05/09/12 — Dixon beats Sager

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Dixon beats Sager

By Matthew Whittle
Published in News on May 9, 2012 1:46 PM

Jimmy Dixon

When the final numbers rolled in, state Rep. Jimmy Dixon, R-Duplin, said he had expected to win, but that he was surprised at the margin of victory over state Rep. Efton Sager, R-Wayne.

Dixon, who took 62.24 percent of the total vote in Wayne and Duplin counties (4,846) to Sager's 37.76 percent (2,940), said he credited his victory to one thing -- "retail politics."

"Getting out and talking to people and putting up signs and getting the name recognition, a lot of hand shaking. And I had a lot of good people working for me," he said.

However, he also said that he thinks the race that he and Sager ran for District 4 is one to be admired.

"I think Rep. Sager and I set an example that should be emulated," he said. "To my knowledge, there was not a single negative public comment from either of us directed at the other.

"It was a good, clean campaign."

The cleanliness of the campaign also was noted by Sager who expressed disappointment in the outcome, especially in Wayne County where he only led by 189 votes (2,475 to 2,286) -- in Duplin, he lost 2,560 to 465.

"I thought I'd do better in Wayne County than I did," Sager said. "But he ran a good, hard campaign and I congratulate him on that. You couldn't turn anywhere you didn't see a sign, or receive a mailer or a robo-call."

Now, Dixon said, he is already looking toward November when he'll face Democrat Deloris Kennedy of Mount Olive and Libertarian Kevin Hayes of Mount Olive. He said his game plan is going to be more of the same brand of retail politics and an emphasis on what he thinks North Carolina needs.

"I propose the best way to improve our economy is to reduce all tax rates, weed out unnecessary regulations, reduce energy costs and explore the natural resources we've got right under us. That's how we'll grow our economy," he said.

In the meantime, though, both Sager, who currently represents District 11, and Dixon, who currently represents District 4 -- the two were placed into the same district during redistricting last year -- have the upcoming short session to worry about. Dixon, the chairman of the House Select Committee on Agriculture Regulation, said he in particular has several issues he's looking forward to bringing up for debate.

For his part, though, Sager said that while he is looking forward to his final year in office, he thinks he is likely to bring his political career to a close when it is over.

"I've had 12 years of public service between the state House and the county commissioners, and I feel satisfied with what I've done," he said. "I'm probably going to pretty well retire."

Now, he said, he'll probably spend time taking care of some personal issues and offering help to other candidates however he can.

"I love my county and I love the people I've served, and I hope that I've been a good servant to them."