11/05/08 — Wayne votes prove key to winning post for David Rouzer

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Wayne votes prove key to winning post for David Rouzer

By Staff Reports
Published in News on November 5, 2008 1:46 PM

Wayne County voters helped lift Republican David Rouzer to victory in the race for the District 12 seat in the state Senate.

Rouzer and Democrat Kay Carroll ran neck and neck in Johnston County, which makes up the majority of the district. But Rouzer carried the vote in the western half of Wayne, which has about 20 percent of the district's registered voters.

Rouzer took nearly 60 percent of the vote in the 11 precincts in Wayne that are part of the district, picking up 9,541 votes to Carroll's 6,420.

In Johnston County, it was much closer, with Rouzer finishing with only 191 more votes than Carroll out of the more than 68,000 cast. Rouzer tallied 34,329 to Carroll's 34,138.

The 12th District seat had been held for the past six years by Republican Fred Smith, who chose to run for governor and lost in the primary.

Rouzer complimented Carroll on his campaign and called him "a fine man."

"I have a lot of respect for Kay Carroll and his family," Rouzer said.

He attributed his win partly to the conservative nature of the district, but said Carroll's name recognition was a hurdle he still had to overcome. Carroll has served on the Johnston County Board of Education for 16 years.

Rouzer said his message of conservative values and more responsible government in Raleigh resonated with voters.

"I just want to thank all those people who prayed so hard and worked so hard for me, they won this election for me," Rouzer said.

He said he plans to revisit the locations where he campaigned over the past few months and thank voters personally.

"I plan to be extremely accessible to the people of Wayne County, and I look forward to serving them," Rouzer said.

Carroll said he was disappointed to lose but knew he had an uphill battle in the largely rural, conservative district. He said he had hoped his years of serving on the Board of Education would give him an edge but conceded that the district's Republican leaning proved too strong.

"I don't know of anything I'd do differently," Carroll said late Tuesday. "It's difficult to crack through the Republican voters in the district."