Rep. Coble Returns to U.S. House
U.S. Rep. Howard Coble won re-election Tuesday in North Carolina's 6th District.
Coble, a Greensboro Republican, has been in the U.S. House of Representatives for 24 years. He defeated Democrat Teresa Sue Bratton.
Coble, 77, garnered 66 percent of the vote to Bratton's 34, according to unofficial returns. Many statewide news organizations called the race for Coble at about 9 p.m.
"It feels good," Coble said, talking on a cell phone from the back of a car as he headed toward a celebration in Greensboro.
Bratton, a 60-year-old Greensboro pediatrician, said she hadn't talked to Coble yet but she planned on it. She took the opportunity to thank her supporters for all their hard work.
"I have had absolutely fabulous supporters," Bratton said. "All of them are winners tonight. As much as we did, it could not have happened without them."
The 6th District includes all of Moore and Randolph counties and parts of Rowan, Davidson, Guilford and Alamance counties.
In Moore County, Coble enjoyed a 61 to 39 percent edge. He picked up 26,819 votes, while Bratton got 16,935.
Coble led early in Moore County, garnering 57 percent of the one-stop and absentee voting, to Bratton's 43 percent.
Coble stopped by polls in Carthage and Pinehurst during the day Tuesday to talk to voters.
"I enjoyed being in Moore County," he said. "Democrats and Republicans there have been mighty good constituents."
Coble had said publicly during the race that he might be vulnerable.
"I run every campaign as though I might lose," he said. "A loss is always potential in every race."
Coble is chairman of the powerful Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security. He's on the Committee on Judiciary and is ranking member of the Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property.
He's built a reputation for strong constituent services and for speaking his mind.
Coble was the first Republican in the House to split from his party and oppose the war in Iraq. He supports a withdrawal of troops.
He made news in early October by being one of the House members to help defeat the $700 billion Wall Street rescue bill. After the Senate changed the bill, Coble changed his vote and helped pass it. He said he changed his vote after hearing overwhelming support for it from constituents.
Bratton said that she was pleased by the performances of her fellow Democrats. They succeeded by emphasizing key issues like health care, job creation, renewable energy, conservation and education, she said.
"It seems to be a very good night for Democrats," she said.
Coble will return to Washington to find a Democrat-controlled Congress. He said that getting things done the next two years might be difficult, Coble said.
It looked late last night like Democrats would pick up several seats in the House. Prior to Tuesday, they already had 36-seat majority.
With such an advantage in the House and control of both the Senate and White House, Democrats will be able to set the agenda, Coble said.
"It's going to be a long two years," he said. "It could be corrected in two years. I'm an optimist."
Contact Matthew Moriarty at 693-2479 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
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