LUMBERTON — U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre declared himself the victor after the counting of provisional ballots in District 7 on Friday brought his lead over Republican challenger David Rouzer to 655 votes.
“I’m honored that the voters of eastern North Carolina have put their trust in me to represent them in Washington,” McIntyre said in a statement released Friday night. “I thank them for their confidence and pledge to continue to put their interests first.”
According to the state Board of Elections, McIntyre received 168,697 votes to Rouzer’s 168,042. With more than 336,000 votes cast, Rouzer is still well within the 1 percent threshold — or about 3,360 votes — that would allow Rouzer to request a recount. He will have until noon Tuesday to do so.
A spokesperson for Rouzer’s campaign said in a statement Friday afternoon that Rouzer would make a move early next week. The campaign has remained vague on whether a recount request is in the works.
McIntyre declared himself the victor on Election Day, when he had a lead of 507 votes. He secured Robeson with a majority vote of nearly 71 percent — winning by at least 100 votes in the five county precincts that lie in his district and by 629 in one-stop voting.
As a state senator, Rouzer voted for new boundaries that left District 7 much different than the one McIntyre has represented since 1997. It now encompasses a largely rural stretch of eastern North Carolina sprinkled with small towns, and only includes a sliver of Robeson County, and doesn’t include McIntyre ’s Lumberton home. Robeson County was entirely in District 7 before redistricting.
Rouzer is a resident of Republican-leaning Johnston County, which was added to the district.
A member of his party’s conservative Blue Dog caucus, the 56-year-old McIntyre narrowly survived the Tea Party wave of 2010, which swamped many of the remaining rural Democrats in Congress.
A Lumberton native, McIntyre would be sworn into a ninth term, having first been elected to Congress in 1996.