GOP’s Berry beats Brooks for NC labor commissioner

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Cherie Berry

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Republican Cherie Berry is getting a fourth term in the North Carolina job responsible for protecting the safety of the state’s four million workers.

Partial unofficial results show Labor Commissioner Berry beat Democrat John Brooks on Tuesday.

Brooks was labor commissioner from 1977 to 1993. He held the job in 1991 when a fire at a Hamlet chicken-processing plant killed 25 workers. State workplace safety officials had never inspected the Imperial Food Products plant, and workers died behind doors that were locked to prevent chicken thefts.

Berry said her model of cooperating with rather than coercing businesses to improve safety has shown results with some of the country’s lowest rates of injuries or illnesses at private companies.