11/08/06 — Incumbent Smith retains his seat in N.C. Senate District 5

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Incumbent Smith retains his seat in N.C. Senate District 5

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on November 8, 2006 1:45 PM

Fred Smith wasn't sweating it out at the Wayne County Republican Headquarters on Tuesday night. In fact, he and the others waiting for the precincts to report out were seemingly calm -- popping the occasional piece of candy, eyes glued to the numbers and the national election coverage on television.

Shortly after 9, Smith had his totals from Wayne.

"It looks like we've got about 75 percent," he said with a soft smile.

"Well, then I guess 75 percent of the people out there know what they're doing," a supporter replied.

Smith's numbers were just about right. Last night, he carried Wayne 5,025 to 1,790.

With numbers like those, another supporter said, the real race for Smith was getting back to Johnston County without hitting traffic.

As he left the headquarters and made his way to the car, Wayne County Commissioner Andy Anderson gave him directions back to Johnston.

"Just get on 70," he said. "You want to go under the overpass."

Smith could have afforded to get lost. There was no suspense in Johnston either -- 18,655 to 11,003.

With more than 65 percent of the vote in his favor, Smith handily captured the District 12 Senate seat.

The district is made up of Johnston and a portion of Wayne, mostly the Rosewood area.

As his car disappeared down Center Street, those who remained said there was never any doubt about this race.

"It's been a pretty good night," one man said. "We knew Fred ran a campaign that couldn't lose. He's the right man to represent the folks out yonder."

"We knew it wasn't going to be too close," another said. "But we're still glad our guy got the seat."