Staff photo by Allison Potter
David Rouzer, from right, talks with Carolina Beach Mayor Dan Wilcox and Kure Beach Mayor Dean Lambeth at New Hanover County GOP Headquarters Tuesday, May 6. Rouzer and Democrat Jonathan Barfield Jr. will be on the ballot for the 7th congressional district in November’s general election.
While on a stop through New Hanover County on North Carolina Primary Election Day, United States House of Representatives North Carolina District 7 GOP candidate David Rouzer said he had a good feeling about his race against New Hanover County Commission Chairman Woody White. That feeling turned into reality at roughly 10:20 p.m. when Rouzer received a phone call from White conceding the race.
“All day we were seeing the support and it turned out to be a great night,” Rouzer said during an election night phone interview after White conceeded. “Woody called to offer his congratulations to me and Woody is a great fella, and I told him I would look forward to catching up with him soon.”
With around 99 percent of the statewide precincts reporting, Rouzer accumulated 53 percent of the vote to White’s 40 percent. In White’s home county of New Hanover, he led Rouzer 59 percent to 33 percent.
Looking ahead to his November race against White’s fellow New Hanover County Commissioner Jonathan Barfield — who won his race for the Democratic District 7 primary — Rouzer said he would focus on getting his vision out for the U.S. government as a whole and the counties he would represent.
“The big thing I am going to focus on is the message for getting our government back to the founding principles of free enterprise, individual liberty and economic freedom,” Rouzer said. “We also need to find a long-term funding source for inlet dredging and funding for beach renourishment.”
Barfield said his race against Walter Martin Jr. turned out as he expected.
“I feel awesome and now it is time to focus on November,” Barfield said by phone after the results were in. “I am putting the Barfield team together to spread my message and we have had great support from across the counties.”
Joining Rouzer and Barfield in the race for a seat on Capitol Hill in November will be U.S. Senate candidates Kay Hagan and Thom Tillis.
Tillis, the North Carolina Speaker of the House of Representatives, won his primary race by approximately 90,000 votes over runner up and Tea Party activist Greg Brannon.
The incumbent Hagan won by an even larger margin, accumulating just more than 77 percent of the votes. In a statement released after her victory, Hagan said the upcoming choice between her and Tillis was an easy one.
“Thom Tillis has spent his time in Raleigh pushing a special interest agenda that has rigged the system against middle class families,” Hagan stated. “North Carolinians know that I am the only candidate in this race who will put our state’s needs ahead of what the special interests want.”
Also facing Tillis and Hagan for the senate seat on the November ballot will be libertarian candidate Sean Haugh, who defeated Tim D’Annunzio in the primary election by more than 71 percent.
In the race for the North Carolina District 3 seat in the United States House of Representatives, incumbent Walter Jones defeated Taylor Griffin and Al “Big Al” Novinec by collecting slightly more than 48 percent of the votes.
As for the North Carolina State Senate seats, Republican District 9 candidate Michael Lee established and maintained a large lead over Michael Burns and Justin LaNasa, gathering 81 percent of the final votes. After winning the primary, Lee said he plans to win in November by serving the needs of his voters.
“The issues voters were talking about were jobs, the economy and education, and we are also going to be talking about infrastructure because we have some vital needs here,” Lee said during a Wednesday, May 7 phone interview.
If he should win in November, Lee confirmed he would resign from his appointment as the North Carolina State Ports Authority Board chairman.
In a closer race, North Carolina Senate District 8 Democratic candidate Ernie Ward defeated Danny Hefner by just more than 1,300 votes.