Local Politics

GOP takes control of state legislature

Posted November 2, 2010
Updated November 3, 2010

— Riding a nationwide wave of voter discontent, state Republican leaders said Tuesday that the party had seized control of the state General Assembly for the first time in more than a century.

Many races remained too close to call late Tuesday, but GOP Chairman Tom Fetzer predicted that Republicans would pick up 14 to 16 House seats and 10 Senate seats. That would give the party 66 to 68 seats in the 120-member House and 30 seats in the 50-member Senate.

About a half-dozen incumbents across the Triangle and the Sandhills regions lost their re-election bids.

The GOP last had a majority in the state Senate in 1898. They controlled the state House as recently as 12 years ago.

"The tough job begins now. These people have to govern," Fetzer said. "We'll wake up (Wednesday) facing sobering challenges."

The state faces a projected $3 billion deficit in the coming year, and Fetzer said a Republican-controlled legislature would set priorities to live within a smaller budget.

Control of the General Assembly during the 2011 session not only means setting the agenda for the state budget and other legislation, it also means controlling the process for redrawing legislative districts, which could influence elections for the next decade.

"The voters know our state has been headed on the wrong path, and they have asked us to right that path," Senate Minority Leader Phil Berger told a cheering crowd at the Raleigh Marriott City Center, where the party was staging a "Victory Party."

"Now, we'll get to be the ones to say, 'OK, this is the direction we're going to go in,'" said Berger, R-Rockingham. "It's our belief that, in doing that, we'll put North Carolina on a better path."

The mood at Democratic Party headquarters was more somber. They, too, started off calling their gathering a victory party, but the crowd grew quieter and more sparse as returns came in and showed that polls predicting a big night for Republicans were correct.

House Minority Leader Paul Stam said Republicans would begin immediately on their transition to power, although the shift wouldn't officially occur until the General Assembly reconvenes in January.

"We will work with (Gov. Beverly Perdue)," said Stam, R-Wake. "She has had some good ideas this fall about regulatory reform and looking at budget cuts."

Gov. Bev Perdue issued a statement Wednesday congratulating candidates on their victory. She said the economy remains her top priority.

"This morning, we woke up to new leaders in the Legislature, but we all still face the same economic challenges that voters responded to yesterday," Perdue said. "I believe the General Assembly will join me in my continuing efforts to grow jobs for North Carolinians, to set government straight and to invest in the education of our future work force."

221 Comments

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  • 1secondlook Nov 3, 3:24 p.m.

    LOL! Plenty go to sleep! Your comments lead us to think you are very delusional or very sleep deprived! Nite! Nite!

  • dancm2000 Nov 3, 3:04 p.m.

    Hey Mugu, You know.. There are other ways to not have kids other than mutilating yourself. I mean seriously. Have you cut off your fingers in order to avoid poking yourself in the eye?

  • RomneyRyan2012 Nov 3, 2:55 p.m.

    Tom Mottow, no you are not being responsible if you are out spreading your sperm without the use of protection to prevent pregnancy. If you don't have a way to support them then the get the big "V". Good for Winston...That goes for the females and males.

  • Mugu Nov 3, 2:43 p.m.

    Tom Morrow, yes... I wish we had a national lottery where every other fertile male in this country was given a vasectomy, it would greatly help the environment and the pressures on our infrastructure.

    Why do people need to have children anyways?

  • Tom Morrow Nov 3, 2:27 p.m.

    "I was responsible and had a vasectomy at 28"

    LOL. So if you don't have a vasectomy at 28 you are not responsible?

  • Mugu Nov 3, 2:13 p.m.

    Now we need to get rid of backseat bev and then we will all prosper again.

  • Nov 3, 1:57 p.m.

    Is anybody listening to the President now on Television (Oh, I don't have a job because of him so I anticipated that question as to why I'm listening to it and yes I am out every day looking) He is still not taking any blame for acting like a "bull in a china shop" when he took office and going through the motions of acting like he will work with republicans along with democrats...he hasn't in the past...why should we believe him now? His power went to his head and now he won't lower his head and say I'm sorry for the mess...maybe he will get rid of some more loser staff he has and get some smart people in there that think before they do! Yeah, I'm mad because I dont have a job, my health care changed October 1st and now I can't afford to go to the doctor because they want my deductible paid up front now before they start paying anything...so usually that is paid as I go along through the year but now its all upfront, usually I dont ever meet my deductible during the year for catastr

  • Lerxst Nov 3, 1:56 p.m.

    "there will be gridlock and NO PROGRESS made the next two years, you can bet on that."

    God willing!

  • wildervb Nov 3, 1:54 p.m.

    "up to $400B per year; the SS "trust fund supposedly has $2.5T, but all has been spent). This President has introduced new programs costing hudreds of billions with no way to pay for them. It has to stop. Now."

    Wow, this takes me back 10 years. That was the 2000 election. The nation had two choices. Gore wanted to take the projected surpluses and put that money in a S.S. trust fund. Bush wanted to take the surplus and give everyone a tax break.

    Though I enjoyed getting the tax break I personally would have prefered the money be put towards the fund.

    Bush won that election and the surplus was squandered. The tax break that happened to benefit the wealthy the most was funded by middle classes social security taxes. Yes this was class warfare, and the upper class won, hands down.

  • Bendal1 Nov 3, 1:52 p.m.

    Where were all of you when Bush was driving this nation into debt with his unnecessary Iraqi war, "war on terror", and creation of a brand new Cabinet position (Home Security)? The amount Obama has added to the debt is miniscule compared to what Bush created before Obama took over.

    Oh, and BTW, the economy IS improving, and the debt amount IS shrinking. Too bad the media didn't want to tell anyone about those little tidbits of information.

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