McInnis in, McLauren out in District 25

“I’m ready to get to work”

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

ROCKINGHAM — It’s a small turnout at Henry’s Uptown Cafe in downtown Rockingham.

It’s nothing, however, compared to the turnout and support voters showed Tom McInnish earlier Tuesday — it was enough, in fact, to boost the Republican challenger into the state Senate seat to represent District 25.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Tom McInnis, left, reviews results by precinct across District 25 as results are viewed on the state Board of Elections website Tuesday night in Rockingham.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Tom McInnis, left, reviews results by precinct across District 25 as results are viewed on the state Board of Elections website Tuesday night in Rockingham.

With 68 of 69 precincts across the district reporting in, McInnis won 50.45 percent of the vote with 28,303 votes to Democratic incumbent Gene McLaurin’s 26,403 votes. It was by no stretch a mandate, but McInnis said Tuesday night that, across the district, voters from all walks of life — and all parties — were tired of the status quo.

Starting at 5 a.m. in northernmost Rowan County, McInnis said, voters said “we’re tired. We’re ready for someone who’s not going to talk the talk, but someone who’s going to walk the walk.”

McInnis said Republicans across District 25 have had to take a back seat for 100 years.

“Their ideas were not considered, not aired, not vented,” McInnis said. “If they came up with a good idea, tough. No matter how much seniority they had it was a moot point. Now, it appears, that page has turned.”

Like McLaurin, McInnis said working across the party aisle and seeking comfortable comprises will be his key to success in Raleigh.

“I hope that we’ll e able to work together,” McInnis said, “but we’re going to put forward the measures that we believe will move North Carolina forward.”

McInnis said he will be special attention to rural parts of the state, such as District 25. There are special needs in those communities that are simply not being met.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Tom McInnis, in the white shirt, shares the moment of verified victory Tuesday night with family members as the state Board of Elections website was updated  with the  69th and final precinct reporting in from District 25.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Tom McInnis, in the white shirt, shares the moment of verified victory Tuesday night with family members as the state Board of Elections website was updated with the 69th and final precinct reporting in from District 25.

In his victory speech, McInnis told supporters that he’d like for Richmond County to become well-known for something other than Raiders football.

“I want us to get past that football team a little bit and talk about that academic team,” McInnis said.

McInnis said that within the next 14 days he plans to request from every school board, municipality and county official in District 25 to send a representative to meet with him to identify specific needs. The goal, then, is to identify common needs and begin a campaign to meet them.

He said voters made it clear to him on the campaign trail they wanted someone who will get the work done.

“We are going to stop waiting for something to happen and we’re going to make something happen,” McInnis said in between receiving congratulatory phone calls from officials across the state. “We have been a rudderless ship. We sent someone up there who could not perform. He was recalled home tonight. If I get up there and I don’t do a good job, I expect the voters to send me back home.”

McInnis said he will be required to resign his seat to the Richmond County Board of Education after the December meeting. Board members, then, will be tasked with appointing a replacement.

Filed in: Ellerbe/Norman, Hamlet, Hoffman, Latest Headlines, News

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  • Camilla Hudson

    Great news for Richmond County!!! Now walk the walk…

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