WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama rolled to re-election Tuesday night, vanquishing former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney despite a weak economy that plagued his first term and put a crimp in the middle class dreams of millions.
In victory, Obama spoke to thousands of cheering supporters, praising Romney and promising that better days are ahead. “While our road has been hard, though our journey has been long, we have picked ourselves up. We have fought our way back and we know in our hearts that for the United States of America, the best is yet to come,” he said.
Romney made a graceful concession speech before a disappointed crowd in Boston. He summoned all Americans to pray for Obama and urged the night’s political winners to put partisan bickering aside and “reach across the aisle” to tackle the nation’s problems.
GOP poised to pick up at least 3 seats in NC
CHARLOTTE — North Carolina Republicans have picked up at least three Congressional seats with one race that was still close to call.
Heading into the election, Republicans held six of the state’s 13 Congressional seats. But with new political maps drawn by the Republican-controlled state legislature last year, the GOP was poised to pick up a few new ones.
The only race that was undecided was in the 7th District, where veteran Congressman Mike McIntyre, a Democrat, was facing GOP challenger David Rouzer.
With 100 percent of the district’s precincts reporting unofficial returns, McIntyre had a 378-vote lead in a race that appeared headed for a recount.
A member of his party’s conservative Blue Dog caucus, McIntyre, 56, was trying to win a 9th term against Rouzer, 40, a two-term state senator.
In another high-profile and bitterly contested race, Republican Richard Hudson beat incumbent U.S. Rep. Larry Kissell in the 8th District.
McCrory wins NC governor; Coleman and Forest close
RALEIGH — Former Charlotte mayor Pat McCrory was elected governor over Democrat Walter Dalton with 55 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results. McCrory lost to Democrat Beverly Perdue in 2008, when Obama won North Carolina by 14,000 votes. Perdue didn’t seek re-election this year.
The race for lieutenant governor between Republican Dan Forest and Democrat Linda Coleman was too close to call early Wednesday.
Forest is the son of retiring U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick of Charlotte and leaned on his party’s tea party and evangelical blocs. Coleman has been a state worker for more than 30 years and was most recently Gov. Beverly Perdue’s state personnel director before stepping down to run for the state’s No. 2 office.
Pridgen unseated by Waddell
LUMBERTON — According to the state Board of Elections, Rep. G.L. Pridgen lost his District 46 seat to Ken Waddell, who took 54 percent of the vote. House District 46 formerly encompassed Robeson, Hoke and Scotland counties, but was redrawn to include Robeson, Bladen and Columbus counties.
In Robeson County, Pridgen secured the majority vote, at 64 percent.
Walters secures re-election bid
RALEIGH — According to the state Board of Elections, Sen. Michael Walters has secured his bid for re-election with 72 percent of the vote. In Robeson County, Walters received 77 percent of the popular vote.
“I look forward to continuing to serve the people of the district, working on issues of education, jobs and the economy,” Walters told The Robesonian. “… I have to think that the vote I received indicates that the people know that I listen to and know the needs of District 13.”
Taylor remains in District 7
LUMBERTON — Voters in District 7 overwhelmingly returned veteran commissioner Tom Taylor to his seat on the Robeson County Board of Commissioners. Taylor, 57, a Democrat, has served on the board since 2000.
Taylor defeated the Rev. Dennis Harrell, a Republican who was seeking his first elective public office.
With a total of 5,501 votes cast, Taylor received 3, 773 votes, or 68.59 percent. Harrell received 1,728 or 31.41 percent of the total votes cast.
“I appreciate that the people have confidence in me and have given me another four years on the board,” Taylor said shortly after the votes were tallied. “I try to help them all (county residents). My first priority is the citizens, and my second priority is our county employees.”
Milsap propelled by early push
LUMBERTON — District Court Judge Judith Milsap Daniels secured her bid for re-election on Tuesday, largely with the help of voters who cast their ballots early.
Daniels defeated Rodney Oxendine, a Pembroke native and Robeson County Assistant District Attorney who was seeking his first elected public office.
During the 16-day early voting period, Daniels received nearly twice the 5,347 votes cast for Oxendine. On Tuesday night, unofficial results showed Daniels receiving 57.04 percent of the 37,079 total votes cast, and Oxendine receiving 42.96 percent.
“I want to thank all of the folks of Robeson County for supporting me not only in this election but in the past,” Daniels said Tuesday night. “I’m doing my best to be worthy of their support and I’m very grateful for the opportunity to serve Robeson County … there’s really not words to express how much I appreciate all of the voters.”