Coble Easily Wins Re-Election to 14th Term
By Tom Embrey
Physically, Tuesday was a bad day for U.S. Rep. Howard Coble, but politically, it couldn't have been better.
Coble turned back Democratic challenger Sam Turner by a nearly 3-to-1 margin to earn a 14th consecutive erm as North Carolina's representative from the 6th District, according to unofficial returns. He was forced to cancel his Election Day schedule be-cause of illness.
"While I feel shoddy physically, I feel great politically," Coble said in a statement.
Early in the day, Coble didn't make his planned stops, said Ed McDonald, a spokesperson for Coble. It was the first time Coble didn't make stops in any of the six counties he represents, including Moore County.
"He was very upset he wasn't able to make his rounds," McDonald said.
Coble garnered 75 percent of the vote in defeating Turner, 157,122 to 51,500. In Moore County, Coble was again an overwhelming choice by voters, earning nearly 71 percent of the nearly 28,000 votes cast.
Voter turnout in Moore County was nearly 48 percent. About 42 percent of voters statewide cast ballots.
"I am very appreciative to the people of the 6th District for affording me another two years to be their voice in Washington," Coble said.
Coble wasn't the only Republican to record an easy victory Tuesday.
Incumbent Sen. Richard Burr defeated Democratic challenger Elaine Marshall, the current N.C. secretary of state.
Moore County voters picked Burr on 66 percent of their ballots, with Marshall getting 42 percent.
In the 2nd District, Democratic Congressman Bob Etheridge lost by a slim margin to Republican Renee Ellmers. She received 91,920 votes, or 49.6 percent, to his 89,821 or 48.5 percent, according to unofficial returns. Libertarian Tom Ross nabbed 3,418 votes.
Coble expressed guarded optimism that Tuesday's election results would be good for Republicans.
"I'm not sure it will be the slam dunk that some are predicting," he said in the statement. "I feel confident that the GOP will win control of the U.S. House, and I look forward to serving the next term as the chairman of a Judiciary Subcom-mittee."
Turner, 49, is a former Air Force pilot who now works out of Salisbury.
He acknowledged the difficulty of taking on a popular congressman in a Republican-leaning district during a previous interview with The Pilot. He said he decided to stop complaining about the economy, the world trade situation and other issues and to run for office "to see if I could do something about it."
An attorney, Coble lives in Greensboro and is a U.S. Coast Guard veteran. He is a graduate of Guilford College and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
He is a member of the Guilford College Board of Visitors and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy Board of Visitors.
Unmarried, he is one of two congressmen who have pledged to decline their federal pensions.
Contact Tom Embrey at email@example.com.
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