Pate claims Davis' seat
By Matthew Whittle
Published in News on November 3, 2010 1:46 PM
State Senator-elect Louis Pate enters the Wayne County Republican Headquarters around midnight Tuesday with his wife, Joyce, after defeating incumbent Democrat Don Davis for the 5th District seat. Pate was met by cheers from the crowd at the party headquarters on Center Street.
Former state Rep. Louis Pate will be returning to Raleigh in January after besting state Sen. Don Davis in a repeat of their 2008 showdown.
Pate, a Republican who served four terms in the state House before losing to Davis, D-Greene, will take over the seat that for years was held by former Sen. John Kerr, D-Wayne, who retired in 2008.
"I think things are different now than they were two years ago. I think people are worried about where our country is going, and where our state is going, and I think I had a message of jobs and education that connected with the voters," Pate said.
And while he acknowledged that a lot of mud was slung and a lot of negative things said during the campaign, he said he didn't feel any particular sense of satisfaction out of beating Davis this time around.
"I don't bear any grudges. It wasn't a grudge match or anything like that," Pate said. "I think it just boils down to who had the message voters wanted to hear.
"I respect Mr. Davis. During the heat of the campaign, there are some things said that probably wouldn't be said at other times. That's just the way politics are."
For his part, Davis said he was proud of the way he has represented the 5th Senate District the last two years, and proud of the effort he made during the campaign. He added, however, that he does not know what his political future will be -- that for now, he is looking forward to spending some time with his family.
"I want to thank my supporters for all their hard work and for hanging in there," he said. "I don't have any regrets or any shame with my passion to serve or the values that are important to me. We tried to work hard for the the district, but the people have spoken.
"I think people are really frustrated, and that may have more to do with the national mood than anything. I think what's important is that we need to make sure we understand what the concerns of the citizens are and do everything possible to try to make government work for them."
For Pate, that means getting "on with the business of the state."
And that business, he said, which is facing the first Republican majority in the state Senate since 1898, will be righting the economy and creating jobs.
"This is an exciting time. I'm looking forward to that," Pate said. "It is critical that we find a solution to improving our economy and put people back to work.
"I think there will be some new directions coming from Raleigh, and I'm looking forward to being a part of that."
In Wayne County, Pate won 51.78 percent (10,301) to Davis' 48.22 percent (9,591). In Greene County, Pate won 51.19 percent (2,869) to Davis' 48.81 percent (2,736). In Pitt County, Pate won 58.23 percent (12,148) to Davis' 41.77 percent (8,715). Across the entire district, Pate won 54.65 percent (25,423) to Davis' 45.35 percent (21,096).