EDITORIAL: Boylan Chalks Up Impressive Victory
All Moore Countians -- whether they voted for him or not -- should join in congratulating Joe Boylan for a campaign impressively won.
During the hard-fought and seemingly endless race for the 52nd District N.C. House seat, supporters of candidate Gerald Galloway, a Democrat running as an unaffiliated, entertained hopes that he might slide into office on the basis of a division of local Republicans between GOP nominee Boylan and the third man in the race, Republican/unaffiliated candidate Manila "Bud" Shaver.
As it turned out, though, the split took on a different aspect. It seems more accurate to say that the presence of Shaver, who jumped into the contest because he was outraged over the party's meddling in Boylan's primary race against Speaker Pro Tem Richard Morgan, hurt Galloway more than it hurt Boylan. The reason: It gave disaffected, anti-Boylan Republicans somewhere else to go.
Shaver's decision to toss his general's headgear into the ring was personal and impulsive. Galloway's later entry seemed to result more from a perceived opportunity within the local Democratic Party to capitalize on GOP disarray. Galloway ran a clean, positive race. But in the end, everybody knew that he was a Democrat, and that proved his undoing as great numbers of voters in this heavily Republican county wound up toeing the party line.
Pinehurst again flexed its muscle as Boylan carried all four Pinehurst precincts -- along with the northern part of the county, always a Republican stronghold. Boylan's opposition to Pinehurst's annexation of Pinewild didn't seem to hurt him much in the village. As for the spunky Shaver, whose presence greatly enlivened the campaign, the only place he ended up carrying was his home precinct of Seven Lakes.
Though Boylan won a plurality and not a majority, he deserves credit for a remarkable, out-of-nowhere political triumph. We wish him success.
As he comes off this highly divisive election and prepares to assume the challenging task of representing the whole county in the state House, we also hope he'll strive to broaden his appeal, de-emphasize some of his pet wedge social issues and recognize the need to serve as a force for unity, civility and reconciliation.
He made a good start in a magnanimous election-night statement, vowing to "bring the county together." That has a good ring to it.
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