11/03/10 — Butterfield wins another term in House

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Butterfield wins another term in House

By Matthew Whittle
Published in News on November 3, 2010 1:46 PM

At 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, Democratic U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield declared victory in the 1st Congressional District.

"I'm feeling good," Butterfield said, about winning his fourth term. "It was a very rigorous campaign. We covered all 23 counties over the last six months, had organizations in all 23 counties, and (Tuesday) they executed."

He said he attributed his victory -- in the face of a Republican landslide nationwide -- to his years of experience working for the voters.

"I think we have very sensible voters in the 1st District, and I believe they wanted someone who is sensible, knowledgeable and sincere," Butterfield said. "I have a proven record of service. My commitment is sincere, and the voters know that. They chose a proven incumbent over a challenger who had no record of service he could point to."

However, Ashley Woolard's campaign spokesman, Bill Tarpenny, said they were pleased with their effort.

Woolard was not available for comment Tuesday night, but Tarpenny said he wanted to "thank all his friends who helped him."

"He felt we ran a good race and just came up a little bit short," Tarpenny said.

Speaking for himself, though, Tarpenny said he felt that had Woolard received a little more support from the state and national Republican parties, the race might have turned out differently.

"This is a race that hasn't had a real, honest-to-God candidate in years. Ashley Woolard raised more money than anybody who has ever run in anybody's memory, and he raised it all in eastern North Carolina. He raised more in eastern North Carolina than Butterfield," he said. "We just didn't have the money to run the kind of campaign we needed to run. Ashley had a message that was resonating with the people we were able to reach.

"But we came closer than anybody else has been able to come."

And because that Republican mood was in full swing elsewhere in the country, Butterfield and the rest of the Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives will be facing a new Republican majority.

"I have braced myself for the loss of Democratic seats. I am prepared to accept the will of the American people and ready to work with the Republican majority," Butterfield said. "We've got to have bipartisan solutions to the numerous problems facing our country. The American people demand it, and it's the way to govern."

And, he said, there will be a spirit of bipartisanship when the new Congress convenes in January.

"I think we are going to see bipartisanship because these next two years will pass very quickly. I think the American people are not going to tolerate extreme partisanship any longer."

But, he also said that if the Democrats can do a better job of getting their message out, then more people will begin agreeing with their stance on the issues.

"Our message still has not broken through," he said.

In Wayne County, Butterfield received 58.45 percent of the vote, to Woolard's 41.55 percent. districtwide, Butterfield received 59.19 percent of the vote, to Woolard's 40.81 percent.