Zahra Baker case hangs over district attorney race -, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Zahra Baker case hangs over district attorney race

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HICKORY, N.C. (AP) - A runoff race for the Republican nomination for district attorney in the North Carolina foothills has the challenger accusing the incumbent of sexually harassing an employee, and the incumbent saying the challenger was part of an illegal pyramid scheme.

And hanging above it all is how District Attorney Jay Gaither handled the highest-profile case in his 12 years in office - Elisa Baker's sentence of up to 18 years in prison for killing her 10-year-old stepdaughter Zahra in Hickory.

Morganton lawyer David Learner won the Republican primary in the district that includes Burke, Caldwell and Catawba counties with 39.4 percent of the vote, but ended up in a runoff Tuesday with Gaither by 147 votes. Gaither got 31.1 percent.

There are no Democrats running for the seat.

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