Blake Keeps Senate Seat; Boles Sails In
Republican Jamie Boles, a political newcomer, defeated Democrat Betty Mangum Tuesday in the race for the District 52 seat in the state House of Representatives.
Boles will succeed Rep. Joe Boylan, who was defeated in the May GOP primary election. Boles claimed 27,592 votes, or 65.89 percent, to Mangum's 14,281, or 34.11 percent, according to unofficial returns.
Incumbent state Sen. Harris Blake, a Pinehurst Republican, held off his Democratic challenger, Dr. Abraham Oudeh, of Harnett County, for the District 22 seat by a margin of 60 percent to 40 percent. He beat Oudeh two years ago.
In Moore County, Blake received 27,896 votes, or 64.23 percent, while Oudeh, a former mayor of Dunn, received 15,534 votes, or 35.77 percent of the Moore County vote. The district includes Moore and Harnett counties.
"I am honored that I have the trust of the people in Moore County," Boles said Tuesday night. "My door is always open."
Boles, a Southern Pines businessman, acknowledged that he will be a Republican serving in a state House expected to be controlled by Democrats again next year but said he is willing and ready to work "across the aisle" to get things done.
"We have to work together," he said. "We all live here in North Carolina, and we have to work for the good of our state."
Mangum, a former Wake County commissioner, said she was not surprised at Boles' win, because of the heavy GOP registration in Moore County.
"I believe in the democratic process, and I was glad we had a Democrat on the ballot this time," he said. "It was my desire that we have a choice at the polls."
Mangum called it "a great race" with Boles and commended him for a fair and cordial campaign. She said they had a good relationship despite their party differences.
Blake said he was pleased that he took some 60 percent of the vote in Harnett County, the residence of his opponent. This was Oudeh's second try at unseating Blake.
"I'm standing tall," said an elated Blake. "I have won and I am happy. I look forward to representing the good people of Moore County the way they should be represented."
Oudeh was reluctant to concede when reached at the Harnett County Democratic headquarters Tuesday night. He said some precincts had not reported results at that point.
"If Mr. Blake has won, then I congratulate him," Oudeh said.
One other legislative race affects Moore County but Rep. Joe Hackney of Chapel Hill, the Democrat who represents House District 54, had no Republican opposition. He is speaker of the state House.
Hackney received 1,090 votes in the one and a half precincts in Moore County -- all of Cameron and part of Carthage precincts. District 54 includes portions of Orange and Moore counties and all of Chatham County.
Also claiming victory at the polls Tuesday were two Republican candidates for seats on the Moore County Board of Commissioners -- incumbent Tim Lea and newcomer Nick Picerno -- who did not face Democratic opposition.
Picerno will fill the seat being vacated by Colin McKenzie, who did not seek re-election this year. He defeated Nancy Roy Fiorillo in a GOP primary in May. McKenzie presently chairs the Board of Commissioners. Picerno is a retired businessman and lives in the McLendon Hills community near Seven Lakes.
Lea defeated businessman Tim Sloan in a GOP primary in May. Lea, a former chairman of the Planning Board and a former member of the Sandhills Community College Board of Trustees, is a businessman and lives near Eastwood.
Contact Florence Gilkeson at 947-4962 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
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