In a surprising primary upset, State Senator David Rouzer beat Ilario Pantano by a four percent margin in the race for the 7th Congressional District.
As WHQR’s Rachel Lewis Hilburn reports, Rouzer now faces eight-term Democrat Incumbent Mike McIntyre in November.
The results are surprising because most counties in the WHQR listening area and the broader 7th Congressional District gave Pantano a significant lead. New Hanover County voters favored Pantano over Rouzer by 21.5 percent. Brunswick and Pender voters pushed Pantano ahead by nearly 27 percentage points. But it was the 14,000 votes from his native Johnston County that catapulted him over the finish line. Rouzer beat Pantano by a little more than 2,800 votes. Only three other counties in the district -- Hoke, Sampson, and Lenoir – delivered majorities in Rouzer’s favor. The results are unofficial until the votes are canvassed next Tuesday.