for state house, Pickett was a member of the Blowing Rock Town Council and currently owns the Blowing Rock Inn.