McCrory wins governor’s race as anticipated

by Eric Ginsburg

Republican Pat McCrory successfully pulled off his anticipated victory over Democratic challenger Walter Dalton in the NC governor’s race on Tuesday. Dalton, the former lt. governor, bested the former Charlotte mayor amongst Guilford County voters, likely due in part to Democrats voting straight-party ticket almost 2:1 over Republicans and favoring Obama by double-digit percentages as well.

Early voters in Guilford County strongly favored Dalton with 90,163 over McCrory’s 66,369 though Mc- Crory received more than twice as many absentee ballots with 7,360. Trouncing McCrory in high-turnout precincts in east Greensboro, Dalton took nearly every vote in some areas, like G70 where he received 1,877 over McCrory’s 44.

Governor Bev Purdue, a Democrat who didn’t run for re-election, congratulated McCrory on Election night and said she would offer her full assistance in his transition.

“I ask all North Carolinians to come together, put the acrimony behind us, and work with Governor-elect McCrory to move North Carolina forward,” she said in a press release.

A Republican governor will work more closely with the legislature than Purdue did, Guilford County GOP Chair Al Bouldin said after the victory, and would help get the state’s economy back on track.

“We knew he would make a new governor a long time ago and I think as the people of North Carolina got to know him they began to see that as well,” Bouldin said. “It’s going to give us the opportunity to affect real change.”

Guilford County Commissioner Paul Gibson who lost to Republican Jeff Phillips Tuesday, said earlier on Election Day that he expected Mc- Crory to win by double digits and that he expected the state legislature and governor’s seat to “veer off to the right” for years to come.

“There’s not going to be anybody like Purdue there to veto some of those bills that I see as sort of obnoxious,” Gibson said, referring to the legislative agenda of the Republican-controlled state legislature over the past two years.

Don Wendelken, a conservative who ran unsuccessfully for Guilford County Commissioner and who worked as a poll observer at Mount Zion Baptist Church on Tuesday, said McCrory’s victory would help bring spending under control in the state.

“I am very excited but reserved about my excitement,” Wendelken said earlier in the day about his anticipated success of Republican candidates across the board. Conservative victories would come as a surprise to some, he said, who weren’t counting on the continued influence of the tea party and rise in grassroots conservatism that helped tip the state legislature red in 2010.

While some on the left worried that social safety nets would be threatened under a Republican majority and governor in Raleigh, Wendelken said he anticipated that Republicans would balance the budget without jeopardizing such services.