Local Politics

Ellmers claims victory; Etheridge wants votes counted

Posted November 2, 2010
Updated November 3, 2010

— Seven-term Democratic Congressman Bob Etheridge appeared late Tuesday to lose his re-election bid, becoming the lone casualty among North Carolina's congressional delegation in a pivotal election nationwide.

The Associated Press declared Republican challenger Renee Ellmers the victor in the Second District race shortly before midnight. With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Ellmers had about a 2,100-vote lead over Etheridge.

Etheridge, however, wasn't ready to concede defeat.

"I’ve been in close elections before, and we will follow the established process to ensure the integrity of the outcome. We will make sure every vote is counted and every voice is heard," he said in a statement.

"For all the naysayers on both sides of the aisle, it feels really good to stand up here (and claim victory)," Ellmers told cheering supporters at her campaign headquarters in Dunn.

Renee Ellmers victory speech Ellmers claims victory in congressional race

Ellmers, a Harnett County nurse who was given little chance of victory a few months ago, rode a wave of voter discontent and the fallout of an online video depicting Etheridge confronting a man on a Washington, D.C., sidewalk to edge by him.

In an interview with WRAL News on Wednesday, Ellmers addressed the YouTube video controversy.

"I think that (video) really showed something about what we, the American people, are saying about Washington – an arrogance on the street there in Washington," she said. "But I think the thing that really hurt Congressman Etheridge was his vote on the health care bill."

Renee Ellmers Ellmers: Health care bill vote hurt Etheridge

The video released on the Internet in June showed Etheridge grabbing the arm and then the neck of a man, who refused Etheridge's repeated demands to identify himself as he and another man videotaped Etheridge and asked if he supported "the Obama agenda."

Etheridge immediately apologized for the incident, but together with the national surge by the Republican Party, the video helped put Ellmers on the campaign map.

The confrontation was revived in a political ad by the group Americans for Job Security, which pledged to spend $800,000 in an effort to defeat Etheridge at the polls.

Ellmers said she planned to work for a change in the political culture in Washington.

"The people are not supposed to work for Washington. Washington is supposed to work for people," she said. "I promise that I will always come to you, and I won't look to the leadership in Washington for answers."

All other congressional incumbents in North Carolina won re-election, including David Price in the Fourth District and Brad Miller in the 13th District.

Outside groups also targeted Eighth District Congressman Larry Kissell and 11th District Congressman Heath Shuler, but both easily downed their Republican challengers.


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  • I Change This Name Daily Nov 4, 2010

    We're sorry for the inconvenience, but we've found a word or a combination of words that could potentially be considered inappropriate to some of our visitors.

    wral sucks
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  • rdcress Nov 4, 2010

    I was just censored because of the use of the word *th*x*ug*. So now it's politically incorrect to use the word *th*x*ug* as in the context of union *th*x*ugs*. What is this world and this station coming to. Shesh!!!!!!

  • rdcress Nov 4, 2010

    Deep thought - Acorn was exposed for what they are. They advocated working the system to benefit criminal activities. No matter how many times people say Acorn was wronged, it us the tax payers who are wronged. So you want us to accept the 13.6 trillion debt and 1.3 trillion deficit spending and 1/2 trillion Fed printing money group as the solution for too much government? Get the facts. The corporate lobby gave just as much money to the Dems as they did to the Repubs. And look at the Casino and labor unions who pumped 220 million into the Reid campaign. Oh I guess there are no favors expected there... Mainstream America is rising because we're sick of the repubs vs the dems scam. Both parties have grown government with changes only in the rate of growth as changes in control shifted. Sometimes more sometimes less but always growing. Call all the names you want but the facts are the facts. People are sick of the liberal socialistic minority running us into a hole.

  • Retired07 Nov 4, 2010

    WoW I cant believe the contempt here for Bob. I hope the rest of you surviving career politicians stand up and take notice.

  • Retired07 Nov 4, 2010

    Elmers' inexperience is her main quality. That means she is not corrupted by the DC crowd Bob served so admirably.

  • Deep Thought Nov 3, 2010

    If the republican manage to do anything right I will be glad to give them credit. But, this is the bunch that inspired the 'acorn buster' to lie about acorn's reaction which caused him to edit his tape to make it look the way he wanted it to.
    This is the party that invaded Iraq, gave us Clarence Thomas, wants to give your social security money to wall street, wants to get rid of the health care bill so your children can be denied coverage. They have a member that apologized to BP while BP was destroying the Gulf Coast. Guess you want to go back to Halliburton running the Iraq (or any) war, Senator Paul from KY, will be just like his daddy, voting NO on everything just to show he can. It's going to be interesting to watch the republicans try to corral the tea baggers that have been elected. Guess the next star will be the Half Governor Palin.

    Nope, none of this is a laughing matter but watching the republican and tea baggers is going to be interesting. But, we get hurt.

  • angelfowler Nov 3, 2010

    Kxro, are you kidding me? I seem to remember the people asking the same question about Obama's experience 2 years ago! And he was running for President! Get your head out of the sand! I'll be at church! :0)

  • jbass4 Nov 3, 2010

    Sampson County BOE just found 3,046 votes it did not report last night. Lead is down to 1,646 for Ellmers. .88 difference. There could be a recount if less than 1%.

    Check updated figurs on State BOE website.

  • Clover Nov 3, 2010

    "This is for Kxro. You speak of how inexperienced Elmers is. Well, Obama was a community organizer and see what that gave us, a bungling Prez. AT least, Elmers was a nurse and had to actually care for people instead of steal from them."


    Ignore him/her. Kxro is obviously an Etheridge supporter who's not too happy with the outcome of yesterday's election, which is why he/she is spewing sore-loser nonsense on this here blog.

  • Clover Nov 3, 2010

    "However, it could have been taken out of context (not saying ANYTHING justifies his actions, but he is human, therefore not infallible)."


    Taken out of context?!?! Honestly, how naive are some people?