11/03/10 — Rouzer easily keeps his N.C. Senate seat

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Rouzer easily keeps his N.C. Senate seat

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

David Rouzer, R-Johnston, will return to the state Senate for a second term after beating Democratic challenger, Clayton Mayor Jody McLeod.

For Rouzer, with the Republicans picking up a majority of the state Senate for the first time in 112 years, it means the opportunity to try to push forward some of the legislation he felt was stalled by the majority party.

"It is truly a historic night. But we're going to have a real challenge on our hands come January," he said. "The state's budget is going to need work. We're going to have to reform state government to operate on less. We're going to have to take a long look at reforming our tax code. It's going to be a very big job, but I think Republicans are up to the challenge."

For McLeod, even though he lost, the night was still a bit of a victory, he said.

Collecting more than 17,000 votes, he said he was proud of what he was able to accomplish.

"Seventeen thousand votes is a great base," McLeod said. "I think the Republicans had a very strong platform, and I think the Democrats will be able to learn from this. They had a strategy and an organization in place."

But, he added, "as Arnold Schwarzenegger said, 'I'll be back.'"

"The first time I ran for mayor, I didn't win and I said I'd be back, and I was and I won. There's going to be a lot of very high expectations for the people elected (Tuesday night). It's time to see if they can follow through. Time will tell."

For now, however, Rouzer said he is looking forward to the opportunity to continue representing Johnston and Wayne counties.

"I think that the big thing was it was a big Republican year. I've tried to do the best I can for my district, but I don't think it was as much me as it was it being a Republican year," Rouzer said. "I think people want a government that works for them and not against them, and in my district, I think they wanted to be represented by somebody with conservative values and conservative principles. And I think that resonates in my district."

In Wayne County, Rouzer received 78.04 percent (8,080) of the vote to McLeod's 21.96 percent (2,274). In Johnston County, Rouzer received 67.92 percent (31,644) to McLeod's 32.08 percent (14,944). Across the two, Rouzer received 69.76 percent (39,724) to McLeod's 30.24 percent (17,218).